First Things First
Reading: Exodus 13:1-16
The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.” Exodus 13:1-2
This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord is to be on your lips. Exodus 13:9 (NIV)
At the very beginning of their epic journey of liberation, God sets in place a raft of measures to help his people remember to put him first. He knows that they will forget. Festivals are an annual reminder of what God has done, and a reminder that the Law of the Lord is to be on their lips. In other words, it is to be familiar – so familiar that it naturally overflows from their hearts and spills out into their conversation. As time goes by, our best intentions wane, and our enthusiasm tends to dwindle. So God would remind us, and have us remind ourselves, lest we forget.
The key to maintaining our relationship with God is to put him first in everything. Especially the things we love and value the most.
“First things first”. This needs to become my catch cry. If I have three things to do, my time with God comes first. If I have money to spend, first I see if God has a better idea for it. As I make plans, I need to ask, “Lord, what would you have me do?”
“First things first” also applies at work when distractions would threaten to sidetrack me from more pressing tasks. I can honour God by getting my jobs done in a timely fashion, and being vigilant about maintaining a habit of excellence in my work.
Thank you Lord for this reminder to have your Word always on my lips and in my heart, and to put first things first. Holy Spirit, please help me with self discipline, and stir the fire in my heart for God.