First Things First


If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
John 3:12

While Christians have access to the peace that passes all understanding through the Holy Spirit, we still must admit that we can often be discomfited by circumstances that we face at all levels. None of us has the full picture, and the struggle to find the truth and to live a meaningful, fulfilling life can seem incomprehensible or even impossible at times. In these moments or longer seasons when we face both external and internal obstacles, we are confronted with a paradox:

Why does everything seem so complicated when we are told that the truth is simple?

We have a natural tendency to presume that the more complex and challenging something is the more sophistication and value it has. While this may be accurate in certain circumstances, this tendency often leads us to overlook the simplicity of the truth – especially the most important truths:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:13

Really? Our natural mind pricks us: surely it can’t be that simple; it’s too basic; there’s no way it’s that easy…

Do you believe the Word of God?

We commonly spend our lives before coming to the Lord toiling in our own efforts to achieve some set of goals that we have fashioned for ourselves based on circumstance and societal conditioning. The simplicity of the truth of the revelation of Jesus is either cause for great offense or much greater relief. Our fleshly nature isn’t partial to admitting that all of our years and decades of work and effort were a waste of time, but the Holy Spirit can show you both this truth and the ultimate freedom that it brings in only an instant. The simple truth of the gospel finds a welcome home in those who have been humbled and meekly know that their own strength cannot sustain them.

[Jesus] said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3-4

Christians, do we really believe this the way we must? In a time of complexity, uncertainty, and strife, we would do well to remember that the truth is by nature simple. We live in a time when the heap of lies and deceit around us is so vast that it can obscure our focus and seem insurmountable. Yet what a peace arises when we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow God to write His Word on our hearts.

One bite of real truth eclipses an interminable buffet of falsehoods if it is received willingly and with thanksgiving.

The world today tells us that being ‘basic’ is to be avoided at all costs. The Word of God says that it is essential that we focus on getting the fundamentals right. Once that foundation is strong in the Lord, then we can be lead to greater and higher things.

First things first.

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