First Things… First

Oct 21, 2023

“In the beginning, GOD …”

In our last study, we noted that the story of the beginning of all things started with a RIGHTeous GOD. Like Hebrew reads from RIGHT to left, our life story would do well to be read from the perspective of “RIGHT FIRST.” In everything we do, it’s RIGHT to put GOD in the beginning—to consider His Ways, His Word, His Will … FIRST.

Over one hundred years ago, Charles M. Sheldon, through the characters in his fictional story, “In His Steps,” posed a similar challenge that, before making any decisions, of first asking “What would Jesus do?” The particular social reforms that Sheldon sought to promote in his early 20th-century novel may since have morphed to our current times, but the suggestion to always ask “WWJD?” is still powerful and RIGHT. Modern technology and the ongoing “enlightenment” of Man’s thinking can never—and WILL NEVER—make the Word of God obsolete. It speaks and should guide us in every decision we make—and it WILL if we seek God FIRST.

Anything worth doing is worth starting RIGHT.

To be truthful, a sense of RIGHT or “righteousness” did not even really exist in the beginning since there was only God. A comprehension of “righteousness” can only exist when compared to “unrighteousness”, but there was none of that in The Beginning. In Creation—in the Garden of Eden before the Fall—Man lived in full obedience to God alone, with no alternatives or choices to make. Only when rebellion against God was introduced by the serpent to Eve was there ever a sense of right versus wrong.

But ever since Eden, our lives have been a long string of choices—one decision after another. Each time we choose, we must choose what is RIGHT and to proceed accordingly. We have heard it said that we should determine each day to “start with what is RIGHT, not just what is acceptable.” We cannot always predict the exact direction our lives will eventually take, but if at every critical life decision we determine to take the advice of the voice on our GPS who says “Keep RIGHT at the fork”—we will finish our journey with far less regret. Martin Luther King, Jr. wisely said, “The time is always right to do RIGHT.” Always, in everything, start at the RIGHT—start with Jesus.

“Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his RIGHTeousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33 KJV)

God’s individualized purpose for each of us includes a plan for ultimate eternal success—and for those who choose otherwise, there’s the consequences. At the risk of sounding a bit too cliché, God’s Word guides us to the RIGHT so we won’t be LEFT.

“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his RIGHT hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the FIRST and the last.” (Revelation 1:17 KJV)

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I surrender the directionality of my will and my life to You. Let me walk so close to You that I shall always feel Your Hand, “and (my) ears shall (continually) hear a word behind (me), saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it,’ when (I) turn to the right hand, and when (I) turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21 KJV) And I will praise You forever and ever. Amen.