"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (Jesus' words in Matthew 6:33 NLT; suggested reading Matthew 6:25-34)
Thoughts for Today
What does godliness look like? Of course, it means being like God in daily life. Holy . . . pure . . . loving . . . concerned for others. Living by God's standards rather than the world's.
We can define godliness by dos and don'ts. We can define it by character traits. Another way to define godliness is "devotion to God above all else." Putting God first. Seeking the Kingdom of God above all else.
Consider this …
Godliness is more than avoiding wrongdoing. Even good pursuits can fill our days, take our time, and draw us away from our devotion to God. Move us toward our goals instead of his.
Consider the good things you are doing. Are they distracting you from your quiet times with Jesus? Are you getting caught up in meeting others' expectations above meeting his?
God wants us to devote ourselves to our spouse and children. To be diligent on our job. To be involved in ministry. To get physical exercise and enjoy times of fellowship. But even good pursuits, when they get out of balance, can keep us from growing in godliness. Busyness--no matter what good things we are doing--can be our downfall.
Examine your priorities. Who or what is coming first? If it's anyone or anything other than God, it's time to make an adjustment. As you put him first, he will enable you to balance everything else and accomplish what he wants you to do. You can even be a better spouse or parent or minister. You can do better on your job or at school. Seek him first and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Father, help me have an honest look at my priorities. Am I giving you first place in my life? Help me to seek you above all else. Then I know you'll help me with the rest. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Insight Group: Discover the Path to Christian Character by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. With its emphasis on developing Christian character, it is a powerful group for those who want to be sure to prevent life-controlling problems from developing in their lives, as well as for those who need to overcome a current problem.
- It enhances people's understanding of themselves and others.
- It helps people bond together in meaningful relationships.
- It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups like home groups and Sunday school classes.
- It surfaces people for help who may otherwise never seek help.
- It helps break down the segregation of people in churches, turning "those people" and "our kind of people" into just "us."
- It helps prepare people to minister to others.
- It serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by ministering to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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