We have many firsts in our life. For me I am writing my first post for the Young Calvinists blog. Starting when we are young we have our first steps and first words. As we continue to get older we may have our first day at school, first job, first time driving, first date, first hospital visit, first broken bone, or first death in the family. These first in our lives never stop. We are always greeted by something new. Many of these firsts bring us great joy, but others bring us to sadness and pain. But what do we make first in our life? What do we center our lives around, what is the first thing we think about as we wake up? Jesus tells us, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…” (Matt. 6:33).
We are called to devote ourselves to God in our lives. With every first we achieve, or face with fear, we put God first. We must have the mindset of John the Baptist saying in our heart, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). We are to set our minds on God and devote ourselves with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
We must be active in the life of putting God first. It is against our natural inclination to put God first, and the devil uses all his tricks to try and keep us from putting God first. Many temptations besiege us, we are faced with the desire to put that great book we are reading, the television program, the game whether sport or digital, our friends, ourself, and so many other things before God.
Thankfully we are not left on our own to live this holy life of putting God first. We are given the Holy Spirit who works in our heart to hate evil and therefore love God. We are also given brethren and sisters in the Lord who admonish us and gently help to point us to the right path again. As we continue to walk in our lives and face new firsts may we always remember that God must be first. To Him alone be all the glory.
Are you mindful of God? Do you stand in awe of His creation? Are you mindful of Him as you stand on the summit of the mountains? Are you mindful of Him as you gaze at a rainbow or watch the sun set over the lake?
Yes, yes, yes, you most likely answer to all those questions. It is an incredible moment when you’re standing in awe of God’s creation, 100% mindful of God in every little detail you see. Maybe it’s the great outdoors that brings you speechless or full of praise. Perhaps it’s holding a newborn baby, examining their fingers and toes, and thinking about their tiny hearts beating. How wonderful it is to feel God’s presence and know that all things are created God.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
But let us always be mindful of God. Not only when earthly emotions stir up feelings of love toward our Lord. Be mindful of his glory, mindful of his power. Mindful of his love, and that we are His people. Mindful that he created us to love Him and serve Him, and that we are loved by Him. Mindful that He is always watching, and mindful that He is always with us. Mindful even when nothing seems majestic and beautiful. Mindful even when we don’t see any reason to be thinking of God. Mindful during our prayers and devotions… or mindful when we don’t do our prayers and devotions. Be mindful in our thoughts, and be mindful when nobody is looking.
It is easy to be mindful of God while you’re in the Rocky Mountains, and it’s hard to be mindful of God when we’re with our friends. But is either more important?
“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour” (II Pet. 3:2).
We often think of the Bible as a kind of “how to” to live our life. After all, Scripture is full of statements like “obey thy father and mother,” “pray without ceasing,” and so many other directions. Our devotions can become centered on this aspect of God’s word as well – often consisting of reading a passage and meditating on how we are called to live based on that passage. None of those things are wrong. We do find valuable instruction on how to live our lives in the Scripture, and we should read the Bible from that perspective and think about it often. However, something we can tend to miss with that focus is what Scripture reveals about the greatness of God.
Isaiah 40 lays out the greatness of God using many beautiful metaphors. Isaiah begins in this chapter comforting the people of Israel, telling of the deliverance God will give them from captivity. He then describes the greatness of the God who will deliver them. Reading this chapter puts awe in the heart of the child of God – our God is so great, so all-knowing, that He knows exactly how many specks of dust there are in the earth, and knows the exact measure of the heavens. Nothing man has calculated, no scientific or mathematical theorem can come close to determining those numbers. As far as our finite minds can see, the universe never ends – but God knows its exact bounds.
Verse 15 describes the magnitude of every powerful and great nation in the world to God – a drop in a bucket, or “less than nothing” in verse 17. The governments on this earth seem so sovereign and have so much authority in our eyes – laws are passed that have great effect on our daily lives, wars are declared, and taxes are required – but all their might is puny compared to the might of our God. Even the most powerful of men is as only as strong as a grasshopper in comparison to Him.
His glory is seen even more clearly when we look at creation in the proper perspective. When we realize that God is the one who “stretched out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell there in”, we can examine every aspect of creation and see His amazing design – from the inner workings of our own body, to the fish in the deepest parts of the sea, and the weather patterns that stretch across the entire globe. Wherever men stand in awe at nature, make sure you “lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things.”
And now remember how Isaiah started this chapter – this is the God who will deliver His church Israel. This strong and powerful God who Isaiah has described is not some abstract higher being who really has nothing to do with us. He is our God. He is our strength when we are weary, or when we are struggling with sin. God chose His people out of all the insignificant nations of the earth, loved them with His powerful love, and used that power to deliver us from our sins through His Son. How great is our God!