First Things First

Yesterday I spent some time going through my ring of verses. WOW! A host of memories came flooding back. Times when the Lord made each one of the verses applicable to my life and the lives of my family.

But first things first…we have just completed several weeks in establishing God’s word as our foundation. I trust you have seen how important it is to be on solid ground.

I heard a story once about a man who came from a very remote rural community in the Appalachian Mountains into the city. He found himself in public meeting and the room began to get warm. A man went to a small box on the wall, adjusted it and it began to get cool. After the meeting was over the man from the mountains asked about the box on the wall. He was told it was a thermostat and when it is adjusted it will make the air cooler or warmer as is required.

Before heading back to the mountains our rural visitor stopped at the hardware store and bought a thermostat. He couldn’t wait to get home and put it on his wall. He nailed it to the wall, switched it to the “on” position and nothing happened. He moved the regulator slide up and down and nothing happened.

Many times we are like that. We have the thermostat but we aren’t connected to the power source and the proper equipment. Jesus is our source of power and his word is what equips us.

Mary and Martha were two sisters who loved Jesus and had Him in their home. Martha was busy getting dinner ready for Jesus and their guests and Mary was sitting in the living room listening to the teaching. This really upset Martha, she needed help.

While Jesus and his followers were traveling, he went into a town, and a woman named Martha let him stay at her house. 39 She had a sister named Mary. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach. 40 But her sister Martha was busy doing all the work that had to be done. Martha went in and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are getting worried and upset about too many things. 42 Only one thing is important. Mary has made the right choice, and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 ERV

I know what it’s like to be Martha. I enjoy entertaining but everything has to be done right. I am a list maker, an organizer and I NEED for things to be done right. I could see myself doing the same thing.

However, through the years I have also learned that it doesn’t matter how many lists I have or how prepared I think I am if I haven’t spend time with Jesus my heart won’t be right. I will be anxious, focused on the details and oblivious to the people that need my love and assistance.

It’s nice to be retired and have more time to focus on what’s important but when I started on this journey of making God’s word a priority in my life I didn’t have 15 minutes to spare in my day.

We were farming 900+ acres of alfalfa. In Arizona, our growing season started in March and ended with the first frost (generally in December). In peak season we were cutting hay every 21-28 days. Ten cuttings a year. Dave and I had 2 Freeman balers, 1 swather, 1 roadsider and 1 double set of rakes. We had 1 irrigator and one lady who ran the roadsider, the rest of it we did. We had two small children, ages 5 and 7, meals to cook, laundry to wash, groceries to buy.

I didn’t have time to spend hours reading the Bible – thus the cards. Write out a verse and keep it close. I didn’t have a smart phone to store it in. How great to have these verses as a screen saver or in the photo gallery so I could scroll through them.

But I did learn that no matter how many things I had on my “to do” list each morning my day ran much smoother when I gave my first moments of each day to the Lord.

 Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” 32 Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 33 But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.

34 Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.” Matthew 6:31-34 CEV

Make the verses above the first ones you start with. When God is your focus you’re whole day will be better.

Don’t worry. Trust God.

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