What’s More Important?
Happy Summer! I have a question for you all. What is most important in your life?
When someone is investigating a crime they would say “follow the money”. Investigators would also look at where a person spends the majority of their time. Obviously, as followers of Jesus, our aim is for Christ to be first. But, if your life was investigated to find out if you are a true follower of Christ, would the evidence find you guilty?
Do you tithe, or do you say things like, “I don’t have enough money to tithe?” Someone I talked to this week is selling some land. They mentioned to their financial advisor they would need to tithe 10% of the money. The financial advisor asked if he was going to tithe before or after taxes. If he tithed after taxes, his tithe would be much less. His answer was “I’m not going to stand before the Lord one day and tell Him that I put Him behind the tax man.” If you say Jesus is first, is that really true, or have you talked yourself into other things coming before Him financially.
What about time? If Jesus is first, where do you spend the majority of your time? Do you work so much that you regularly have excuses that you can’t attend church. Are you so busy with work, and play, and living the American Dream, that you don’t have anything left over to serve people? Do you volunteer your time to a ministry at church? Are you giving any of your time to building God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven? Is it weekly, once a month, or never?
If you rarely tithe and serve, the evidence in your life would not convict you of being a Jesus follower . Here are some verses to consider, and then I’ll wrap up on why this is important.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.”
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”
Your best life is not the American Dream. That life is disastrous. Your best life is Jesus Christ being absolutely first. Surrender to Him everything you have and make it count. I can’t begin to tell you how satisfying it is to follow Him in all things. I talk to a lot of people whose lives are in chaos, and in all those instances I can point to their lives not being totally surrendered to Jesus. In many cases they understand this, are making steps toward change, and I love that. Many of these people have come to Mission City and are making huge changes in their lives to change the way they’ve been living. Trust me when I say, put Him first. Our Savior gave everything for you and me. He died an extremely brutal death so you could be free from your sin. He is the literal Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. He’s asking for ALL of you in return. Don’t hold anything back.