Putting the Lord first

There are these three churches that I drive by every day on the way to the gym that are of various Christian denominations (not LDS).  In front of each are those billboard signs, you know, with the name of the church at the top, and then changeable messages on the bottom.

I always enjoy reading what they have to say, and while sometimes they’re just plain corny, there are other times, like today, when they really hit home.

Today, one sign read:

“Give unto God what is right, not what is left.”

Every day we’re bombarded with so many demands, so many expectations, so many projects, so many desires.  It’s a non-stop stream of “things to do”, each demanding a portion of our day.  The natural result?  At the end of the day, we’ve only given back to the Lord what was left of our time, if any.

But this message encourages us place the Lord first, to prioritize into our lives those things that matter most, including those spiritual refueling elements like scripture study, private prayer, family prayer, and more overt acts, like service, missionary work, fulfilling our callings, etc.

I firmly believe that as we prioritize those things in our lives, all of the other things, become that much easier.  It feels less and less like a scramble, and more and more like a flow.  Our prioritization of spiritual things illustrates the magnitude of our faith, and as we show the Lord our commitment, he, in turn, magnifies our efforts across the broad spectrum of our other activities.

Try, for a week, putting those things at the TOP of your list, and see if you can tell a difference.


5 replies
  1. Tim Malone says:

    We have churches in our neighborhood with those drive-by messages as well. I like your interpretation of that saying and how you have internalized it. I also like what you wrote about the “flow” of your life. I characterize that flow as the energy that the Lord gives us to meet all those demands in our lives. He blesses us with sufficient strength to not run faster than we are able so that He can bless others through us.

    Some of the basic things like service with a smile are brought more into focus for me if I view it this way: I am putting the Lord first so that he can work though me without me resenting the outflow of my time or energy. I’m not sure if this makes sense but it came to mind when I read about giving God what is right and flow. Somehow, the energy of the Lord flows through us to others when we have put God first in the ways your mentioned like prayer and scriptures.

  2. Margaret D says:

    I like the quote by Pres. Ezra Taft Benson:

    “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities” (Ensign, May 1988, p. 4).

  3. Rachel Woods, About.com Latter-day Saint Guide says:

    Thanks for this post and the challenge… recently I’ve more clearly seen the Lord’s hand in my life as I’ve put forth effort to give to Him first.

    I think this falls under God’s promised blessing:
    “For whosoever will save his life, must be willing to lose it for my sake; and whosoever will be willing to lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (JST Luke 9: 24).


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