God’s placement

It is New Years time again.  This is the part of the year where we become reflective by thinking over the past year; we remember both the good and the bad times that we had this year.  We then consider the new year that awaits us and we say to ourselves, “I am going to do better in the new year – new year, new me!” 

We consider all of the things that we can do differently in the next year to advance or improve ourselves.  Some create a list of resolutions or goals for the new year; it is the one time in the year where we don’t doubt what we can do.  Some say that they want to make improvements that will help them increase financially.  Others say they want to make improvements that will bring about good health.  Then there is a group of people that want to make improvements that will help them love themselves better or improve their relationship(s) with others.

In today’s sermon, I want to focus on something I feel we can all improve upon in the upcoming year.  I want to focus on our relationship with God.  In today’s sermon, I want to talk about placing God above everything.  My key verse for today’s sermon comes from the gospel of Luke.

31 But seek [athe kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

Luke 12:31 NKJV

Who or what comes first in your life?  I want you to be honest with yourself while you think over the answer that you give to this question.  I know that by you reading a sermon, your first instinct will be to say God, but I want you to be truthful with your answer.  For many of us, the Lord is not the top priority in our life.  When we come up with our goals or resolutions for the new year, God does not make our list, does He?

Jesus says to us, where our treasure is, there will our heart be also:

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

Luke 12:34 NKJV

Let us again consider who or what is the most important thing in our life –  This person or thing is what we treasure and so that person or thing is what has our heart.  Our treasure should not be stored in a person and certainly not a thing.  We often go wrong because we end up putting our heart in the wrong place. 

When a person is our treasure, we are seeking for our happiness and joy to come from that person first.  Understand that you are also putting that person at the very top of your list – they have the top priority in your life.  When we put our heart into a thing, we, again, are seeking for our happiness and joy to come from that item first.  Understand, again, that you are putting that thing above everything – it has the top priority.

Ideally, we believers are to store our treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20).  Therefore, we should not be giving our heart to things of the world.  This may sound harsh to some, but we should also not be storing up our treasure in people as well.  Some may ask, “are you telling me not to fall in love?”  I am certainly not saying such a thing, but to that point, we must remember what Jesus said about love.

Jesus gave us an order in which we should love.  Jesus said (Matt. 22:37-38), “love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your mind, and with all of your soul.”  Remember, this is the first and great commandment that came from Christ.  We are to first love the Lord before we even love ourselves or anybody else!  However, we have not necessarily been practicing our love in this order.  In fact, some love others before they will even love themselves or love the Lord.  Here’s a New Years resolution: love God first, then love yourself, and then love your neighbor!

You see, we are in a relationship with the Lord, but unfortunately we have been either putting people or  things over Him.  To say it plainly, we have not been treating the Lord right.

God over everything

The proper place for the Lord is at the top – He should be our first priority and the one who we love the most.  In our key verse, Jesus tells us that we should seek the kingdom of God.  Where we have been seeking of the world or from others, we should be seeking from the Lord.   In the gospel of Matthew, this scripture reads, “seek ‘first’ the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. God first.

In Luke 12:22-32, we find that Jesus is teaching His disciples about worrying.  Jesus says to the disciples:

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.

Luke 12:22 NKJV

This is not to say that you are are worrying about what awaits you in 2019.  However, there is something to this message that we must take and carry with us.  Jesus tells His disciples not to worry about what you will eat or about the clothes to wear.  These, the food and the clothes, were things of need.

Many are already making plans so that we can better be able to get the things that we need (or want).  One thing that I have really noticed about our society is the “grind and hustle” culture that we have.  We are told that we should grind and hustle for all of the things that we want and honestly it becomes a bit frustrating and even annoying.

I say this because the grind and hustle culture can become a bit overwhelming.  I also say this because the grind and hustle culture has caused many people to put their values onto the wrong things.  What has become important to many people has been determined by our society; we end up living other folks’ dream instead of living our own dream.

To this, look at what Jesus says in the next verse:

23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.

Luke 12:23 NKJV

I wish we could truly understand that life is more than the things we want.  Life is more than those “fancy” things.  Life is more than the wealth.  We must truly find what is important to ourselves.  At the very top of that list should be the Lord.

Those of no faith in the Lord, the seek those things with every breath they take.  This is why there are so many people who preach the value of those things because those things do something for them – even though it is temporary.    To this, Jesus says:

30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.

Luke 12:30 NKJV

For God, these are merely common things that He already knows we need.  The fact that the Lord knows we need these things should already tell us everything that we need to know.  Firstly, God is a provider so we know that He wants to and will provide these things to us.  Secondly, it should keep us from feeling it necessary to worry about how we will go about getting the things that we need.

Again, Jesus says to us, “seek ‘first’ the kingdom of God”.  Why do we need to seek the Lord?  We seek Him because He has everything that we will ever have need of.  We seek Him first so we don’t have wander around seeking for things in the wrong place.  This is, sadly, what happens to us when we choose not to put the Lord first in our life.

Let us understand this: we are in a relationship with a provider; the only thing we need to do is put Him first above everything.  As you head into the new year, consider your relationship with the Lord.  Let us continue to improve upon our relationship with the Lord.  Let us also make sure that we are genuinely keeping Him first in our life.

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