What kind of year was last year for you spiritually? I’ve talked to many who are ready to make 2014 a year of advancement. People are talking about starting careers, new businesses and giving more of themselves to others. There’s talk of studying the Bible, praying more and even attending a conference or two. Some are set out to exercise, get fit, healthy and focused on their personal success. All these great endeavors are noble.
Yet, how will we avoid the impact of the apathetic environment around us? What will stop the inconsistency in our spiritual walk? There is a required shift, a shift to being consumed!
First things First in 2014:
First of the DAY: Seek God
…O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1 NKJV
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
I have friends who’ve woken up every morning for 20+ years seeking God first thing. What a marvelous discipline! What a way to start every day.
First of the week: Worship
On the first day of the week we came together to break bread… Acts 20:7
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another… Hebrews 10:25
Since I was a boy my Dad always said, “While living under this roof you will attend church on Sunday.” I didn’t always like going, but dad’s standard put a deep passion to be in God’s Church every Sunday. I’d encourage you to make Sunday morning a priority, not because I am a pastor, but because without it most grow spiritually apathetic.
First of the Month: Tithe
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:30
…Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. Matthew 23:23 NLT
Being a disciple of Christ means giving financially to His first love, the Church. It’s not about the money, it’s about the first of everything belonging to Him.
First of the Year: Fast
Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Joel 1:14
But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:17-18
For many years now I’ve done a 21 day fast to start the year. This year is no exception.
Well, there it is First Things First. I am certain if you and I approach 2014 with these “firsts” in mind we will definitely achieve and accomplish all that is in our heart. Make a new start in this New year. Taking the time to talk it over with someone can help your next step toward putting God first in 2014!