Devotional – February 3, 2021

Pastor David’s devotional for February 3, 2021

Favorite Bible Verses, continued

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

And, Psalm 51:10
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Today, two of my favorite verses of scripture are on my mind. The first, comes from Jesus “Sermon on the Mount” found in the Gospel of Matthew. After reminding us that God watches over us and provides for us, Jesus reminds us of the importance of God being our first allegiance and priority: “Seek first God’s Kingdom and Righteousness.”

We have many allegiances in our lives, and all of them are important. I have an allegiance to my wife Geri and my children, to my mother and sisters, to my church and community, and more. I pledge allegiance to the flag, because my country is important to me—it is one of my allegiances.

We have many allegiances, and it is easy for any one of these to become our “first” allegiance—easy because each of these allegiances are important to us! But, none of them are sufficient to be the allegiance from which everything else in my life is understood. Only God can fill that spot!

Jesus is wanting us to understand that when God is our first allegiance, our first priority, everything else in life takes its proper place. My allegiance to Geri, to my children, to my church, to my country are best lived through my first allegiance, through my faith in God. This is good news! Because, for instance, when I understand Geri through my faith in God she does not become (somehow) less important; it is actually the opposite—she becomes more important, so important that Christ died for her (as would

I if need be). Our faith in God does not diminish our other allegiances, it actually increases our commitment to others.

Jesus expresses this truth in his Great Commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and like that, love your neighbor as yourself. When God is first in our lives, others become all the more important to us.

Is God your first allegiance? Is God the One through whom you understand the other important allegiances in your life? I have heard it said that if you want to know your first priority, look at your calendar and check book: look at where you invest your time and resources.

While this makes sense, I suspect that God looks much deeper into our lives, I suspect God looks deep within our hearts. Which leads me to my second scripture for today from Psalm 51: “Create in me a pure heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

When it comes to my priorities, I need God’s help, lest I miss the mark at the expense of all my other allegiances. I want to live a life in which God holds the first place within my heart! Or, in Jesus words: “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

By the grace of God, yes God! I seek you.

God bless you, and stay well!

Pastor Dave