Spiritual Values: God First

November 6, 2018

“…but you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will come to you as a matter of course.” (Matthew 6:33 J. B. Philips translation)

The message of the entire Bible can be summed up in two words: “God First.” Over and over the bottom-line truth in a Psalm, the life of a Bible character, a parable, a metaphor, and a teaching of Jesus comes down to this simple concept: “God First.”

That is not easy. In fact, it is impossible without the Holy Spirit. (1Corinthians 12:3)

I was blessed to have a godly mother who often said to me: “If Jesus Christ is anything to you, then Jesus Christ is everything to you. Because until Jesus Christ is everything to you, Dick, He isn’t really anything to you.”

As I carefully studied the values of Jesus Christ, I realized that my mother had the Lord’s support when she brought my profession of faith to a verdict in this way.

Matthew 6:33 is the conclusion of a study given by Jesus regarding values. He taught that our hearts are where our treasures are. He also taught us where our treasures and our hearts ought to be by challenging us with questions like: “Where is your heart? What are your treasures? What is your life? What is your body?” and “Who is your master?”

The conclusion to this treatise on values is the declaration to seek God first. Think of a target with a bulls-eye surrounded by ten or twelve circles. According to Jesus, the bulls-eye of our priority target should be that our first value is God. We are to put God first. If we do that we have Christ’s promise that God will bless us with whatever else we need.

When we think about our values these two words should immediately surface in our hearts and minds: “God First.”

Dick Woodward, 09 November 2010

What is a Mother?

May 8, 2015

Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.” (Psalm 128:1-3)

When you meditate on these verses in Psalm 128 that describe the role and function of a wife and mother, you can paraphrase them this way: a mother is a man-maker.  She is like a fruitful vine in the very heart of her husband’s home.  To borrow a metaphor from the very beginning of the Bible, she is a completer whose passion is to see that her husband becomes all that His Creator designed him to be.

She is a people-maker because she gives him children who are like fruitful plants around his table.  Many people would like to put a period after the fourth word of this psalm and say that everyone is blessed or happy, but that is not the way the psalm reads.  The blessing on this man comes because he meets conditions: He walks in the ways of God.

The other verses of the psalm tell us this is how God blesses and impacts the world.  He finds a blessed man, joins him to a blessed woman, and gives them blessed children.  They impact Zion- which is the spiritual community- and then this family unit fruitfully impacts the city and the country.

A mother is at the heart of this great strategy of God.  As such she is also a home-maker and a memory-maker.  What a great and noble calling!

Rise up and call your mother blessed this Sunday!

Dick Woodward, (07 May 2011)