As Creator, Sustainer and Source of all good, God deserves the first place in our lives. Our service to God should be based on the conviction that God always comes first: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” (Matt. 6:33). When we become believers, we acknowledge a transfer of ownership—a transfer of priorities—moving from self-centered to other-centered, where we place God at the top of the list. Submitting to God’s ownership, to the lordship of Christ, provides the “why” of service.
I recently read of a survey that was conducted among Christians and the question was asked, “How much do you agree/disagree: With reference to my values and priorities, I can honestly say that I try to put God first in my life?” In response, 36 percent indicated they “agreed strongly,” while another 35 percent said they “agreed somewhat.” While no genuine Christian is completely content with his or her level of obedience to Jesus Christ, we ought to be concerned that 29 percent of these professing Christians hesitate even to attempt putting God first in their lives. As people who work in ministry, we’ve all had concerns about those who come forward during a public invitation, prayed the “sinner’s prayer,” but then seem to display little evidence of the lordship of Christ in their lives. Repentance isn’t merely apologizing to God for our sins and then continuing to live as if we control our own lives. Paul says we’ve been transferred “into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). This and many other passages tell us that the gospel transforms the believer’s identity, ownership, and destiny, yet it appears many respondents either lack solid exposure to the essence of what it means to be a Christian, or they’ve chosen to ignore the truth that being a Christian means putting God first.
Knowing that Jesus’ life was perfect in regard to putting God first, we should look at the way He lived His life and imitate Him, attempting to walk in the manner that He walked. Jesus’ life was characterized by submission to the Father’s will, service to others, and prayer. It is interesting to note that Jesus never pursued worldly ambition in any way and never pursued the glory of this world. He had every gift, talent, and ability to make Him the most famous and wealthiest man who ever lived. But there was only one goal that He considered worthy of His talents—the glory of the Father. This should be an example to believers. The time, resources, energy, gifts, and knowledge of God that we’ve been given should be used not to gain influence, make money, or fuel pride, but instead to multiply glory for the Kingdom and to save the souls of the lost as we trust in God to protect us and provide for us. As an example to those who believe throughout the ages, Jesus sought first the Kingdom of God, and laid down His life for His friends. His life was a perfect picture of loving God with heart, soul, and strength, putting Him first. Christian we have no option in this life but to be a God first servants! I pray that the church, the Body of Christ will abandon its self serving way of life and make important what really matters to God which is a God First Servant!