FIRST in your hearts!

CC 2016

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

Now, this is a great memory verse!

This is also a great verse to help guide you into the New Year!

AND this is a great verse that will help you decide how to "Go Deeper" in your relationship with Jesus Christ in 2016!

So, what does it mean to really "seek first HIS kingdom?" And the reason I ask the question is because this isn't what comes naturally. Usually, our first reaction is to "seek first" our own desires, wants, or needs.

We often say things like:

"What do I want to do today?"

"What's MY plan for this weekend?"

"How should I approach this upcoming meeting?"

"What should WE buy with this extra cash?"

What would change in 2016 if we began switching our selfish lifestyle for a more Godcentered one? What would it mean for us to seek Him first (in all things)?

I recently heard a pastor break this down and provide examples of a few areas we can seek God FIRST:

F - Family. What would it look like to place God at the center of your family? What's one step you can take in 2016 that would help you lead your children into a growing relationship with Christ?

I - Identity. We often get so absorbed in trying to selfishly identify ourselves as someone or something we're not. Whew! It's exhausting! What would 2016 look like if we asked God to reveal His plan and His purpose to us?

R - Resources. We love to spend what we have on things we think will make us happy in the New Year. BUT the new smell always wears off and the kids end up breaking it anyway (at least that's what happens at our house). What would it look like if we asked how the Kingdom might benefit from our blessings?

S - Struggles. We worry... a lot! We stress about things that we have little control over. And yet we serve a God that holds the world in His hand (Is. 40). What would the New Year be if we sought HIS guidance first instead of trying to handle everything on our own?

T - Time. We're too busy! I actually think we like to look busy because we think it bolsters our image. The more we accomplish, the more important we feel about ourselves. What would this year look like if we asked God what He thought about our calendar? About the time we spend with Him... with family... with church community?

What does it look like for you to seek Him FIRST this year? Maybe take one of these suggestions, make a commitment, and see what happens.


Jimmy McIlrath