I have been thinking lately, which can be dangerous.
It seems that almost every day I come across people who tell me how their lives are out-of-whack, how they are frustrated with their lack of direction, and how they feel spiritually dry, emotionally scattered, and out of control in areas ranging from their money to their schedule to their relationships. Most of them also tell me that when they get their life back in order they plan to start attending church more regularly.
My response is usually, “Do the math.”
It is not hard to figure out why our lives get so frazzled and frustrated, and why we always feel like we’re running up hill, when we’re trying to live it on our own. We have mixed-up value systems and upside-down priorities. I don’t think Jesus was kidding around when He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33).
If you read the context of that statement from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was talking about money and possessions and our tendency to obsess about those “things’ at the expense of more important matters of the heart. His “formula,” if you will, was so simple it was profound: Put God first, and everything else will fall in place.
Am I saying that if you’ll just go to church enough, everything in your life will work out perfectly? Of course not. Setting priorities, and making sure God is first, is vital to a well-ordered and meaningful life, but there are still times when things don’t go our way. Once again, that’s the comfort of having a safe place to go where you can find caring friends who will be there for you. We all need the support and encouragement that can only be found in genuine Christian “community,” and we also need to be a part of the corporate worship and study of God’s word that church offers. It’s all part of seeking His kingdom first and foremost.
Actually, I think the principle applies not just for individuals, but for families, for churches and even for our country. If and when we choose to put God first in our nation, I firmly believe things will fall into place again–no matter what political party is in charge.
So let me encourage you to seek Him first. Make your relationship with the Lord THE priority of your life and family. That will mean being a regular part of the community life of His body, the church, and investing your life into His kingdom work. And then watch and see if “all these things” aren’t added to you as well. Do the math.
What a joy it is to pastor such a great church. I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.