It was so obvious. John’s house was in desperate need of repair. His car barely got him to work. Debts were piling up. His kids were not doing well in life and that worried him. Neither he, nor his wife, ever seemed happy. Just thinking about his life made him angry. He desperately needed some change in his life.
He sat on the grass, head bent to his knees, as he listened to the teacher talk about ‘laying up treasures in heaven’. Listening, he suddenly became angry. He swiftly stood up, interrupting the speaker.
Spitting out his words with venom, he asked, “How can I lay up treasures in heaven? I can’t even pay my house payment. I can’t pay the electric bill. My car is falling apart. I can’t afford the price of gasoline and God knows health insurance is impossible!”
The speaker leaned forward shading the sun from his eyes to see who was yelling across the crowd. He spotted the guy. He looked descent enough, but he had a desperate look on his face and it was obvious hope had faded from his life.
Feeling compassion rise inside him, the speaker spoke gently as he replied, “Don’t be anxious about your life; what you will eat or drink; or what you will wear. Don’t you realize life is more than food or clothing? “Look around you. God feeds the birds...aren’t you better than they are? Why are you worried about what you will wear? Look out there in that field. See the flowers? Well, God clothes them with all that beauty. If God does that for the flowers, don’t you see he will do the same for you?”
“Well, He hasn’t,” John hurled back.
The speaker simply explained, “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (clothes, food, shelter, provision) will be added unto you” (Matt 6:33). FIRST is not an option. If your needs are not met, you’re looking at FIRST as an option. First is not an option.”
John sat back down on the grass, exhausted by the flood of thoughts that flowed through his mind. Immediately he began to think thoughts that had never occurred to him: First is NOT an option.
God really wasn’t first in his life. He had a lot of things in his life that were demanding first place and he simply could not keep up the pace that all those “first” were demanding of him.
These words poured from the Teachers mouth: “No good thing will he withhold from them who walk uprightly (Ps 84:11).
“God doesn’t owe you anything. You owe him everything, and when you’re obedient you will eat the good of the land (Is.1:19). First is NOT an option.
“Respect your mother and father. “Who so curses (talks disrespectful about or acts disrespectful to) his father or mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness (Prov. 20:20).
He (God) is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6).
By now, John’s anger had turned to curiosity. He thought, “I have not thought of God as a rewarder, but if the Bible says it … then He is.”
Bewildered by his strange thoughts, John stared into the face of the Teacher as he heard him say, “Have faith in God (Mark 11:22). Jesus was giving the people a tool to overcome in life. It was not an option. It was something John had to do “first”. Faith in God never changes because God never changes. Jesus is always a rewarder. He is always the Source of our life.
First is not an option. You want God’s favor? God’s favor changes the rules, but first is not an option. Will you make Jesus first?
© KPI 2013