Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Try Putting God First

Some things seem so obvious, until it comes down to actually putting them into practice. Putting God first in everything we do is one of those things that should be obvious, but somehow, it doesn’t always come across that way.  In his latest book The God First Life: Uncomplicate Your Life, God's Way (Zondervan, 2014), Stovall Weems does an incredible job in offering tips to make things a lot less complicated than we usually see them as being.
            Weems starts with a single, simple verse from the gospel of Matthew: Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt 6:33, NIV).  For such a simple verse, it certainly is powerful, so powerful that I wondered if Weems wasn't oversimplifying things. But he’s not. The place we should start is with God, and the rest will fall in to place. Ask anyone who tried doing things their way first, and then turning to God as the last resort. Most of them will be glad to tell you that they got things backward, and as a result they paid the price.
            A major premise of this book is that putting God first allows the Christ follower to reap the promises of God, a new family, a new life and, and a new freedom. I usually don’t like books which the author claims will give you anything, I read this book expecting to find the catch, to find the words which would seem to be adding something to the gospel of Jesus, but it just wasn't there.
            Another thing that pleased me about this book is that the author doesn't paint everything as coming up roses. He talks about servant hood, he talks about giving, yes, giving, as in tithing, as in ten percent to the local church, and he does so unapologetically.  We read that sometimes Christians suffer, just like anyone else, but it’s better to suffer as a Christian than as a non-believer.
            Well placed scripture references reinforce the whole concept of putting God first. He even includes a breakdown of the Lord’s Prayer to help people understand the purpose of each phrase.

            Thanks to the publisher for providing me an advance review copy of this book in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review.  

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