Copyright 2023 © Philip Shelley. All rights reserved.
I want to ask you one question. What keeps you from your primary (first) love for Christ and for the people He’s given you to love? I like how one author puts it when he says that it's often a “seduction of the secondary” that keeps us from our primary (first) love for Christ and for those He has given us to love. Now, some examples of the “secondary" can consist of many things this life on earth has to offer. I can get into a lot of distractions that keep us from true intimacy with Christ, but, there are a few things that we don't think about that truly become first in our lives. They pull us away from what should be our first love and Unity with Christ and others. The "Secondary" can consist of a few things like commitment to a certain leader, our denomination (group), or the customs of our religion, whatever brand you associate yourself with. I know that might ruffle some feathers, but truly think about that.
Unity is difficult to grasp when we consider these secondary things, and they become the basis for judging or staying away from others. We can add on to this, things such as racial, cultural, or social differences. And sometimes education, position, financial status, or even political beliefs can stand between Christians, keeping them from loving one another and experiencing the unity that Christ wills for us. When we “major in the minors”, we end up separated from people who do not look, act, or talk like we do.
But there is a way to overcome this. By putting God first in everything, you will put every other thing in its Dynamic place. For example, we've heard the term "Family First", but I believe we have forgotten the greatest ingredient; God. If you're putting God first, I believe you’re putting your family first. It can never be the other way around. The only way to overcome the secondary is to make sure Christ is first and foremost in our lives, and to set aside the secondary things that have little ultimate value.
I’m going to leave you with this, and please allow it to penetrate your heart today. True righteousness and Godliness results from Jesus Christ living through you by the Holy Spirit. It is never achieved by observing some external code. Any attempt to achieve righteousness through a list of external do's and don'ts is fruitless. God calls us to love others and serve others just as Jesus did, by the power of the same Holy Spirit and in the same gracious freedom. The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives.
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
From today on, we need to be Living on the 9!
Live today producing this kind of Fruit!!