We lead busy lives. 100’s of things to be done. Watching Instagram feed, reading WhatsApp messages, posting messages to groups, watching YouTube shorts, to name a few. In spite of all this busyness, we don’t want to miss out on what’s important in our journey to eternity with Jesus.
When we set our priorities right, we see that everything pales into insignificance when compared with our journey to eternity with Jesus.
In the Bible, we read a few instances of “one thing”. We also read a few passages that mention “first thing.” Both these are from the same word, which means the most important and most significant.
Our relationship with God
1.We ought to love God with all of our being. Jesus said this was the first and greatest commandment. Jesus said the 2nd most important commandment was to love our neighbour as ourselves.
Reference ( Matthew 22:37-39, And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). This is the great (most important, principal) and first command. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.)
2.We are to first seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Then the food to eat, water to drink, and clothes to wear will be given to us by God.
Reference (Mathew 6:33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.)
On judging others
3.We are sinners, having no right to judge (just like throwing a stone) until the sinless one, judges first. Only Jesus Christ is without sin. Only He has any right to judge. When we pass a judgement on another, are we not acting like throwing a stone on a person.
Reference ( John 8:7, However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.)
4.We are keen to remove the spec from our brother’s eye while forgetting to remove the plank in our own eye first. Let us examine our hearts and our lives first and meditate in His presence, trying to identify our shortcomings in our lives first in the light of God’s Word (Bible) which will enable us to examine our lives, thoughts and actions better.
Reference (Mathew 7:3-5 Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye? You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.)
To be a leader, find who is the greatest
5.If you desire to be a leader, you must be a servant of others. Jesus told his disciples this when he knew that they were arguing among themselves about Who was the greatest among them? Unlike the customs of the world, Jesus demonstrated a lifestyle of leadership through serving. He washed the feet of his disciples. Although he was without sin, he laid down his life as a sacrifice, the wages of sin for others.
Reference ( Mark 9:35, And He sat down and called the Twelve [apostles], and He said to them, If anyone desires to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all.)
Loving God, loving our brothers and sisters
6.God first loved us. This is the beginning of the love story between God and us. The Bible has many verses pointing to this. The reason we love Him is that God loved us first. We have a litmus test to check our love for God. It’s a beautiful test. You will get a great answer if you sincerely follow the process of the test. Check if you love our brothers and sisters who we see around us. We cannot say we love God without doing so.
Reference 1 ( 1 John 4:19,20, We love Him, because He first loved us. If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen..)
Reference 2 (1 John 4: 7-12. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!
Abiding in the presence of God always
7.The most important thing that the psalmist, King David, asks is to dwell in the presence of God all the days of his life. King David, who was a man after God’s heart, knew what mattered most. It was to always abide in the presence of God. Everything else pales in significance when compared to this. The verse also speaks about dwelling in the house of God, a place where God abides. We know that we are the temple of God, and we always need to meditate and consider what pleases God and His perspective.
Reference 1 ( Psalm 27:4. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.)
Reference 2 (2 Corinthians 6:16. What agreement [can there be between] a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.