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Monday, October 12, 2020

Who Is First?

By David A. Sargent

     In her book My Memories of We, Mamie Eisenhower revealed some of the reasons why General Dwight D. Eisenhower was such a great leader.  He was able to inspire others to serve and sacrifice because of his deep love and loyalty to his country.  Mrs. Eisenhower said, “I learned early in our married life about his single-minded devotion to America.”
     At their first home — a small apartment near Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas — young Eisenhower kept his gear packed at all times.  He was ready to go anywhere when called upon to do so.  After they had been married only a month or so, Ike was given a new assignment that would take him away from home.  He came in and announced to Mamie that he must leave her for awhile.  She said to him, “Ike, you are not going to leave me this soon after our wedding day, are you?”
     Ike put his arms around his young bride and said, “Mamie, there is one thing you must understand.  My country comes first and always will.  You come second.”
     Mamie Eisenhower was shocked!  She was a nineteen-year-old bride who had been married only one month and now she had just heard the sobering words, “You come second.” *
     We may disagree with his priorities, but Eisenhower was right in the fact that we must determine who or what is going to be first in our lives.
     In order for our lives to be lived the way God intends, Jesus says we must put Him first.  "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [the necessities of life] shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).  An expert in the Law of Moses once asked Jesus, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”  Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment" (Matthew 22:34-38).
     First things first.  That's a statement of priority, and it's the way that we live life properly - if we put GOD first.
     Jesus showed us the way.  He said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).  Following the will of God took Him to the cross where He died for the sins of the world, including yours and mine (Philippians 2:5-8).  He did this to pay the price for the redemption of our sins (Ephesians 1:7).
     God will save and give eternal life to those who put Him first by placing their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
     Let's "get it right."  Let's live life the way God intended.  Put God first and follow Him faithfully.  Won't YOU?
- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled "Living Water." To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org

* As quoted by Rick Lance in "Discipleship: Following in His Footsteps," www.preaching.com.


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