Putting God First
By W. C. Moore
A friend of mine, an evangelist, had an appointment to hold an evangelistic campaign in a distant city. His wife was quite sick at the time, but he felt that he would fail the Lord if he did not keep his appointment.
So he prayed for his wife, and left her in the care of friends. He took the train to go to the meeting – and the Spirit of God came on him while on the train and he prayed earnestly for his wife. He prayed until he prevailed and had the assurance that she would be healed.
She was healed – while he was obeying God’s call to this distant city.
“And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Years ago I read this item: Two painters were working on a high scaffolding, decorating the walls of a church. One of them was putting the finishing touches on a painting, and he stepped back to get a good view of it before finishing it up.
The other painter suddenly threw his paint brush against the beautiful design that the man had spent so much time and effort on and ruined it. His friend stepped forward amazed.
“Why? Why did you do that?” he exclaimed.
“I saved your life,” said the friend. One more step backward, and you would have fallen off the scaffold to the floor below.”
And how often God, in His love and wisdom, for our own good, has to stir up our comfortable little nest, break up some friendship, destroy some idol in our lives!
Keep Yourselves from Idols (1 John 5:21)
It is so easy to get so “thick” with a friend or loved one that our affection for them darkens our relationship with God Himself, and all unconsciously, we seek to please that one first and try to get the Lord to take second place in our thoughts and lives.
But God is first! He is the Almighty! The Creator. He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die a cruel death for our sins. Blessed be His Name!
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. The Church is subject unto Him (Eph. 5:23-24). And He says to you and to me:
“He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10:37).
Old Eli honored his sons above God! And what a terrible judgment fell upon him! (1 Sam. 2:12-17, 22-25, 27-36; 3:11-14; 4:11-18).
When we repent of our sins, and get saved through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and His shed blood (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:14-15), we should never consider for one moment that our time and our possessions are our own any more. We are stewards of these things, and must give account to God as to how we use the time, the money, etc., with which He entrusts us (Rom. 14:10-12; 2 Cor. 5:10-11).
“Give an Account of Thy Stewardship” (Luke 16:2)
We need to seek earnestly to get the leading of the Lord as to how to use the time, the ability, the money, the property with which He entrusts us as stewards.
When we give or bequeath money or property to a friend or to relatives when they do not really need it but we give just because they expect it – how ashamed we will be at the Judgment Seat of Christ! (1 John 2:28).
We all ought to know that money often proves to be a curse to people, hindering them from getting saved if they are not saved or, if they are real born-again Christians, hindering them from going on with God.
We do not want to fail God and fail to wisely invest what we have to help spread the Gospel to those who have never heard the Good Tidings, do we? May God help us to face facts now!
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16).
When we all stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ, will you not thank me that I earnestly tried for your own good and for the advancement of Christ’s own work on earth to present the stark facts to you now?