Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Putting First Things First

“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.“
I Corinthians 4:2 The New King James Version

Years ago I heard somebody say, “You live your life, first, up to God, second, outward to others, and thirdly, inward to yourself.” In all of those areas we should be faithful. The Bible says, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings.” (Proverbs 28:20) We need to be dedicated to our walk with the Lord. In doing that, whatever you put into your life on a personal level in regard to your relationship with the Lord will show up on the outside in your public life. What goes on in private shows up in your public life. So, being faithful to serve the Lord causes your outward life to be a testimony to others and in the long run, you are inwardly applying Christ's character to your life. We all need to be faithful in doing those things on a daily basis.

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” You are a steward of God's presence and character. These things dwell in you and should radiate from you to others.

There are a lot of people who will say that they want a powerful relationship with God, but most of us struggle with the discipline to do it. There is an old saying that is so true, “We all talk about it, but none of us do it.” Powerful and lasting relationships come by spending time with someone. When people get married the true power of marriage is after years go by and you start becoming one in mind. You are one flesh when you get married but oneness of mind comes from years of partnership. Strong, lasting marriages develop over time. Time is that which brings the reward of things in your relationship becoming better and stronger.

A good cheese becomes great by being aged. An award winning wine comes by age. A strong relationship comes with age. A powerful relationship with God comes by taking the time to enrich it, bring depth to it, and bring oneness into being. It only comes as we discipline ourselves to do so. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” If you don't have a vision of God being BIG in your life, you will be weak and fall prey to the things of this world and the attitudes of its influences.

You honor God by putting Him first in your life. He must be the center of your focus. If it's not real to you, it won't be real to anybody else around you. You cannot trust the Lord as your healer if you don't know the Healer. You cannot trust the Lord as your provider if you don't know the Provider. You cannot walk in perfect peace if you don't really know the Prince of Peace.

Many Christians have a “mental” relationship with the Lord. Or you could say it like this: Many Christians settle for the “positional” presence or relationship with the Lord instead of the “manifested” presence of God in their daily lives. All of which begs to ask the question, “How are you walking today?” Are you honoring the Lord by putting Him first?

It has been said that excellence has its own reward. The Bible says that as a faithful man you will abound with blessings. As you are faithful to the Lord and your relationship with Him, you will abound with blessings of His manifested presence. That's the key to living a joyful life, full of His peace and His presence, a life full of His power and His majesty flowing and working in you and through you. That's life and life more abundantly! Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and life more abundantly!” (John 10:10)

You will only worship Him to the degree that you know Him. What shows up on the outside is a direct reflection of what you're doing on the inside in your private time. If you'll just get excited about it and let it be real to you, then it will work for you. AMEN!

Prayer: Father, I choose to put You first. I choose to put You first in my life on a personal, intimate level. I will honor You by putting You first. Amen.

Pastor James Farmer