If someone asked you the hardest part about being a Christian, what would you say? Here’s what Jesus said: “Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead’” (Matthew 8:21,22). This disciple seemed committed, but “first” he wanted to bury his father. Jesus’ blunt answer was, “I want you to follow first.”
That’s the hardest part about being a Christian. Anyone can say he or she loves God, cares about the poor, agrees with forgiving others, and sees the value of faith. But the real question is what comes first. When you love God but also love something God forbids (like too much wine), what comes first? When you care about the poor but also have plans to invest, get a boat, and buy a new phone, what comes first? When you want to forgive in general but you don’t want to forgive that specific person, what comes first? When you see the value of faith but that faith is messing with your Sunday plans, what comes first?
Be honest today and ask yourself what tends to come first in your life. What do you think about first? spend money on first? spend time on first?
The First Commandment is not just about believing in God. It’s about loving, trusting, and putting God first in everything you do. That’s the hardest part about following Jesus.
He insists on being first. Which is why you need to read tomorrow’s devotion . . .