Putting First Things First
by Charles R. Swindoll
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. . . . But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
—Matthew 6:24, 33
Our Father, we confess that placing Jesus first in our lives precludes competition from all other loyalties: that no hobby or occupation or pursuit, however engaging, can contain all of our passion. No relationship, however intimate, can compete with Christ for first place in our hearts. No possession, however prized, can come between us and You.
Our Lord, we thank You for giving us our vocations—for the privilege of making a living. We're grateful for the place where we earn our wage and where we have the opportunity to live out our faith. May our work become a platform upon which Your Son, Jesus Christ, is placed on display day after day.
And our relationships, Father, how vital they are—how valuable! We place them before You as well. May they be honoring to You. May they represent associations that model the glory of Jesus Christ rather than simply satisfy ourselves.
Regarding our ever-present battle with possessions—with things: we place on the altar all the "stuff" of our lives. Help us form our priorities, God. As we live in this physical world, help us put our possessions in their proper place, way down on the list of what's important . . . after You—after all relationships.
And so, Lord, we lay before You our work, our relationships, and our possessions. May they all be a part of the narrow path that leads us to the way of the cross.
We ask it in the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 1, Copyright © 2010 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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