What does it mean to put God first in your life? Matthew 6:33 tells us to “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”, but how do we accomplish this when life seems to crowd out the best of intentions? Work, family, and so many other responsibilities take up every waking minute of our day.
Is it possible that we are missing something? Pastor Stoval Weems offers a practical, high impact answer to what following Christ is all about in his new book and Bible study The God-First Life: Uncomplicate Your Life, God’s Way. ~ Fred Bittner, FaithGateway Bible Studies
The God-First Life
Have you ever read the Bible on your phone or a tablet? It is easy if you have the Bible Gateway app. This little tool supplies reading plans, allows you to listen to the Bible, provides a place for you to take and keep notes on what you are learning, and much more — all of this in the palm of your hand. Powerful!
There are apps that tell you the weather in any part of the world, others that help you lose weight as they monitor your eating and exercise. There are apps that entertain you with games, provide free music of any genre you like, allow you to follow your favorite sport or team, and the list goes on and on. More and more apps are marketed with each passing day and most of them are free or very inexpensive. They are also, for the most part, quite easy to use. A few touches of your finger, ask a question or two, and the world unfolds before you.
But apps are simple for us because under the surface of the recognizable icon on our phone and the user-friendly app is an incredibly complex serving system. Someone invented it, coded it, designed it, and maintains it. What seems intuitive and straightforward to us is actually quite sophisticated. If you could look behind the scenes, you would be amazed at all that is going on so that you can find your Mexican restaurant, check out the weather for next Wednesday in Sydney, Australia, or look up Matthew 6:33 on your phone.
Sometimes, when something appears to be simple and straightforward, it is actually deeper and more complex than we realize at first glance. Some Bible verses are like this. One of the greatest examples of this is a simple statement that comes directly from the mouth and heart of Jesus:
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33.
Seems simple, doesn’t it? The idea is actually very easy to understand. But living out this truth will take a lifetime!
Watch Session 1 of The God-First Life Bible Study
As you watch the video teaching segment for session 1, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.
- One man’s journey toward the God-first life
- Matthew 6:33: Seek God first and everything you need will be added
- The God-First app is Matthew 6:33
- Blessings of a new family, new life, new freedom
- The world’s recipe for a happy life
- The answer to the happy life is putting God first
- When order is restored, blessing is released
- Holiness leads to happiness
The God-First Life Study Questions
- Stovall tells about becoming a follower of Jesus as a college student, while working at a bar. When did you become a Christian (or maybe you are still investigating) and how has God changed your life since that time?
- Even after we become Christians, we can still have questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, Heaven, among other things. What was a question you grappled with after becoming a Christian that eventually made sense? Why is it okay to love Jesus and follow Him and still have questions?
- Read: Matthew 6:33. How can seeking first God’s kingdom, His will, and His righteousness help make sense of the questions we might struggle with?
- In the times and seasons of life when we actually seek first God’s kingdom and His will for our lives, things often seem to fall into place and make sense. Tell about a time or a season in your life when you really devoted your heart and life to seeking God’s will. How did God come alive, show up, and work during this time?
- In Matthew 6:33, Jesus teaches us that order is critical. Seek first His kingdom. What have you noticed happens in your life when you seek God’s kingdom first? What happens when you seek your will, your desires, and your ways first?
- When you became a Christian, you were ushered into a new family. Tell how God impacted your life through your new brothers and sisters after you followed Jesus and became part of His church.
- Read: Proverbs 3:5-6. How do these wise words of Proverbs echo the heartbeat of Matthew 6:33? How does trusting the Lord with all our heart help us seek Him first?
- Stovall makes this provocative statement: “When order is restored, blessing is released!” Respond to this. Do you agree? If so, why? Do you disagree? If so, why?
- Read: 1 Peter 1:13-16. How can walking and living in holiness increase our happiness? How can turning from God’s ways and living with self-centered desires (rather than a God-first life orientation) rob us of joy and happiness?
- How have you experienced the blessing and happiness of God as a direct result of setting God-honoring priorities and seeking him first in your life?
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What is one new priority you might begin today, and how can we pray for you as you take this next step into the God- first life? Share your answers and prayer requests with us on today’s blog! We would love to pray for you.