The best life is a God First life

Tag: God First (Page 1 of 4)

Prayer request

Lately, I see more prayer requests on social media than I have ever seen before. Although it’s sad to see so many people dealing with sickness, death, fears, and concerns, I am very grateful that many recognize the power of prayer and know they should ask for prayers from their brothers and sisters in Christ.

As I encounter these requests, it’s quite normal for me to pause and pray before moving forward. I don’t often know the recipients of my prayers personally. However, I know from their request that they believe in God’s power to help and provide comfort as they have asked for prayers.

We can see from Scripture that God wants us to pray and wants to be included in our daily lives. But, more than that, and with; good reason, God wants to be the center of our life. Scripture clearly demonstrates God’s desire to be included in our daily lives, so putting God first would consist of prayer before action.

  • John 15:7 (Notice conditions)
  • 1 John 5:14
  • James 5:14-16
  • 2 Corinthians 1:11
  • Matthew 7:7
  • Luke 11:9
  • John 16:24
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • James 1:5
  • Romans 12:2
  • Romans 12:12
  • Ephesians 6:18

Love of Sports, Love of God

A lot of people get very excited about sports. It’s a topic of numerous conversations. Seldom am I with a group of men where sports is not immediately part of the conversation or dominates it.

Many parents rightfully recognize the benefits of raising their children to grasp the positive principles of sports and start them playing very early in life. Lifelong friendships build as parents help each other with rides and mutually encourage their children and each other.

As a result, Money, Time, and Schedules are eagerly manipulated so that parents can be supportive of events, practice meets, or games by their presence, and the value of teamwork is fortified. Families unite in sports talk, laughs, jokes, etc., discuss sports greats, sportsmanship, teamwork, missed opportunities, and often spend countless hours watching professional sports together.

These bonding moments are excellent training and contribute to building solid friendships and good character in our young adults to help them navigate life.

Isn’t this precisely how we should prioritize, teach, and share Christ in our lives?

Shouldn’t our conversations and social media posts include glorifying and sharing the blessings of Christ and showing concern for others?

If we showed our love for God the way we show our love for sports, how would our lives change?

What would it look like if our interest in God took priority over our interest in sports?

  • Would we start our children attending bible classes early in life?
  • Would we prioritize our schedules to ensure committed involvement in Church activities?
  • Would we prioritize teaching our children the love of Christ?
  • Would we encourage their understanding and development of leadership skills?

Imagine how excellent this world would be if the same effort we put into sports were put into following and sharing the message of Christ?

We would excel at learning everything we could about our creator. Jesus would be prominent in daily conversations and taking His name in vain, absent.

Instead, we would seek to be as Christ-like as possible, making every effort to do God’s Will according to what God tells us in scripture and our time would be arranged so that we could be involved in as many good works as possible.

If the world were to embrace God the way many embrace sports, we would put our service to God above all else, and our children would take notice. Just as they will notice, if we make exceptions, making exceptions sends the message that we believe it’s ok to deprioritize God from Time to Time, and that’s never ok!

Sports may bring a lifetime of happy moments but should never take priority over God, where blessings go far beyond this lifetime and lead us to our eternal home, a glorious place without tears, pain, or woes.

God First!

  • Acts 20:32
  • Jude 1:25
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • 1 Corinthians 14:26
  • Philippians 3:21
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11
  • Romans 1:12
  • Ephesians 4:15-16
  • John 3:16-17
  • John 17:3
  • Matthew 6:23-24
  • 1 Timothy 1:17
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9
  • 1 Corinthians 8:6
  • Luke 15:7
  • Matthew 7:21-23
  • Matthew 25:46
  • Philippians 3:20-21
  • Revelation 21:9-12
  • Revelation 12:4

The Best Part of our Story

I don’t like giving “Off-the-cuff” answers to questions as my response often seems inadequate; I prefer to think before responding. Last night was no exception when a young man asked: “What do you think is the best part of being married for so long?(We must have really looked old, to him) I had just met the lad about 90mins before when Virginia and I were standing at the restaurant counter reviewing the menu. We were trying to decide, stay or leave.

It was Valentine’s day and our Anniversary. So far, the evening was not going according to my plan. I intended to have an early dinner at a nice Italian restaurant, but we started late. The restaurant website indicated they were NOT booking reservations, so I assumed “first come, first serve,” but when we arrived, I saw the dreaded sign at the doorway “call for reservations.” It was about 5:30 PM; the place was almost empty but, they would not seat us. This snafu put me under pressure to find someplace quickly; Virginia was hungry, and I still hoped to beat the main crowd.

We found a restaurant we had never tried before. It was not fancy nor the type of food we typically eat; In fact, entirely out of the norm for us. It was a family-style Cuban Restaurant called Papis. We entered and talked with a young man behind the counter, mentioned it was our Anniversary, looked at the menu, got his recommendations, and decided to stay. They sat us in a quiet booth where we enjoyed some flavorful dishes. Although we were apprehensive at first, we found that being out of our norm added to the evening and made it even more enjoyable and memorable by night’s end.

We showed our waitress a FB picture I’d recently posted of us over the years. Then, before we left, she presented us with a complimentary dessert, one of our favorites, “Flan.”

As we were leaving, Virginia went to the lady’s room as I waited at the counter. I thanked the young man for his food suggestions and began some casual conversation when he asked: What do you think is the best part of being married for so long? (I was not prepared for that question). I thought for a brief moment looking for a quick answer and said: Contentment – We are both very content with each other now. Then, a short moment longer, I added: When you’re young as you are, jealousies, and things like that, often get in the way, but with a good wife, you don’t have to worry about that. Shortly after that response, I finally hit the nail on the head and Stated: but actually, the best part was when we decided to include God in our lives and live that type of lifestyle. The young man acknowledged my final answer and said: Really? Yes, Really!, Putting God first is the best thing we ever did for our marriage. The young man then thanked me and said: I really appreciate it. I wish my last response had been my first so I could have expanded on it.

Choosing to make God’s Word “The Standard” for our lifestyle has been the most important decision Virginia and I ever made in our marriage. I could expand for hours on all the facets of why our marriage is strong, but the bottom line is: The decision to put God First has by far been the best part of our story!

  • Matthew 5:6
  • Acts 5:29
  • Proverbs 16:3
  • Matthew 6:24
  • Galatians 2:20
  • Galatians 6:9-10
  • 2 Corinthians 8:6
  • Acts 10:35
  • Matthew 13:44-46
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Proverbs 19:14
  • Proverbs 31:10
  • Ephesians 5:44-33

God First!

Flaxseed and Scripture

Some friends recently set a family goal to read one thousand books by the year’s end. As I am a slow reader, this goal is truly impressive. In fact, When I ordered the book in this picture, “The Utterance of God,” I ordered based on a friend’s recommendation and my interest in the topic. The book identifies and demonstrates numerous biblical proofs (many of which I was unaware) that what we read in the Bible is indeed the actual Words of God. The Bible claims this fact in 2 Timothy 3:16, where God tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed…”.

Recognizing, understanding, and comprehending these many proofs found in Scripture also solidifies God as the creator of everything we know and understand; therefore, we should do all within our power to follow Christ according to what we find in God’s Word.

This book was not yet published when I placed my order, it does have a nice size font, but still, I did not realize the book was over 500 pgs. Likewise, the Bible has over a thousand pages and three-quarters of a million words. Large books seem daunting to me. However, I have learned to take the Flaxseed approach to my reading.

Like the books above, Flaxseed was also recommended to me as having several health benefits for our bodies. When I ordered the Flaxseed, and it arrived, I thought, wow, that’s a lot of Flaxseed; how will I ever get through all this? Yet by using just a teaspoon at a time, I have now consumed the first container and am starting this new one; and am healthier for it.

Today, I am proud to report that I have read every word in “The Utterance of God.” Although parts of it were challenging to comprehend, much was very easy and extremely interesting. Moreover, I have gained considerably by being persistent in periodically consuming just a few pages at a time over months.

The result: Studying this information strengthened my understanding of God’s Word, increased my confidence when I thought I lacked none, and helped to embolden my faith.

Reading good books can provide several benefits for the health of our minds, and Reading God’s Holy Word provides nourishment for both mind & soul; it is life’s best guide. Following God’s Word according to God’s Word is to follow Jesus, and Jesus is our only way to spend eternity with God. John 14:6, Acts 4:2, 1 Timothy 2:5, John 10:9, John 1:14,

I encourage anyone reading this, take time to read the Bible, don’t decide in advance it’s too hard to understand, be persistent with yourself instead and commit yourself to at least a spoonful of reading per day. Before you know it, just like with the Flaxseed or the book I read, you will have consumed the whole book. It’s a blessing!

God First!

Offer to pray with someone.

The day I wrote most of the following, I had the urge to ask someone if I could pray with them (at that moment). Pray with them, not just for them, about concerns weighing heavily on their heart. For some reason, I felt awkward about extending this offer of prayer and instead offered to include them in my prayers.

After they left, I reflected on that moment and was disappointed in myself. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer and that God hears and answers prayers, but I’d missed the opportunity to share that understanding one on one.

There are several benefits to praying with someone, rather than just for them. First, in praying with someone, we step out of our shells and open our hearts to their needs; by doing so, we display Christ’s love for them through the prayer. We show compassion and real interest in their situation as we demonstrate our faith and trust in God’s ability to help them and build a closer relationship with that person. Christians care about others!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Praying for others is good; praying with and, for others, even more so!

I have been asked personally from time to time, “Can we pray about this? as I shared concerns. I’ve also been told impactful stories of how such an unexpected prayer moment inspired a person to begin a dramatic change in their life and move towards Christ.

For all the above reasons and many more, I believe there is a lot of good in praying with others and making such prayer a habit. It’s one I hope to develop more fully.

In Acts chapter 4, the disciples prayed for boldness. As I grow stronger in Christ, I pray God will help me overcome any hesitations, great or small, and that I will serve Christ with all boldness.

God First!

If I never make a difference, it won’t be because I didn’t try!

  • James 5:16-18
  • Ephesians 6:19
  • Ephesians 5:2
  • John 13:34
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

Thank you for your help!

Everywhere I turn, I see God’s help extended to our family.

I see what I believe is God’s providence working in our lives and prayers answered. I’ve prayed many times that God would put people in the lives of loved ones to help them on their journeys. I’ve then heard some remarkable stories on how some friendships came to be. Sometimes, unlikely friendships grow into the best kind of friendship; The iron sharpens Iron kind of friendship. I have no doubt that God hears our prayers. I also have no doubt that God has compassion for our pain and comforts those who love Him as only the God of all comfort can and will do.

Without God, we are nothing; Without love, we are nothing; we all need help from time to time and should be humble enough to realize it, pray for it, and remember just to say; thank you!

God’s answer to prayers is not always evident immediately, but sometimes, when you pause later in life, you can view the bigger picture and become aware of uncountable blessings.

So for my family and me to God and all His loving servants! Thank you!

God is Love!

  • 2nd Corinthians 1:3-5
  • James 5:1-20
  • Proverbs 27:17 (iron sharpens)
  • Romans 8:28
  • Philippians 4:8

God First!

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!

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!

Why?

In the book of Job; Who brought all the calamity to Job? It was NOT God. Who blamed God? It was NOT Job. Who believed Job would NOT turn from God? It was NOT Satan.

Job’s friends were wise, and much of their logic was sound. Their problem was that they misapplied their wisdom by trying to force it into Job’s situation, making assumptions, and leaning on their own understanding. They tried to deduce answers and assign blame, which made God angry with them.

When we lean on our own understanding and try to force it into God’s Word, we find ourselves missing out on the wisdom and love found in God’s Words. We miss out on the understanding and peace that can only come from listening and applying the Words of God rather than applying our own.

Scripture tells us to study. It tells us how to become” In Christ.” Jesus said: if you love me, you will keep my commandments. God’s Word is the way to wisdom, understanding, and peace.

God is Love, God is Good; Satan is the evil one!

  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-17
  • Acts 2:38
  • Romans 6:1-23
  • 1 Corinthians 15:22
  • Job 1:1-42

God First!

Doing our part – takes work!

Believers in God don’t sit around waiting on God to provide everything for them!

No, that would be sluggishness (laziness) and is not the role we find endorsed by God in Scripture; God expects us to work! It would be misrepresentative of scripture to believe it’s all about what God can do for us when so much is about what we can; Go and Do!

God expects us to do our part in providing physical and spiritual nourishment. God has given mankind a working role since the beginning. (Gen.2:15) Throughout Scripture, we find being a sluggard has been condemned while effort has been rewarded. (Matt.25:24-30)

Working towards righteous goals may take much patience; on our part, and we should be mindful of that fact that seeing the full results of our efforts may never happen; even so, in our ongoing, consistent unrelenting effort, we can know that working for good; will reap good in time if we don’t quit.

How can we know this? Because God tells us so.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for, in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

If we do our part, God will always do His!

  • Proverbs 18:9
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10
  • Proverbs 26:14
  • Proverbs 26:16
  • Proverbs 24:30–31
  • Mark 16:15-16

(Several proverbs address sluggards)

God First!

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