The best life is a God First life

Category: Thankfulness (Page 1 of 2)

Worry changes nothing! (Except maybe our health)

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

While it’s true that we need to prepare and be prepared, it does absolutely no good to worry. Worry changes nothing! (Except maybe our health).

With or without worry, we will still have to navigate through each day’s trouble on that day. While this seems easier said than done, all things are possible with God. The key is to be “In Christ” and allow the God of all comfort to be with us in every trial.

Include God in everything: Pray

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7
  • Matthew 6:34 (worry)
  • 1 Peter 5:7 (turn burdens over)
  • 1st Thessalonians 5:16–18 (response)
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (Comfort)

In Christ

  • 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

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!

Cherishing moments each day

There are a couple of things I look forward to and cherish at the end of every day.

  1. A Peppermint Kiss

Every night, just before we go to sleep, I brush my teeth, then bid my wife goodnight with a peppermint kiss.

 2. Time with God

The time I take time to pray.

I pray for many who might read this and for many who might not. I pray for my family; and Church family. For those I know are sick or coping with loss. I pray for our leadership and our country and for those who do not know God. I pray for the elders of our congregation that they make good decisions on how to best shepherd the flock and spread the message of Christ. I also pray for the preachers and the teachers in the Lord’s Church to successfully study and share God‘s Word, according to God’s Word. Finally, of course, and not lastly, I pray for my wife and thank God for my life and the blessings therein.

Take time to pray; it’s worth the effort, it’s worth the time!

God First!

Paths & Highways (Part 1)

My personal journey from a teenager till now involved many turns, curves, pains, peaks, and valleys. Many of my early life choices were enough to make even bystanders dizzy. I would strongly recommend against anyone following most of the roads I traveled in my early days. I started out being taught of the straight and narrow path and started down that path. However; As a youthful adult, I began testing the exit ramps to those wide-open highways; they looked fun and fast. Many on those highways crossed my path, and those on them appeared to be having a great time as they sped by me.

Although I was not hitchhiking, the path I was on sometimes felt slow and lonely; Those highway travelers did not appear to have time for loneliness, which looked appealing. It was during these lonely moments that more travelers seemed to stop with great big smiles on their faces, exuberantly offering me highway rides.

In the beginning, I accepted only a few short rides and found myself missing the peace, comfort, and contentment of that straight and narrow road, however; after a while, the short rides got longer, faster, and the adrenaline surged until eventually, I was navigating those highways myself, rapidly going nowhere fast, almost wholly losing sight of the straight and narrow road I once traveled.

Over a relatively short period of time, I had become one of those highway drivers with the big smiles in a  speedy convertible, offering rides to those I saw on that straight and narrow path. I spent years with the wind blowing through my hair on highways to nowhere, looking as if I was going somewhere fast. I found myself feeling trapped when I thought about it too profoundly, so; I chose Not to reflect.

Eventually, I would offer rides to some on the path I once traveled, and the denial of even the shortest ride reminded me of my early days; I found myself admiring their rejection of my offer. Their words of reasoning piqued my curiosity and helped me realize how confused and lost I had become. After a while, I began to long for the peace, comfort, tranquility, and surety I once had on that narrow path. Finally, I realized getting off those entangled spaghetti highways was necessary as they would eventually lead me into a void of permanent darkness.

It would mean dramatic change on my part, but I knew it was the right choice and began my highway departure. I started my departure with a commitment to change direction, to exit the highways. To get back to that one narrow path to somewhere again. The more I learned what that narrow path was truly all about, the more I questioned why I had ever allowed myself to accept that first highway ride.

I now have great admiration for those few who have stayed true to the narrow path most of their lives and seldom joined as a highway rider or driver; My experiences have taught me that our examples have tremendous trickle-down effects that influence others. So, if we care about family, friends, or people, we need to be mindful of our influence and do our best to serve God as Christ-like examples so that those following our lead will realize, we are going somewhere; we are on a path that leads to a heavenly home with our creator where there are no tears, no sickness or sorrow.

I am thankful for God’s grace and the path he set forward for any of us to accept. For it is by God’s grace through our obedient faith in hearing, believing, repenting, confessing, and being baptized for the forgiveness of our sins that we can have eternal life.

Matthew 7:13-14, Proverbs 3:6, Proverbs 4:26-27, Matthew 3:3

  • 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

Advocate for Christ!

To be clear to my new friends who are reading my post. Some have made assumptions. I am not a pulpit, preacher; I am not affiliated with any denomination. I am simply a Christian, an Advocate for Christ. I worship and study weekly with my brothers and sisters in Christ at the Buford Church of Christ congregation in Buford, Ga. The use of ”God First!” as my profile or to end many writings is because I believe God should be first in our lives. I believe that with God at the helm those ”In Christ” have God’s promise for eternity in heaven. Comfort and joy are ours to have from the “God of all Comfort,” even during the horrendously sad and difficult stuff.

Many people wear spirit wear to depict their favorite teams, school, sport, etc. My idea of ”spirit wear”- is the term God First! (seen on many of my clothes) Sometimes its presence sparks a conversation and probably curtails language I’d prefer not to hear. While it’s true that I do sell items with “God First!” It’s not for personal gain but rather to help those who love God share that love with the world. I started using the term “God First” because I believe putting God First adds significant Joy to our lives. I care about myself, my family, and others, so why would I not want to share such a message? A message that makes life better for all who choose to live by it, a message that offers the promise of everlasting life with our loving creator.

God has given us every reason to love Him as He first loved us; I am extremely grateful for all of God’s creation and sacrifices that we might have an eternal home with Him. Eternity is a serious matter, and loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is a natural response to those with an understanding of God’s love for us.

I once heard this from Brother Don Blackwell – ”The Lords Church is not a country club for saints; it’s a hospital for sinners.”

  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-9
  • Mark 12:28-34
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • 1 John 4:19

God First!

How would you feel?

How would you feel? Your daughter’s been a bit of a tomboy most of her life, you love her with all your heart, and she gets engaged to marry. Now, you are a master at sewing and spend months sparing no expense, gathering the perfect materials, designing, preparing, sewing, and tweaking to perfection the most beautiful wedding dress the world has ever seen. With each adjustment, love flows exuberantly from your heart. Your imagination is unstoppable as you visualize your daughter walking down that aisle. You are creating ”A Work of Art,” just for her! And you know in your heart, she’s going to recognize and appreciate all the love you’ve put into creating this gorgeous wedding dress. In this dress, she will be the bride of brides and forever grateful. (talk about precious memories!) When your daughter sees the dress, she exclaims how beautiful it is; she tries it on and is simply stunning. She hugs you, and thank’s you profusely. (You smile!)A few days later, you come home and see your daughter in jeans and a t-shirt doing what she loves working on her pickup truck with tools, parts, dirt, and grease all over the place, which is kind of normal for her, what you don’t expect to see is the wedding dress under feet being used as a drop cloth to protect the driveway.

How would you feel?

Are you disappointed, hurt? I know. This is absurd and would never happen, right? Yet, in a sense, it has happened and does happen. Not, to the creator of a wedding dress, No; It’s much worse. This is how ”Our” creator gets treated by His creation.

God created this beautiful, fascinating universe for us, and after creating each piece, God said: “This is good” BUT, after creating, mankind God called it all “VERY GOOD.” God was pleased with His creation. God also sacrificed tremendously for us. His plan included the life, death, and resurrection of His son through which God extended an offer of grace to everyone that we might all have eternal life in heaven. At some point, many learn of Christ and put on Christ in baptism; we thank God profusely and recognize His love. We put God First in our lives, then often get caught up in skewed self-absorbed priorities and quickly lose sight of what’s really important. We let honoring God trickle down our priority list. This is when we really hurt our Creator. God watches when we treat ”His artwork” as if it was worthless fabric, as we step-on, trample, smudge, dirty, and abuse His perfection, His labor, and Gifts of pure love; God knows our hearts! The Church is the bride of Christ; those who are “In Christ” should always be mindful of God’s precious gifts. God told us how we could demonstrate our thankfulness. Jesus said; if you love me, you will keep My Commandments, and “the greatest command is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. God gave us freedom of choice; the one thing we can offer God that is ours to give is our choice. Our choice to love God by following Christ and keeping His commandments to the best of our ability. It’s all God really asks of us!

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Isaiah‬ ‭61:10‬
May we always keep God First in our lives, every second of every day!
  • Genesis 1:31
  • Exodus 20:3
  • Exodus 34:14
  • Psalm 18:31
  • John 5:44
  • 1 Timothy 1:17
  • John 3:16
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Romans 12:1-2

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!

We do what we do when we need to do it. – It’s the way it’s always been!

A few years ago, while my father was still alive, I had the following dream. Dad and I were finishing a project we had been working on together, and we’re about to head our separate ways. In the dream, I asked dad if he could do the next task on his own?

Dad said, “We do what we do, when, we need to do it. I responded, “it’s the way it’s always been!” (I then woke up) Reflecting on the dream, those words have enormous truths.

When tasks were daunting or seemed overwhelming difficult to accomplish single-handedly, both my dad and grandfather were known for rolling up their sleeves and finding ways to accomplish what looked to be insurmountable or downright impossible tasks. Their determination and ability have always been an inspiration to me, and one reason I believed dad when he told me, “You can be anything you want to be if you are willing to work at it.

I am very thankful for the lessons I learned from my father and most thankful that dad had the wherewithal to put God in the forefront of our home and live accordingly. With God, all things are possible!

“We do what we do when we need to do it. – “It’s the way it’s always been!”

The glories of life

If you saw the glories of life through my eyes; You would go to sleep each night 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 a new opportunity to hear the voice of those I love and do my best to see them smile and hear their laugh. 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 at its very best! To bring a smile upon their face, they can carry through the day’s race.

~Boo Boo

If only we all lived each day in this way, what a blessing it would be to everyone around us. What Joy we would have in our hearts, what Joy we would bring to others all day long.

Written by: Wayne Johnson

God wants to hear from you!

When things seem out of my control, who better to go to than God? Who better to ask for help than our creator?

Although I may say several short prayers during the day a good while back, I decided to set time out for prayer every night.

Every day, I now look forward to this time when I diligently share my gratitude, joys, and concerns for Self, family, and friends. I am convinced God answers prayers as he has surely answered mine.

Pray often – God wants to hear from you!

God First!

  • 1 John 5:14
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • Mark 11:24
  • Romans 12:12
  • Psalm 145:18

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