The best life is a God First life

Category: Father

The Mirror of Reflection and Growth

Our dual battle between good and evil starts with the desires of our hearts and minds. (James 1:15) When we act with goodness, we glorify God. When we act on evil desires, we sin against God.

Our actions show our heart so let us not be afraid to better ourselves by embracing the mirror of reflection and growth.

Let us ask ourselves daily:

  • Are my actions demonstrating where I know my heart’s desire, should be?
  • Am I proud of my actions?
  • Would Jesus be proud of my actions?
  • Did I reject temptation?

If the answer is “Yes” then you do well if your answers are “No” remember God forgives, He even forgets, If bad habits have formed it’s not too late to replace them with good habits. Scripture tells us to repent, which means: To change direction. There is never a better time to change direction than the moment you realize you need too and reflection helps us get to that point.

 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:21

God’s word tells us how to focus our minds and hearts, how to overcome the temptation to sin. (Philippians 4:5-9)

  • Hebrews 8:12
  • Matthew 5:44
  • Matthew 5:16
  • Matthew 22:37–39
  • Grace: – Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:24, Titus 2:11, Acts 15:11
  • Belief/Faith: – Hebrews 11:1, John 8:24, Romans 10:17, Acts 3:19
  • Repentance: – 2 Cor. 7:9-10, Luke 13:3-5, Acts 17:30
  • Confess: – Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33, Luke 12:8-9
  • Baptism by immersion for forgivness of sin: – Matthew 16:15-16 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matt 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39, Mark 1:9-10, John 3:23

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God First!

Hurting God, Hurts us

In many ways, I am the prodigal son, not in how I treated my earthly father, but in how I treated my Heavenly Father. For a long time, I abused the grace and blessings our Heavenly Father gave me. I understood his love for me, but I attempted to take advantage of it. I treated God as if, His Will for me was unimportant. I wanted what I wanted, even though I knew it went against the will of God. I wonder how many others currently find themselves doing the same.

I decided to ignore the understanding I did have of God’s will for his children. Instead, I willfully ignored God and foolishly hoped for the best if something happened. I mistakenly banked on the thought that I could plead ignorance, that God would forgive my purposeful attempt at ignorance because I was a good person. God, however, is not a respecter of persons. Therefore, I am responsible and accountable equally with everyone else to learn, study and follow Christ according to God’s Will. In fact, even more so, as I was a baptized believer.

During these years, I stupidly gambled with the eternity of my soul. It was never meant to be a conscientious rejection of God; however, in retrospect, it’s clear my faith at that time was built on sand. I allowed myself to slowly get caught up in my misconceptions of the good life to the point that God was barely a thought.

I had turned my back on God and did not realize or even consider the depth of how my choices would trickle down into the lives of all those I love. I did not realize the importance of missed opportunities. Opportunities to be an example to those around me as a person who puts God First!

I realize now; I hurt God, rejection hurts, God knows what was best for me, God knows what’s best for all of us, so much so; Jesus gave his life for me, for all of us! My selfish choices had consequences; I had slowly rejected God’s sacrifice, God’s love. I eventually realized I was pursuing nonsense (Vanity), my own desires, and was costing me greatly.

By the time I realized how broken and lost I was, my fun-filled actions were riddled with regrets. It was then that I returned to my only real hope, and just like the father of the prodigal son, our Heavenly Father, was there with wide-open arms, willing to forgive, willing to forget how lost I had become. According to Scripture, I was dead, and now I’m alive, I was lost, but now, I have been found, and heaven rejoiced! Luke 15:7–10

I wonder how many other prodigal sons or daughters are out there ignoring our Heavenly Father as I once did; Jesus’s arms are always outstretched to embrace the repentant heart and offer eternal life for those who will change direction and follow Christ according to God’s will and keep his commandments. The God of all comfort wants us to repent, come home.

If you are one who, upon reflection, realizes you have drifted away, won’t you change direction and come home?

When we truly live according to God’s will, there’s nothing to regret.

  • Luke 15:11-32 (prodigal son)
  • John 3:16 (God so loved…)
  • Luke 15:32 (Lost but found)
  • 2nd Corinthians 1:3-5 (God of all comfort)
  • James 4:8 (Draw close to God and He will draw close to you)

God First!

Time is precious

My brother and I were truly blessed to be born into such a loving family. Dad’s example was of one who earned respect by his actions; He was far from wealthy by monetary standards yet always did what he could for others though few would ever know.

Dad always stood up for what was right; I wish I had been half the example to my son that dad was to us! The life dad lived was one to be proud of and to be admired. Several years before his passing and before he was diagnosed with ”dementia with Lewy bodies,” I began thinking of how much dad had done for me and seen him do for others.

I did a little bit of self-examination and reflected on how little I had been there for dad. I had become so wrapped up in my own ”wants” in life that I seldom made time to help dad accomplish things in his life, yet Dad would always make time for me or my brother, no matter what.

I’m certain this had to be disappointing to him as I lived only one hour away yet seldom visited or helped him accomplish a task. Sure, I would help from time to time but only at “my convenience.” You know, when there were no parties to attend, tennis to be played, movies, etc. Or, if dad’s problem became urgent enough that he had to ask me for immediate help, then I would step to the plate.

As I reflected on those years, I realized by not reciprocating his love with proactive action of my own, I had been shortchanging both of us. With that, I approached Virginia and said: Dad‘s getting older; I don’t know how much more time he has, but I’d like to start going to Dad’s at least once a month to spend the day and see what I can do to help. It began sporadically and eventually became one day each week. Dad died in November of 2019.

I’m so thankful I made and followed through with that decision. That time, even the difficult part of seeing that horrible disease take his mind, is now time cherished in my mind. I’m so grateful I made that time a priority. During those years during project breaks, Dad and I had many conversations sitting in the yard sharing stories of family, friends, past and new challenges. I was able to make a difference in his later years and help him accomplish tasks. Not everyone can give a day a week, but most can give more than they do, even if it just a phone call. For me, I discovered the best gift we can give our parents and loved ones on any day is the gift of our time.

  • Time spent to make a gift,
  • Time spent to make or send a card,
  • Time spent visiting,
  • Time spent to call,
  • To me, Time Offered is Time Treasured!
  • I treasure my family time, both my related and spiritual families.

When I reread my words above, I can’t help but notice the similarities between how often our Heavenly Father is treated in the same way – At our convenience.

Never give up on doing good!

God First!

What do I mean by “God First”?

God’s Greatest commandment is that we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Scripture tells us to do everything to the glory of God. That, “…from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

When I use the term ”God First,” I intend to encompass ALL of God (the Trinity), Our Heavenly Father, Jesus (The Son), and the Holy Spirit. I use these two words, “God First,” to state my belief that God should be First in our lives every second of every day.

Scripture tells us that as we draw closer to God, He draws closer to us.”(talk about inspiring motivation)

However; It’s impossible to put ”God First” if we chose not to do God’s will and keep His commands which we find in ”The Holy Bible”

The Bible is God’s completed Word, the same Bible that tells us ”All Scripture is God-Breathed”  and where Jesus tells us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

Mark 12:30

1 Cor 10:31

Romans 11:36

John 14:15

James 4:8

2 Timothy 3:16

1 Corinthians 13:12

God First!

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