There are five questions you can ask if you want to know whether or not Jesus is first in your life. Many people say they love Jesus and He is first in their life, but they live like the world does. If Jesus is not first in these areas of your life then He is not first in your life at all. To guide us through the questions let’s use the acronym FIRST.
Finances: Is Jesus first in your finances?
Deuteronomy 14:23 says, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives” (LB). Don’t say that God is first in your life if He is not first in your finances. For Jesus to be first in your finances is to honor Him in your giving, to honor Him in how you budget and manage your money. Jesus understood that money is an issue with many people. God’s Word says that the love of money is the root of all evil and nearly half of Jesus’s parables used money as the object lesson. There is nothing wrong with having money or a lot of things, just make sure Jesus is boss.
Interest: Is Jesus first in your interests?
What are you interested in? What preoccupies your week? What books, magazines, shows, movies, and music are you drawn toward? Is Jesus a major part of your interests? If you don’t have interest in Jesus all week long then He is not first in your life. At the end of the day, if you have spent hours on Facebook, hours watching television, hours reading novels, hours messing around with your hobby but no time talking to Jesus, no time in His Word and you hardly thought about Him throughout the day then Jesus is not first in your interests.
Relationships: Is Jesus first in your relationships?
Do you do what Jesus says regarding relationships? Do you date unbelievers even though the Bible says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14, NLT). If you do, then Jesus is not first in that relationship. Are you loving your wife like Christ loved the church? If not, then Jesus is not first (Ephesians 5:25). Are you following your husband’s leadership as you would the Lord? If not, then Jesus is not first in that relationship (Ephesians 5:22). Are you obeying your boss with respect? If not, Jesus is not first in that relationship (Ephesians 6:5). Are you following the leadership of your church? If not, Jesus is not first in that relationship (Hebrews 13:17).
Schedule: Is Jesus first in your schedule?
What is your daily schedule like? Do you schedule times for prayer and studying God’s Word? What’s your weekly schedule like? Do you prioritize meeting with other believers to worship God, discuss His Word, and do ministry together? If not, Jesus is not first in your schedule. Just like you put on your calendar important meetings and dates, do the same for Jesus. Block off time that is His and His alone. Develop a schedule that honors God, ministers to others, and helps you become more like Christ.
Trouble: Is Jesus first in your troubles?
What do you do when trouble comes? Do you become negative? Abandon God? Get angry? Do you become depressed or afraid? When you meet someone who really has Jesus first, it’s not they are exempt from trouble, but when trouble comes they know who to run to. The Psalmist said, “The Lord is a… refuge in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9, NLT). When trouble comes and your first thought is not to seek God’s guidance and wisdom, then He is not first. When trouble comes and you try to fix the problem without God, He is not first. When problems arise and you turn to a pill, a bottle, or some other form of escape, then Jesus is not first.
Jesus made it clear when He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33, HCSB).
Questions to Consider:
- What would others truly say is first in my life?
- What evidence is there that Jesus is first in your life?
- If Jesus is not first, what adjustments can you make this week?
- Describe someone’s life that has Jesus first in their life. Does that description describe you?