FIRST THINGS FIRST
Date: August 11
Category: Setting Goals
"[Put first things first.] Prepare your work outside and get it ready for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house and establish a home."
As you read through various passages in the Word of God, you can see that God is teaching us to strengthen our lives, our families and our homes. That is especially evident in this verse. It says here, "Put first things first." Prioritizing is so important for us to do. We need to prioritize our time to do the things that are most important first. When we do the two most important things first, then that is far greater and will bring us further ahead in life than accomplishing a bunch of less important tasks.
For example, when we wake up in the morning, we should make a list of all the things we need to do throughout the day. Let's say you come up with ten things that you have written down. Which of those things are you going to do first? Well it says here, "Put first things first." So of those ten things, you have to determine the two most important tasks. If you select two of the most important tasks and accomplish those two things first, but you are unable to accomplish the rest, you'd still be better off. Accomplishing the two most important things is far more beneficial than accomplishing eight less important things.
It's the same with our money. We have to prioritize our money as well. The first and most important thing that we have to do with our money is give our tithes and offerings to God. Then the second most important thing is we have to put at least 20% into a savings account for future investments. And according to this verse, the future investment that our money should be used for is to buy a house. It says in the second part of verse 27, "and afterward build your house and establish a home." Those two things should be the priority of our money. So before you do any little unnecessary spending, think about your priorities, which is tithing to God and saving up for a house of your own. Giving to the Lord and having a house of your own (debt-free) are far greater than having a whole bunch of little materialistic items, which are less significant.
The same is in our relationships. We need to prioritize our relationships, spending more time strengthening the most important ones. The first and most important relationship is your relationship with God. You have to set aside time to pray, read the Bible, and meditate upon the Word of God. Then the second most important relationship is with your family – first your spouse, then your children. So you have to spend time strengthening that relationship as well. Some people are married, but they still live like they're single. They leave their spouse and children and go out with their friends. You can't do that when you're married. Your friends are not your priority; your family is. So since your relationship with God and your relationship with our family are the two most important relationships, you have to spend your time nurturing those relationships first. If you don't have time to nurture any other relationship, then you'd still be better off because having a strong relationship with God and a strong relationship with your family is far greater than having lots of friends.
So we should always put the first things first. Then this verse says, "Prepare your work outside…" Most people work outside of their homes. Even those who work from inside their homes need to have some kind of connection with the outside world as well. Working outside is what will produce a stream of income for you and your family. Then it says, "..and get it ready for yourself in the field." We can understand the field to represent our area of expertise, whatever skill or type of work that we specialize in. So God wants us to work in the field that we're gifted in. Then it says, "..and afterward build your house and establish a home." So the work we do in the area of our expertise is what will produce our income. From that income, we are to build a house and establish a home.
That is the priority that God wants us to have. We can see here that our priority should be to better our lives, our families, and our homes. Many people just drift through life without prioritizing their tasks. They never discover their gift; they never work in that skill; they never save money, and they never build a house or a family for themselves. That's not how God wants us to be. God wants us to be productive and He wants us to make wise choices about our priorities. So today, let's learn from this verse and let's put first things first in our lives!