If God is first place, who is second place?
In my post ‘Looking After Number One‘, we looked at the importance of giving God first place in our lives. But the question then arises, “If God is first place, who is second place?” Let’s see what the Bible has to say…..
At the very least, other people should be joint second.
The J.B Phillips translation of Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves. None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view“. So based on this, at the very least, other people should be joint second with us on our priorities list. But verses 5-7 clarify things further, “Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man“. Our example as to who should be second place in our lives is none other than Jesus Himself, who in His own words, “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). So the order of our priorities list is clear.
God can lift us far higher than the self promotion that the world advocates.
But let’s see what else the Bible has to say on the subject. The passage above in Philippians, talks of humility, or being humble. Both James and Peter are in agreement as to what the result of being humble will be. James says,”He shall lift you up” (James 4:10) and Peter says, “That he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). When we humbly put others before ourselves, God Himself will lift us up; and He can lift us far higher than we could get by the self promotion that the world advocates. Jesus certainly had much to say about helping others and putting others before ourselves. Jesus said, for example (verses taken from the Complete Jewish Bible):
- “When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him.” Matthew 5:42
- “Whoever has two coats should share with somebody who has none, and whoever has food should do the same.” Luke 3:11
- “This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you.” John 15:12
- “No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
God will supply ALL your needs.
As we follow the example that Jesus set and obey His instructions, we will always be ready to help others. Let me give you some more verses: 1 John 3:17 in the Common English Bible says, “If a person has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need and that person doesn’t care—how can the love of God remain in him?“. Romans 15:1 in the Message says, “Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us“. In Ephesians 4:28, Paul says something that I could base a whole blog post on, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth“. Simply put, Paul is saying that the reason for earning money, is not to meet our own needs, but to meet the needs of others – and God will supply ALL of your needs.
So if you need to a make a change in this area – do it! Start putting God first, others second and yourself last. You will find that the joy you experience will be far beyond what the world’s way of doing things can offer you. God’s desire is to bless you, so that you in turn, can be a blessing to others.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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