The Bible calls on Christians to put God first and to live out Jesus’ commands to love the Lord and love others. But what does it really mean to put God first in the modern era? It’s quite complicated considering the chaotic and busy nature of life, though there are some valuable and easy-to-implement tips for creating actionable steps for putting God first.
Proverbs 3:6 proclaims, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Here are just 10 ways that you can put God first:
Start Your Day With Prayer
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
The Bible makes it clear that prayer is essential. Begin each day with a prayer to God, thanking Him for another day and asking for guidance to cope with the ups and downs that are sure to come. Starting the day with Jesus is the best way to put God first and set the day in motion.
Consider Creating a Verse Card
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10
Another step toward putting God first revolves around taking the time to write out a Bible verse each day on a sticky note or index card — a scripture that you can look at throughout the day as you meditate on things that truly matter. Posting this verse around the house or putting it in your pocket is a great way to keep truth close to your heart.
Play a Morning Sermon
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” -John 10:27 (NIV)
Sometimes it’s hard to find time to infuse truth into the morning routine, but with countless Bible apps and online resources, it’s now more possible than ever to play a Christian podcast , to listen to the Bible or to hear sermons while on the road or commuting.
Tuning in to Christian programming in the morning is one of the best ways to put God first and get your mind ready for the day.
Pray Throughout Your Day
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” -Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
Don’t just pray in the morning. Be sure to make a pointed effort to invoke God and to ask for His guidance as you journey through the day. Saying prayers at each meal or picking other times to remind yourself to focus on God can make all the difference, especially when problems arise.
Take Every Struggle to God
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
In addition to praying in the morning and throughout the day, be sure to take every decision and major struggle to God. There’s no set time frame for when prayer is appropriate, but remember that God is also the best guide when it comes to navigating tough decisions. He’s there; you simply need to ask.
Keep an Eye on Media
“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.’” -Matthew 15:10
In a world in which questionable messages often come through Hollywood and media, putting God first means making an active assessment of what you’re listening to and watching. It’s easy to slip into bad patterns and to forget that what media people consume can permeate their hearts and soul. If you want to put God first, it’s helpful to be sure you’re making wholesome or enriching entertainment choices.
Look for Ways to Help Others
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” -Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
Jesus’ first command is to love God, but it’s also important to live that out by loving others. So, if you’re looking to put God first, consider finding ways throughout the day to help others. This help can come in simple forms, like holding the door, donating food and resources — anything kind that expresses love for others.
Help Connect Others to God
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” -Matthew 18:20
God also calls believers to share the gospel with others, explaining Jesus’ sacrifice and the importance of asking for forgiveness of sins. If one is truly concerned with putting God first, then sharing the gospel is a key component to living out that desire.
Volunteer at Church
“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)
From weekly Bible studies to Sunday services and volunteering in various ministry activities, taking part in church is key.
End Your Day With a Devotion
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” -Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Just as you start the day with God, consider ending it with the Lord in prayer and devotion. Put God first by reading the Bible or a devotional that is designed to help you learn and grow. What better way to pursue putting God first than to start and end the day with Him?