First and Foremost – Part II

This is the second installment in this series. If you haven’t read part one, I definitely recommend you do so now.  Click Here

When focusing on Christ and His church becoming first and foremost in our lives, it is imperative that we look at the teachings of Christ on the kingdom of God. This will clearly show us what God is looking for in His people regarding His eternal purpose. Nowhere in the teachings of Christ is this made clearer than in Luke 14 and Luke 9:58 – 62, especially concerning obstacles and distractions to the kingdom (His purpose).

“Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but first permit me to say farewell to those who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”    (Luke 9:57-62)

Let’s take a closer look at those verses.

Verse 57: Notice here with me that someone approaches the Lord Jesus and tells Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” Following Jesus is the key to fulfilling His purpose for your life. The Lord’s purpose is to have a kingdom, a family, a bride, a body, a city that will fully express His person and life. But in order to have this purpose He must have a people who place Him in His proper place, that is Lord and Head and Center of their lives! How can He have a kingdom without being the King (Lord) over His people?

“I will follow you wherever You go…”

That person had no idea what he was saying!

Then Jesus makes it clear with the statement: “the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Wow! Do you realize what He was saying? Basically He was telling and asking this would-be follower if he was willing to follow a homeless Lord! Obviously, the conclusion would be that a follower of a homeless Lord would also be homeless.

Dear reader…are you willing to be homeless to follow your Lord? Or is your home something very precious to you that you hold onto with clenched fists?

Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but first permit me to say farewell to those who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”   (Luke 9:59-62)

In these verses the issue is obviously family. This is a biggie! Certainly the “Lord” would not ask us to lay down our family for the kingdom! Would He? Absolutely! That’s what the word “Lord” means: He is First and foremost!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you ignore your family at all. It doesn’t mean that you love them less. But it does mean that when making decisions for your life and family…Christ and His kingdom (the church) comes first!

“Seek first His kingdom” Matt. 6:33 means exactly that! First in order and priority. In other words: First and Foremost.

But that’s not all…the Lord doesn’t just end there with our homes and families.

“Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat dinner in the kingdom of God!” Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great dinner, and he invited many, and he sent his servant at dinnertime to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to excuse themselves. The first said to him, ‘I bought a field, and I must go and see it. I ask you, have me excused.’ And another said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you, have me excused.’ Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'”
(Luke 14:15-20)

Ah! So now the Lord touches upon not only home and family but also business and marriage. The acquisition of possessions, financial security and marriage are all included within this passage. What a thorough Lord we have! He didn’t leave even one stone unturned.

Now some of you may be thinking “well Milt, when the Lord said to seek first the kingdom He was talking about me (individually) seeking God’s will for my life.” And I would have to say that is true, but not completely. Notice He is referring emphatically to a “kingdom,” not just God’s will for you personally. Yes, if you are a believer then you are part of the kingdom of God. But there is so much more to it. What is a “Kingdom”? Is it not a whole civilization of people who live under auspice of a King? It is a society, a corporate people, a city, a government, in fact this particular kingdom is also a new humanity, a new creation, and a new body of people who all live in the life and under the headship of King Jesus!

Brothers and sisters, if these words of our Lord do not get practical in your life then they are powerless to bear fruit for His kingdom. And what a glorious kingdom this is!

And THIS kingdom is to come first and foremost in our decisions, our homes, our families, our jobs, and every aspect of our lives.

But again…I must ask you some searching questions.

* Does this King and His kingdom come first and foremost in your personal life?

* Is this first and foremost in your family, your home, your decisions, and your relationships?

* Is the goal of everything you do geared toward this heavenly kingdom coming to earth as it is in heaven?

* Is this kingdom made practical in your decisions such as who to marry? Where to live? What job to take? How to spend your time?  How to spend your money?

  • Is the Lord speaking to you right now through this blog post?  Or are you making excuses why you cannot comply with the King’s wishes?

May His kingdom come (through you and I) on this earth as it is in heaven.

Please contact us directly if you are serious about God’s eternal purpose and want to know how you can get involved.  The Rebuilders

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For audio messages on this topic:

http://www.therebuilders.org/audios.html

More resources on this topic:

http://www.therebuilders.org/books.html

Read the next part of this post here.

 

Author: miltrodriguez

Milt is an author, speaker, and organic church planter.

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