Putting First Things First

Richard Thetford

We must put first things first. If the things of the world make up our treasure, that's where our hearts will be, and where we'll put the bulk of our time, attention, and interest. On the other hand, if the things of the Lord constitute our treasure, our hearts will be with Him, and our time and attention will be primarily in His work. We'll consider worldly possessions of no importance and a distraction from the things that really matter. Our treasures will be spiritual in nature and laid up waiting for us in heaven.

On the matter of priorities, Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Our Lord's statement needs no explanation. One must choose whom he will serve. He simply can't give allegiance to two separate and conflicting people, institutions or ideals. Anybody who has ever tried to do so has found himself in the grip of a dilemma, torn between two loyalties, and unable to be true to either one.


Jesus' whole point in Matthew 6:24 is that He demands undivided loyalty. Our commitment to Him does not begin on Sunday morning and end on Sunday night. The Christian is on duty 24 hours a day. The worship services are a time for growing and fortification; but, remember, we need to be serving, building, and strengthening at all times. How is our service to the Lord? Are we fully committed to Him? Or, are we deifying His teaching by trying to serve two masters?