For God’s Blessing, Put Him First
BY RICK WARREN — MAY 21, 2014
“You should live in a way that proves you belong to the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:12 GW)
The Kingdom of God is a present reality. It’s what we’re to be doing on the earth right now. The power of God is the present resource. It’s the energy you get to do what God wants you to do once you’re surrendered and submitted to his will.
God’s glory is the reason. It’s not the reality or the resource. It is the present reason for everything. It’s all for God’s glory.
Romans 11:36 says, “Everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory” (NLT).
I talk to people all the time who say, “I have so much, and yet I feel unfulfilled. I’ve got a good family. I’ve got a good job. I’ve got great kids. I’ve got good friends. I’ve got a good congregation to be a part of. Why am I so unfulfilled?” It’s because you were made for more than this! You were made for more than survival. You will never find fulfillment in life until you begin to live in God’s Kingdom, by God’s power, and for God’s glory.
How do you live a fulfilled life — the kind of life that you were designed by God to live?
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “You should live in a way that proves you belong to the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (GW).
What does it mean to live in God’s Kingdom? It means you make God’s agenda your agenda. You make God’s will your will. You care about what God cares about. Whatever you want God to bless, put him first in that area.
What does it mean to put God first in your life? I made up a little acrostic, FIRST, to give you five things you need to put God first in.
Finances. If you want God to bless your finances, even during a recession, you must tithe. Sorry! There’s no other alternative.
Interests. Put him first in your hobbies, your career, and your recreation. Give God first consideration in every decision.
Relationships. Put him first in your family, your marriage, and your friendships.
Schedule. That means you give him the first part of every day. You get up and sit on the side of your bed every morning and say, “God if I don’t get anything else done today, I just want to love you a little bit more and know you a little bit better.”
Troubles. You need to turn to God first when you have a problem. Prayer should never be your last resort. It should be your first choice.
Talk It Over
- What do you need to change so that God is first in your finances, interests, relationships, and schedule?
- What is your first reaction to trouble?
- How can you develop a habit of prayer in your life?