Who’s “on” FIRST?

In this new year, do you desire something new? A better you? A better life? A better way of living?

What do you do “first” every day?

Do you PRAY first or WORRY first?

Do you begin your day feasting on FEAR or FAITH?

Do you wake up worshiping God with songs of praise or singing along with the common place seductive & deceptive lyrics of today?

Do you give priority to what the popular voices in our world are saying or what the prophetic promises of God’s Word are eternally speaking?

Do you spend more time on Facebook than in The Greatest Book of all books?

Is your life filled with destructive drama or life giving peace?

Are you seeking a position, power, prestige or self-gratifying pleasure over God’s presence and purpose in your life?

Have you been happy with your previous ways of living your life?

Have your daily choices and habits led you to MORE JOY, FREEDOM, REST and PEACE?

Are your own habits and choices working well for you? Well, this post is not for you.

But if you are tired of your own ways, your own choices, and your same old results, I challenge you to surrender to something NEW.

Only a fool keeps doing the same thing over and over expecting new results.

The GOD who formed you and KNOWS EVERYTHING about you, and LOVES YOU MORE THAN ANYONE YOU’LL EVER KNOW, is able to make ALL THINGS NEW for you.

Take TIME to realign and submit to The Master’s plan and His sovereign design. Let God write your story all for His glory.

Begin fresh and anew today to put God and His Word first in EVERY area of your life. Prioritize prayer – talk to God FIRST every day before anyone else.  WAIT, be still and listen to God to speak to you through His Word FIRST before listening to anyone else.

Seek to obey and do things God’s way. Go higher by going lower. Humble yourself and receive the greatest reward of all.

In God’s presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand, are pleasures that last forever (Psalm 16:11).

In God’s kingdom, surrender leads to success by God’s standards. The kingdom of God is about living life by God’s good and right standards and being filled with the PEACE and JOY of God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

God’s standards are based on His Word and not our own thoughts, philosophies or ideas.

God’s Word trumps the opinions of men.

So, who’s on FIRST in your daily life?

Is it you, another person, another agenda or is God and His plan really first in your heart and life?

 Jesus told us the FIRST and greatest commandment:

 You must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31).  

Preaching this message to myself too!

A Prayer:

Lord, help us to seek first Your Kingdom, Your will, Your purpose, Your plan, and success according to Your definition. May we FIRST fully surrender our hearts – the place where everything in our lives starts. May we love you FIRST with ALL our hearts. As we keep seeking first to know You more and to promote all that is good, pure and lovely through our lives, may you fulfill Your promise to meet all our needs. Amen.

#SeekGodfirst

#Prayfirst

#TurnfirsttoGodandHisWord

#silenceothervoices

#surrendertoGodsstillsmallvoice

#submittoGodsWordovereveryotherword

#feastonfaithoverfear

#seekGodswill

#seekGodspurpose

#seekGodsglory

#thebelieversfirstpriority

#PrioritizetoputGodfirstineverything

#surrendertoGodsplan

#seektosucceedbyGodsstandards

#Reorderyourlife

#challengeyourself

#humbleyourself

#golowerandgohigher

#BestNewYearsresolutionever

#Happynewyou

#Hemakesallthingsnew

#Whosonfirstinyourdailylife?

#LoveGodfirstandforemost

The Greatest Words of all:

Matthew 24:35; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 5:8, 10:17, 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 34:1, 96:1, 139:13-18; John 3:16-17; Isaiah 43:18-19; Revelation 21:5

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TIME to TREASURE


Time is such a treasure.

 Taking time for what lasts throughout time is time well spent

and is usually what our hearts treasure the most.

Many of us don’t even know what we treasure most anymore, because we feel we don’t have enough time, or, we don’t take time to discover what matters most to us.

We all need to know who we are – our true identity – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know that we are loved unconditionally by God – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know that we are valued – not based on what we do but because we are created in the image of God – but that takes TIME.

We all need healing for our wounded and broken hearts – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know The One who created us – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know why we were created – but that takes TIME.

We all need community, connection, and fellowship with others – but that takes TIME.

We all need to experience loving relationships – to love and be loved – but that takes TIME.

Knowing defined as having knowledge, comprehension and understanding of the above to the degree that it affects the very core of our being, our character, our attitudes, our decisions and lifestyle choices.  

Knowing all of the above requires TIME with God and TIME with others.  Perhaps that is why Jesus told us the greatest commandment of all was to love God and to love people as we love ourselves.  LOVE will cost us TIME.  Those whom we love, we will desire to spend TIME with – this is true in our relationship with God and with others.  Through spending time with God in His Word, with others, and times alone in reflection, we discover the truth about God’s character, the truth about others we are in relationship with, and we ultimately discover our truest selves.  That is, if we take enough time for these truths to be revealed.  In order to love ourselves, and see ourselves through the Father’s eyes, we will have to be okay with spending some time alone with God in order to really receive the Father’s unconditional love for us.  

When the enemy of our souls isn’t successful at stealing our salvation by grace through faith, he works overtime to entrap and ensnare us with time spent on the things our hearts don’t treasure in the end at all.  

Loving God and loving the beloved ones He has placed within our lives

are gifts we should always treasure.  

I haven’t always been blessed with the privilege of being able to take as much time to reflect, ponder and pray, as I do now, so it is truly a treasure to me, and this makes my heart overflow with gratitude.  Yes, I’ve gone through years past with the hustling and bustling about from daylight to late night where juggling responsibilities as a help mate, mom, chauffeur, ministry leader, and dance teacher amidst a household full of committed schedules and extra-curricular activities, etc. etc. were definite time hindrances to pondering on such timeless and treasured things. Today is different. This season of my life is different. Thank You, Lord.  And I truly believe this is another one of those “desires of the heart” blessings that Psalm 37:4 speaks of that I am enjoying during this time in my life.  As we delight in God, He begins to awaken things inside of us we never imagined were there.  During my early morning meditation on some life giving truths, I purposefully turned on the sounds of the gloriously soothing voice of Christy Nockels, listening to one of her newest albums entitled, “Be Held – Lullabies for the Beloved.”  As the song, “His Banner Over Me” enveloped my study space, my reflecting mind took me back to the young children I taught to dance to this song (another version) many years ago. Then, suddenly, my spirit was arrested and I followed the prompting to move from my writing desk to my comfy cushioned chair, lean back and close my eyes.  “Stop. Rest. Be still.”  These were the gentle whispering words I heard. With lifted arms, soaking in the Father’s presence, as a flow of heart echoing tears released down my cheeks, I could sense I was receiving more of God’s healing into this older child’s heart.  This was a time to treasure the Father’s presence.  

***

Releasing our burdens, our broken dreams,

and our broken hearts to the Father only occurs as we take time to be with Him.  

***

We are not just saved by God and then we are done.

God continues His saving, redeeming, healing, comforting and restoring

work within us until all our time on earth is done

– that is, as we surrender our time to Him for this treasured work to be done.

***

“Be Held” – isn’t this what our Abba Daddy desires for us to experience?  Yes, the grace of being held by God like a father holds his child. Our Heavenly Father’s grace covers us and makes us feel securely loved. The arms that once graced the wooden cross are open wide still today longing to wrap His loving embrace around your heart. The Father desires to hold us all in His loving arms, if we would only come and sit in His lap – you know – open up the Psalms – play music that permeates the atmosphere with the sound of Heaven, calls you to His throne wherever you are, and reminds you that the God of all time desires to hold you and spend time with you. That’s where all the healing, peace, and joy flow – from the Father’s heart.  Have you ever desired to just hold your toddler, but they were so fidgety with energy or so distracted by all the sights and sounds around them that they began to squirm, kick, and wiggle their way right out of your arms?  (If you are a parent or grandparent, you get this. If not, perhaps those who are pet owners can relate to it with your puppy or kitty.)  As adults, we are frequently too busy to simply sit still in the Father’s presence and “be held” – there’s either no TIME or no desire.  Just as we desire to hold, comfort, and express love to our own children, so does the Father God desire to hold, comfort and pour out His love to us as His children too.  

Being held by God may seem like a foreign concept to you, but if more of us were experiencing the loving comfort, peace, and healing of God on a consistent basis, perhaps the TIMES we are living in would be a little less turbulent, or at least, our own hearts might be more consumed with the peace of God and faith in God through the tumultuous times we are living in.  

If setting aside time alone with God is not a common practice for you, I encourage you to start making this a priority, preferably daily, or, at least weekly.  Eliminate distractions, turn off your phone and all other media related devices, turn on peaceful and spirit calming worship music and open up The Bible.  Begin with the Psalms (such as Psalm 34, Psalm 103, Psalm 107, or Psalm 136 – a few good ones to start with) or The Gospel According to John or 1 John. Take time to pray, reflect, rest, and “Be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Lord, I pray for the ones I love and the ones You love to begin taking more time to be still in Your presence, to rest, to sit, to wait, to listen, and to receive all the beautiful and timeless treasures You desire to fill our days with.  Thank You, Lord, for giving me TIME to just be with You and be held by You today.  I know for sure that all our days and times are in Your hand, and all our best times are yet to come. Amen.

***

When we take time to treasure what matters most,

we find the true treasures that last throughout all time.

 

***

 

Heaven will be a place of endless time

for all the beautiful things that honor God our Creator

and the treasures of His faithful and beloved ones.

 

***

Time withheld from God keeps us from being held by God.

***

“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing I’d like to do, is to save everyday ’til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you …”  These lyrics from the touching song, Time in a Bottle, by Jim Croce are gripping.  Isn’t it comforting to know that eternity does not pass away, and that the redeemed of the Lord will spend all our days with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Lord, teach us to number our days,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) Amen.

 

“For such a time as this, I was placed upon the earth to hear the voice of God and do His will whatever it is…” song lyrics from “For Such a Time as This” by Wayne Watson

 

Everything Has Its Time

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.

 

 I will bless the Lord at all times… Psalm 34:1

 

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Psalm 27:4-6

 

 

Other Scripture References:  Mark 12:28-31; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:7-10; Psalm 40:8; 2 Timothy 1:8-11 

 

When we don’t take time to COME APART from all the demands and stresses of this life and spend time being refreshed in the presence of God, we end up COMING APART in some way physically, spiritually, emotionally or mentally.