Good morning from Managua, Nicaragua!
This morning I met with a couple of guys and discussed what it means to put Christ first in our lives. Specifically, we talked about a verse in Matthews’s account of Jesus’ life that says, “But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33, NIV) Jesus tells us we are to seek God’s kingdom and way of living as opposed to our own, trusting that God will take care of the rest. As we start our first business, NicaBike Shop, under the new business development program in Nicaragua and continue our other work with church’s and communities in Nicaragua, these words are very relevant. How do I put Christ first as I pursue things that God has called me to? It almost seems like the question answers itself, but in my experience this is not the case. Just because I am doing something for God does not mean I will actually put him first as I do it. If I am honest, many times my desires and plans are the first things that come to mind when I do just about anything. Instead of seeking God’s will and guidance first, I will seek his blessing on the things I have already decided to do. So how do we put Christ first?
In trying to live this out, I have found that putting Christ first has to be a part of our daily lives. When Jesus tells us to “seek first his kingdom and righteousness” he is talking about a way of living. Jesus is telling us that following Christ means living as a citizen of God’s kingdom. As a U.S. citizen, I am called to live a certain way. The same is true with God’s kingdom. As a follower of Christ, I am called to die to myself daily and put God’s desires ahead of mine. This requires being in a close and constant relationship with God. It is very hard to understand someone’s desires without truly knowing them. Additionally, it means seeing everything through the filter of God’s words and guidance through the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first requires us to think of Christ first in everything we do.
While living this way is not easy, it was the way life was designed to work. We were created to be in relationship with God, constantly connected to the One who created us. This type of relationship requires trust and a true understanding of who God is. This is why Jesus tells us that “all these things will be given to you as well”. When we put aside our own desires, God is faithful to provide what we need when we need it. It is my hope and desire to live this way in everything I do and I hope you will consider doing the same. I want to live a “seek first” kind of life.
– James Belt