Some people believe that the spoils belong to those who hustle. They tend to think, “I’ve got to make things happen.” “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done.” “It all depends on me.”
Others take a more laid back approach. They believe, “Good things come to those who wait.” They may view the hustler as being overly ambitious while the latter may judge the former of being too lackadaisical.
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Jesus recommends way of life which turns both the conventional hustle and laissez-faire approaches upon their head. His approach is counter intuitive. He said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Matthew 6:33, NLT). He’s saying, if you will make knowing God and living right your top priority in life, then you can trust that your needs will be met and that things will work out as they ought.
My 20-year-old son, Caleb, recently illustrated the power of Jesus’ words. He is studying vocal performance at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. While home over summer break Caleb said, “Many of my peers in Nashville are putting all their energy into getting a big break. For them,” he said, “it’s career first, then God next, when they have the time.” Caleb went on to say, “a few of my friends and I have decided that we are putting God first and career second. We trust that by doing that, our careers will work out as they should.”
This summer, Caleb was unexpectedly blessed with an invitation to audition for the Nashville Opera Company. He landed two roles for the upcoming season. I’m proud of my son, of course, for the big break into professional opera. I’m even more proud, however, that he has his priorities in order.
Here’s how kingdom-first living looks: Accept Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. Spend time getting to know him daily. Follow Jesus. Plug in to a good church where you can serve and grow in your knowledge, understanding, and application of his word in your daily life. Then, experience the joy of putting God first. Understand that when you are blessed beyond what you need, it is so that you can be a blessing to others.
Killingsworth is pastor at College Avenue Baptist Church, Normal. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org