This has been a very busy summer and I’ve still got a lot of things I need to do. But one thing my mom always said was to make sure God is always in first place in your life. Her favorite verse was Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (NLT) While I haven’t lived up to this goal it has always been my goal and God has always provided.
In this nation we have such opportunities and so many material things that it is easy to become overly occupied with them. And while they are beyond necessities, our life style is such that they are required. One example is electricity. Benjamin Franklin would prove that lightning was electrical in 1752. But it wasn’t until the 18th century that the path to the everyday use of electrical power began to take shape. In 1879, the American inventor Thomas Edison was finally able to produce a reliable, long-lasting electric light bulb in his laboratory. By 1939 the percentage of rural homes that had electricity was only 25 percent. Today we walk into a room and flip and switch and expect the room to light up. We take refrigerators for granted, yet it wouldn’t be until 1913 that refrigerators for the home were invented.
I mention these few examples to demonstrate how easy it is for us to get our priorities out of balance. We must continually strive to keep God’s perspective always before us. Jesus told several parables to illustrate how important it is for us to keep first things first. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!” (Matthew 13:44-46) This is what Jesus means when He tells us to seek first His kingdom.
Jesus told us that trouble and hardship would be a part of our daily lives but He encouraged us by telling us He would always be with us and He has overcome the world. Because of this we are overwhelmingly victorious in Him, even in the midst of our troubles. The apostle Paul said this, “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)
And Jesus gave us this great encouragement: At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
May these words encourage you as you live your life each day, and may they be your guiding light.