Friday, April 29, 2011

First Thing First

Three times in the Sermon on the Mount the Lord tells us what to do first.

"First be reconciled to your brother" (Matthew 5:24). The Christian life has both horizontal and vertical responsibilities, toward God and toward men. We can not separate one from the other. If a man says he loves God, he will prove it by loving his brother. The Lord Jesus makes this clear that the gift at the alter is of no value unless our hearts are right with each other. Our religious activity might fool men, but they will never fool God. He see our heart.

"Seek first the Kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33). This whole section has to do with worrying about things. But the Lord Jesus teaches that things cannot be at the center of our life, God must be! "All these things shall be added unto you." The things of life that we think are so important are really only additions, fringe benefits that come when we put Christ first.

"First cast out the beam out of your own eye" (Matthew 7:5). Take the two-by-four out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Don't be harder on other people than you are on yourself. There is nothing sinful about wanting to help my brother see better providing I have 20-20 vision myself.

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