When my daughter Ceanna was 7 years old I went to pick her up from school at 3 pm. I was waiting for her on a bench and when she arrived she sat next to me holding her lunch from lunchtime. She mentioned how hungry she was because she did not eat at lunchtime. In that moment I briefly looked away and Ceanna asked if I wanted some of her food. I said yes and when I looked back I noticed her giving me the first spoonful from the lunchbox even though she was hungry. This literally blew me away! My 7-year-old daughter put her hunger aside so that mines can be satisfied first. As a father you can imagine how great I felt when my daughter did this. Now think about how good the Heavenly Father feels when we offer up our substance to Him first at the expense of other things?
Now hypothetically speaking, think about how good a wife will feel if every time her husband gets up in the morning the first thing he does is pull her close and gives her hugs and kisses as expressions of love. As a wife she will feel so appreciated, cared for, honored and loved. She will say to herself, “I am always on his mind”. In the same vein, what about if each and every time he receives a task from her he gets up early in the morning and executes it first before all others. Time after time he operates in his way. What does this say about him in terms of how he cares for his wife? This question of course is rhetorical, with an obvious response.
I can unequivocally tell you that God is the same way and He loves receiving our offering first and at a cost. It is like what King David said in “2 Samuel 24:24 (KJV)… I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing…”. God loves when our giving /offerings cost us something (time, money, effort) and is also given first and foremost to Him before anything else.
Our great father Abraham understood and adopted this approach. He got up early in the morning (Genesis 22:3) to go with his son Issac to sacrifice his life as God instructed. In verse 5 we also see that Abraham remarked that this act of sacrificing his son was regarded as worship. What am I saying? I am saying that great men of faith get up early to worship with our lives and our actions. But there is also an element of prioritization to it. Early in the morning Abraham got up, this signifies that before all else God will get His portion first.
Our Lord Jesus, the one who we strive to emulate also adopted similar traits. Many times, we see Him awaking first before others and kneeling before God in prayer and offering up Himself. He showed the way regarding the excellency of first. This also applied to other areas as well, case in point, when he forgave the woman who was caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) first.
There is something about applying the principles of first which just brings blessings. In the physical realm it is welcomed and in the spiritual it is more than welcomed. It is a standard which God has set regarding our service towards him in many areas.
Prayer & Direction: Mark 1:35 (KJV) “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed”. – The first thing in the morning is to prayer to God. Or we can rephrase this another way, “Everything Starts After Prayer”.
1 Kings 22:5 (NIV) 5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
Proverbs 3:6 (KJV) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Seeking God: Matthew 6:33 (KJV) “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Exodus 20:3 (KJV) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” – Jehovah is the first and only God we must serve.
Finances: Proverbs 3:9-10 (KJV) “9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” We must also not delay in presenting our first fruits to God (Exodus 22:29) each year (Nehemiah 10:35-37).
In Poor Health: 2 Chronicles 16:12 (NIV) “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.” – When having health problems, we must seek God first.
Children: Luke 2:23 (NIV) “(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),” – God’s view of first also extends to the womb. Also read (Exodus 13:1-13)
Today I want to underscore that God appreciates firsts and wants us to put Him first in our life’s. Our lifestyle approach must be to seek the interest of God above everything else. In putting Him first our plans will be established (Proverbs 16:3 NIV) because he is a faithful God and rewards faithfulness with faithfulness (Psalm 18:25). In other words, “Put God first and you’ll never be last.
Not only put God first but be the first to forgive, the first to give, the first to worship, the first to love, the first to pray, the first to help, the first to care, etc.
I close with a quote from Paul Chappell – “Placing Him first in your life should be your daily goal, the main pursuit in the midst of all your other pursuits.”
Mantra: “God Loves first, and so will I”
Your Brother in the Lord,
Dane Miller | Author
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