Putting God First PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kris Brewer   
Monday, 13 February 2012 19:52

I was reminded today, by a post made by a friend of mine on Facebook, just how important it is to teach our children that God always comes first. It seems to me that there are more and more excuses that people in general make, and especially parents, that reflect that God is not truly their first priority. I know that we all will write "God" in that first blank when we strive to enumerate our priorities, but when it comes to actions, how often do we fail? I was reminded of the Parable of the Sower, as I thought about these things this morning. Jesus said that there are some who are the thorny soil. Consider His explanation:

 

Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)

 

Though parents never want to admit it, how often do they allow the "cares of the world" and the "deceitfulness of riches" to choke out the word of God in their children? When we decide to allow our children to "miss church just this one time" because they are involved in some scholastic or extracurricular event, what have we done? When we determine that their participation in some event is imperative to getting into the college of their choice, despite the fact that it will cause them to forsake spiritual obligations, what have we done? Have we not allowed the cares of the world, and the attaining of riches to displace spiritual priorities? Some argue that they need to participate in such activities because they have "made a commitment." I wonder if parents have forgotten the commitment that they have made to the Lord--that they would raise their children in His way (Ephesians 6:4). How do we teach "commitment" to God if our service to Him falls somewhere after ball games and extracurricular activities?

 

Another excuse that is made is that they have a  "once in a life time opportunity." What better time to show your devotion to God than when you actually have to make some kind of sacrifice for Him? This reflects an attitude that is easily observable, even in the Lord's church today, and that is the idea that we will only serve God if it does not cost us anything. If we have to give something of value up, then we refuse to serve Him. I am reminded of the account of David in 2 Samuel 24:18-25. There, David refused to offer a sacrifice to God which did not cost him anything. We need to study that account, and teach the concept to our children! When we teach them that God truly comes first, they will not resent the sacrifices that they make to serve Him.

 

In the post that spurred my thinking on this, the mother and young son made the choice to miss part of their extracurricular event and instead assemble with the saints. They were far from home, and no one would know any differently if they decided to put more emphasis on their secular endeavors. But, God knew.  They assembled with a group of saints that they knew little about, but were welcomed warmly. They even were surprised by a visitor from that congregation at the concert later in the week. They were able to offer encouragement to saints that they didn't even know before visiting with them. They were offered encouragement by those same saints. I gained encouragement by hearing the account of their interactions. This lesson would have been missed had a different decision been made.

 

God never promised that putting Him first in our priorities would be an easy thing. In fact, He has promised that we will suffer for His cause if we are serving Him the way He expects. Parents are faced with difficult decisions. These decisions will help to formulate the spiritual minds of our children. When we show them, through our permissiveness or example that there are indeed many things that we believe are more important than our service to God, we can rest assure that they will learn the lesson. So, I am thankful for good examples, where it is evident that God is put first. It encourages me to make the same kinds of decisions in my life, and with my family. I hope that it will do the same for you!

Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 19:57
 

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This is the personal page of Kris Brewer, who currently works with the Gallatin Valley church of Christ in Bozeman, Montana.

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