How do we put God first?

We put God first by reconciling with the people God loves.

We put the invisible God first by reconciling with our visible mom, dad, son, daughter, in-law, neighbor, friend, etc. If you want to be right with God, do your part to get right and stay right with the people God loves. If you really want to be right with God, do your part to reconcile, even with your enemy.

Wouldn’t it be nice to just forgive the other person and never say anything to them about it? After all, God knows my heart. I will just move on with my life and never say anything about it. Why bother? I don’t want to be around them anyway. In fact, I would prefer to avoid them. I feel like I have done my part. Isn’t that enough?

When it comes to our relationship with Christ, there is a big difference between believing and following. And this is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to following Jesus. Believing is important. But following Jesus and doing what he says, that is where belief intersects our lives in a way that brings transformation.

If we are truly going to follow Jesus, we must learn to do what Jesus did. Think of how far Jesus went to reconcile God’s relationship with you. While we were still sinners, he died on the cross. This is how we glorify God in the way that we live.

Internalized religion is easy. It lets us off the hook. But when you have to live out the things Jesus taught in real life, that is where things get dicey. Jesus invites us to a much better way of living that makes the world a much better place to live. And this is how we live out the essence of what we believe as Christians.

As God reconciled with us, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to do everything we can possibly do to reconcile with others. God did not stop with forgiveness. He went the extra step to reconcile the relationship.

As Christ followers, we have surrendered our right to close the door on other people. If we are going to live by the Golden Rule, we will do for others what we would want them to do for us. None of us want the door to be closed on us. God reconciled with us so that he could have a relationship with us. Shouldn’t we do the same for others?

Steve Greene is the lead pastor at The Point in Seymour. Email him at [email protected]. His weekly blog can be found at Send comments to [email protected].