by Tim Howard
Like many young children, I enjoyed learning and playing the game of baseball. One of my earliest memories has to do with ”T” ball. When it was my turn to hit the ball – at the ripe old age of 4,
I remember swinging with all my might. Believe it or not, I hit the ball very hard – I impressed myself! O.K. no one was pitching and the ball was stationary – But I hit it and I was thrilled.
Everybody cheered and shouted accolades with the sound of enthusiasm and joy until they saw me making my way to second base. I was running fast but their shouts of praise turned into a roar of correction and screams for change.
I didn’t know what they knew. You have to go to first base before you go on to the other bases! It was evident that pro ball was not going to be in my future.
What is true for the game of baseball is also true for your life. If you don't put first things first, you will lose – and no one wants to be a loser! No one makes plans to end up bankrupt and lose their business, reputation and possessions. Who marries someone with the desire to be divorced? Losing is not fun, and losing is not what God intends for those who make Him their priority.
Take note of the priorities Jesus mentioned – those things you should do ‘first’ before you move on to other things.
Matthew 22:36-38 "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the ‘first’ and greatest commandment."
To succeed in life you must make God the first one you turn to in life.
Matthew 6:33: "But seek ‘first’ his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Your first priority is to make God's business your main concern, even above your own.
Matthew 7:4-5: "How can you think of saying, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! ‘First’ get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye." Your top priority in life is to be willing to let God correct your life – before you make an attempt to correct others.
Matthew 5:23-24: "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. ‘First’ go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." The priority of making sure your relationships are free from anger, bitterness, resentment, envy, coveting and any damaging attitude is necessary for a healthy relationship with God
Priorities are essential for you and me to live a life of success and fruitfulness. I wasn’t aware of this principle at the age of 4 – when I hit that ‘T’ ball but I am now – even though Pro Ball is still not in my future.
You must go to first base – first! It's the way you play the game. If you are going to win at the game called life – You must set your priorities.