Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The words ‘Jesus Christ’ are the most searched words on the Internet. In Genesis 1:1, it means that the first event, the first thing, the first person, and the most important of all in life should be God.
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
If we claim ourselves to be the disciple of Lord Jesus Christ, then in our walk, there should be plenty of moments where we place God first before everything else, including our family. However, a lot of unbelievers or atheists would portray God to be selfish based on their understanding and interpretation of these few verses. If people were to view this context based on sinful worldly views or values, then they are bound to have that kind of perception.
Nowadays, we live in a world so wretched where Pastors would compromise in their preaching, or do all the ditty devotionals, or stick to worldly methods of ministering to Christians, just to get followers and people to like them. Their ministry has led millions of Christians to have a distorted view about God and caused these Christians to only get a small fragment of a picture about God; some would even paint the picture of God based on their own imaginations, instead of from the Bible itself.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
This clearly says that we cannot serve God rightfully if we are also distracted by other worldly temptations such as money, power, or status. These temptations will for sure hold us back from living God’s words. The Bible has already stated, that these two are contrary to one another.
It is really easy to tell by identifying what comes into our minds first thing in the morning and what comes last before we go to bed.
Apart from money and power, prioritizing relationships with people can also sometimes hinder us from truly serving God. This is because a lot of people tend to associate themselves, or their spiritual well-being heavily with Pastors, members of the church, families; and when they are being disappointed with the people they trust or associate with, they feel betrayed and devastated. Nonetheless, to achieve our spiritual well-being, we should put God first in our lives, and should live by that alone!
It is important for us to always keep in mind that when we go to heaven, all the hours, the ambition, the sweat, the tears we spend on this earth trying to accomplish worldly goals will be counted as nothing. Instead, we will only be seeing Jesus by the time we are at the judgment seat of Christ.
There is nothing wrong to enjoy the possessions that we are blessed with, or earn through our hard work; spend quality time, cherishing our loved ones, etc. But it is wrong if we allow these things to take control of our lives and manipulate us.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
If a Pastor chooses to compromise his preaching and replace God’s words with meekness and cotton candy messages, then his love is not with God. Similarly, if we choose to indulge in worldly materials, to walk in our flesh instead of in the spirit, then our love is not with God.
At times, God will also test us, if our love is in Him or the world. As sinners, we are driven by our fleshy desires, so it is crucial for us to constantly pray to God to remove the desire away from us before we choose to yield to those temptations or sin.
1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Our love for God should be reflected in our love for the world, and the people around us. If our love for God is genuine and with faith, then we will know how to handle our relationships with others filled with wisdom, patience, and gentleness. This clearly opposes the arguments that atheists make about God’s selfishness of demanding us to put him first or being the center of our lives.
1 John 4:17-18 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
If we really love God, we will learn to surrender ourselves fully to God with no fear. We know that God is in control and He will take care of us and that He will never give us more than what we can bear. Besides, we will also trust that he will indisputably give us grace to pull through when we feel like giving up.