The best life is a God First life

Category: Blessings (Page 1 of 2)

What is the only gift we can give God that God Wants?

Jesus tells us; the greatest “commandment” is to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. In other words, we are to love God with all of our beings, with everything we have to offer. Jesus goes on to tell us the 2nd greatest “command” is to love others as ourselves. Jesus added a new command “…Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Did you notice these are not request?

They are commands. Why are they commands? One thought is because they are good for us. God does not force us to love Him or others. He leaves that to our choice. However, God has given us overwhelming incentives and reasons to love Him and absolutely no reason not to love Him.

Jesus tells us, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” So this is our opportunity to show our love and gratitude by doing our best to keep His commands.

IF we love him…” The word “Love” is so loosely defined in our cultures today, it’s often confused with all sorts of selfish temporal feelings, desires, wants, and infatuations. Jesus’s command to love is not a pill we take for temporary uplifts; no, It’s the kind of love God has demonstrated to us, one that never ends. It’s unchanging and committed. It’s lifelong. In fact, it is never-ending, eternity long.

God first loved us and gave His son for us. So why would we hesitate not to do our best to show our love for Jesus in return by keeping his commandments?

I can think of only one thing we have to offer God that God cannot give himself; what would that one thing be? _ _ _ _

  • Mark 12: 30-31 (Greatest commands)
  • John 14:15 (keep His commands)
  • John 13:34-35 (new command)

Jesus said to him“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[a] From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

John 14:6-7

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

God First!

Little by little

Have you ever opened your mouth and said things you didn’t really mean to come out the way they did? Well, I did this recently. I listened to a presentation regarding the ongoing efforts of one of the missionary works our congregation help’s support and was amazed at all the accomplishments of this ministry. It touched my heart with the desire to help them continue and do more to the glory of God.

In talking with the missionary, I asked what the best way to give additional help is? right after his answer, I made my regretted statement to the effect: “I was not as blessed as others, “financially, but….”

Instantly, I did not like my statement and how it sounded as I am fully aware that I am very blessed, including financially, when compared to many in this world, and I thank God daily for every blessing.

I was trying to convey that I realized there was a great need for the help they were providing and appreciated seeing how they were helping. Recognizing this made me wish I had thousands upon thousands I could offer to help meet the overwhelming needs.

I didn’t want my question to be misleading as to what I meant by: “additional.” So, I attempted to clarify my question poorly and decrease any expectation of grandeur I may have accidentally implied. I hope I never make such a foolish statement again!

This scenario did remind me of a question my wife once asked me. I had just recently started going back to Church services, and she was not yet going but saw a check I had written, and asking very pointedly, she said;

What are you trying to do, buy your way into heaven?

Well, honestly, no, but my donations at that time were very sporadic, so for us, the check she saw looked big. My wife began attending, studying the bible, and later chose to be baptized according to Scripture.

As our faith and understanding grew, we realized although sporadic giving was helpful, it was not nearly as much as it seemed when we wrote the occasional check. So together, we budgeted a small amount for weekly giving. In comparison to previous years, we found that by doing this, we were helping far beyond those periodic checks just by giving a small amount each week that we could manage.

I should have remembered this lesson before my regretful statement to Mani. And, I pray God continuously blesses those who can write the large checks and that they will never give up doing so.

I need to keep in mind that if I budget small amounts, I can still help in significant ways, and if others do the same, we can all humbly make a vast difference within our abilities. Then, as our blessings increase, so can our help.

In the end, those small amounts can help spread God’s Word, Save lives and bring soul-saving truth to the masses.

Galatians 6:9-10 says:

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

To God be the glory,

God First!

The prayer that started my change in direction

Life can be really hard sometimes, and when we live by our own standards, we are ill-equipped to deal with all the hardships. I lived by my own standards for a number of years. Yes, as a baptized believer, my standards had been influenced by the teachings of God, but instead of submitting to God’s standards, I strayed and created my own, which did not include putting God first. Instead, I was wise in my own eyes, putting worldly desires, worldly goals, worldly satisfactions, me,  family, sports, and TV before God and His will.

Eventually, I found myself in several situations where my standards were not good enough. I had no real answers. My solutions were Band-Aids, not fixes. Finally, I found the foundation of “my standards” to be rooted in the sand. My life felt like a leaf floating In the wind.

I am so very thankful that I knew where to turn. Thankful that I had been exposed to God and His Standards while younger.

Not only could I pray for God’s help but, I could choose to “change the direction of my life” (repent) and follow the standards of life that God, set before us. Through Jesus, and God’s perfect and complete Holy Word (The Bible), we can be complete.

I found myself humbled through turmoil beyond my control. Turmoil, I so much wanted to control. I had to realize that God was the only answer. God is the only being with the ability to help in all situations.

I started my change with a deeply heartfelt and tearful prayer. That night, I made the decision to turn my troubles over to the Lord while at the same time deciding I wanted to be an advocate for Christ (a disciple). I wanted to pursue righteousness way beyond ”my standards.”

I had read part of a verse in the book of James that said: “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” And I wanted my prayers to have great power. I wanted and needed God’s help.

That night, I did not give up on any of my concerns; rather, I sought the most powerful help available to all of mankind, and through the name of Jesus, I approached our Creator.

Since that night, the changes I’ve chosen to make in my life have helped me establish a firm foundation. To grow healthy roots in healthy soil, creating peace And joy within. My understanding of God’s Word blossoms continuously now, as it would for anyone who chooses to seek God through His Word. It just takes study, effort, and action on our part.

God’s all-powerful and just standards have now replaced the insufficient and weak standards I once created for myself.

The bible lets us know that hardships fall on the just and the unjust as rain does the fields. Having God in the forefront of our lives gives us a reason and strength to embrace all that life offers, good and bad, and be able to count It all, joy!

There really is a peace beyond understanding, and it is attainable when we decide to deny ourselves and follow Christ.  I now use the two words “God First” all the time. It is embroidered or printed on many of my clothes as my spirit-wear. A constant reminder to me and others that putting God First is the most important thing we can do, teach and share.

There’s a reason why loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is The Greatest Commandment.

God First!

The blessing of direct prayer

When we approach God’s throne in prayer, we often bow our heads, close our eyes, and kneel. I love doing these gestures as doing so signifies respect, honor, and glory to God. These gestures also help focus our attention solely on the prayer and can be great examples in teaching our children to pray and respect our Heavenly Father.

This said; Prayer has no limits! We can pray anywhere at any time in any situation or environment. We don’t pray to impress those around us; we pray to have time with our creator, say thank you, or ask for help.

God is family, and no one loves us the way God loves us, and no one has the ability to help us more than God does. So, we can pray out loud or in our mind without a single word spoken, with our eyes wide open, driving down the road, cutting grass, fishing, hunting, cooking, walking the dog, or holding the baby.

God has given each of us the avenue of direct prayer through the name of Jesus, his only begotten son, so why not take advantage of this incredible opportunity and pray often? God wants to hear from us!

  • Luke 12:34
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Matthew 6:7
  • 1st Thessalonians 5:17 (pray without ceasing)
  • James 5:13
  • John 5:15
  • Ephesians 6:18
  • Mark 11:24
  • Romans 12:12

God First!

30 Characteristics of Agape love

  1. Unconditional
  2. Without expectation of reciprocation
  3. Desiring good for others
  4. It’s eternal
  5. We desire it
  6. It has no evil in it.
  7. It covers a multitude of sins
  8. Provides motivation
  9. Brings peace
  10. It is a choice
  1. Fruit of the Spirit
  2. Not resentful
  3. Love is God as God, is love
  4. It’s forgiving
  5. Selfless
  6. Patient
  7. Kind
  8. Not envious
  9. Not boastful
  10. Not arrogant

  1. Not rude
  2. Does not insist on its own way
  3. Not irritable
  4. Does not rejoice in wrongdoing
  5. Rejoices in the truth
  6. bears all things
  7. believes all things
  8. hopes all things
  9. endures all things
  10. LOVE NEVER ENDS.

Agape love is choosing to love unconditionally; it never changes. We should love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

  • 1st Corinthians 13
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • 1st Peter 4:8
  • 1st John 4:8
  • Philippians 4:8-9

Relationship bliss

It’s not luck; It’s caring!

From time to time, people have commented on how lucky Virginia (my wife) and I are to have a relationship that works so well, and while I appreciate their words, I also know it’s more than luck. I believe it’s largely due to our aim to please, not just ourselves, but each other.

Our daily actions are mindful, considerate, and inclusive of each other, so we end up doing many things together rather than taking part in the “ME Me me” attitude of today’s culture, which is destructive to relationships and opposes the teachings of Christ.

In today’s environment, it’s all too common to exclude loved ones from our lives with individual activities that distract rather than encourage communication and interaction. Yet, our time together is one of the most valuable earthly blessings we have. Seize its blessings with every breath you take!

  • 1 Peter 3:7
  • Proverbs 3:3-4
  • Proverbs 30:18-19
  • Song of Solomon 8:7
  • Ephesians 4:2
  • Ephesians 5:1-33
  • Philippians 2:1-30
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • Romans 13:8-10
  • Mark 12:31
  • John 15:12
  • Matthew 22:37-39
  • Colossians 3:4-8
  • 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
  • 1 Corinthians 16:14

God First!

The eyes of love

If you saw the glories of life through my eyes; You would go to sleep with great anticipation! Looking forward to the next morning’s air, its sunshine, its birds, and playful squirrels in the trees. Through my eyes; Each morning brings new opportunity to hear the voice of those I love, to do my best to see them smile and hear their laughs. To tease them, hug them, play with them or even; just sit with them and soak the glories in. Through my eyes; We all miss out when we sleep in late and must rush to start the new day’s race. But even then, I do my best to start their day; it’s very best! To bring that smile upon their face, they can carry through that race. ~Boo boo aka WRJ

We can learn from the attitudes displayed by our loving pets. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone displayed this type of anticipation and attitude of love towards one another as we started each day?

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10 NIV)Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

God is in control

We are extremely blessed to have the Bible. When we study God’s Word, we find those involved in the stories we read know only what is before them. However; We, get to see the plans of God come together over and over as we read through scripture. God has given us 66 books of God-breathed evidence and instruction to help us understand that putting our faith, hope, and trust in God is absolutely the best commitment we can make and share with others, especially those we hold dearest to our hearts.

The evidence we find in God’s Word, our surroundings, and science proves God exists. It proves God is our creator and is everywhere, all-knowing and all-powerful; it proves God is in control!

God’s word gives us comfort in knowing that by following the teachings of the new covenant, we can have eternal life in heaven.

This world is not our home; we are just passing thru

  • 2 Timothy 2:15 (study)
  • Romans 10:17 (Faith comes by hearing)
  • Hebrews 6:17 (God is unchanging)
  • Ephesians 1:11 (God is in control)
  • Matthew 6:1-34 (the kingdom of God)
  • Romans 6:1–4 (baptism)
  • Hebrews 13:14 (this world)

God First!

Beauty In The Wake of Storms

There is great beauty in the wake of the storms; the loss of life is horrible, The destruction of property, livelihoods, and displacement of families is heart-wrenching, yet we find great beauty shining through the masses doing all they can to help. It’s in these troubled times that we get to see what’s really at the hearts of most people. They are not concerned with the color of your skin, your beliefs, or how you live your daily lives, no! They come together performing searches, opening their homes, businesses, church buildings, etc. They come to rebuild; they gather and send supplies for storm victims from all over our nation to help out.

In the Wake of Storms, mankind acts with compassion, concern, and love for one another. This is the America of the masses. The America that cares about people, about the well-being of those hurting and in need.

This is where we see America’s greatness and the love we have for one another that’s truly at our very core.

It’s here we see the love of God in and through the people acting in unity.

God First!

The well-being of others

Do you pray for the well-being of others? As I was praying for just that, the following question came to mind: What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being?

I concluded: The testament of Jesus pricks our hearts and opens our minds to God’s grace, His forgiveness, our repentance, and the love of God for us; it brings those who understand what Jesus has done for us an overwhelming desire to do His will and keep His commandments. This understanding stirs our hearts to take action. It makes us want to be “In Christ.”

According to God’s word to be in Christ, we must hear the message of Christ, believe, repent, confess Jesus as the risen Son of God, and be baptized into Christ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to realize that when we come up out of that watery grave, we are doing God’s will, we have ratified God’s Grace through Jesus, and by doing so, we are forgiven! At this point, we are free of our past sins, begin a new life as a new creature, and move forward in life as disciples of Christ, enjoying all the blessings that encompass our obedient faith.

Blessings like the knowledge that we now have never-ending life available to us in heaven, a spiritual world not made with human hands, where there is no more pain, tears, or death. That God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are now within us, helping us walk this world without being of this world. We can now take comfort in the knowledge that the blood of Christ continues to wash us even when we make mistakes.

So, What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being? The message of Christ!

With this understanding, I continue to pray that we all take time to learn and share the message of Christ for the well-being of all!

[Scriptures for consideration]

  • 1 John 5:3
  • Romans 10:17
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Acts 2:37-47
  • Acts 16:30-33
  • Acts 8:30-38
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 5:15-18
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Luke 17:10
  • James 2:17-18
  • 1 Peter 1:17-25
  • 1 John 1:7

God First!

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