First Things First

Read: Matthew 6:33-34

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. (Prov. 24:27)

Recently I visited the historic sites of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood in Kentucky and Indiana. The Lincoln family led a hard life on a series of frontier farms. Everyone knows about the log cabins they lived in, but the first job was always felling the trees to clear the fields for planting and splitting rails for fences to protect the crops. First things first; crops before houses. Because it didn’t do much good to have a cabin if there was nothing in it to eat when winter came.

Besides offering good advice for early American pioneers, the proverb has some practical wisdom for us. It tells us to make sure we put first things first and second things second in our lives. It’s amazing how easily distracted we are, how readily tempted to do what we like rather than what needs to be done. It’s true with our Saturday chores, our homework, our jobs—and our life’s priorities. Jesus told us plainly what those priorities should be: God’s kingdom and his righteousness. Put those first things first, and the secondary things have a way of working out for us.

What does that actually look like? It can be something as simple as beginning each day with Bible reading and prayer before turning to our daily business. My pastor has a good formula: “Scripture before screens.” It’s remarkable what cultivating daily godly habits can do. —David Bast

As you pray, ask the Lord to help you be consistent in your daily devotions.

About the Author

david bast
Rev. David Bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.