Preacher's Blog

Preacher's Blog

“The Struggle of Keeping God First in Our Lives”

Categories: Christian Living, Encouragement, Family, Joshuah Ellis, Preacher Life

I’ll be honest with you all. I am not feeling it today. My head is congested. I am tired. My last semester of Grad School seems to want nothing more than to destroy me. I am trying to sell a house. And, to top it off, today is my youngest son’s Birthday. So in the midst of all this chaos, I am trying to make today a special one for him. Then I remembered today is Tuesday. Blog day. So if I am being perfectly real with you, I have no idea where this post is going because I am just making it up as I go along. I don’t even have a title for it yet.

Oh yeah. I almost forgot that the Chicago Cubs, my all-time favorite baseball team is in the World Series for the first time since 1945! They play game one tonight. I guess I say all of this to convey the point that the last few days have been filled with all sorts of distractions, both good and bad. I find myself here frequently and have to really be aware of where my priorities are. As much as I hate to admit it, there are times when my Bible Study and prayer life can really suffer. So today I think I want to talk about how we prioritize our lives and the importance of keeping God first in our lives, even when we are distracted.

Take this head cold for example. I am always thinking about it, because it is driving me crazy. I remember to take my medicine when it’s time so what I am seeing is that it is occupying a lot of my attention. What I am remembering now, however,  is that I have suffered from a much more severe illness. Sin. So today, whenever I start feeling bad because my nose and head seem to be malfunctioning, I will make the effort to remember that I have already been cured in the best way possible (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Our house not selling is a huge burden on us right now. It is definitely trying our patience and causing some stress in my life. Every time I think about it, I feel that ache in the pit of my stomach. Doubt. Fear. Anxiety. Not today, though. Today I am going to make an effort to remember that every struggle has value and that it will make me stronger if I let it (James 1:2).

Grad School. Ugh. So much to do. So much pressure. So many demands. Well, not today. Today I am going to be grateful that I have the opportunity to study something I love and that this will better enable me to be a stronger husband, father, and Christian. Today I will just give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Then there’s the birthday boy. This little tasmanian devil disguised as a blond haired and blue eyed cherub. He’s not a baby any more and he is intent on making sure that his mama and I know it. While he demands a lot of my attention, which can also be stressful at times (especially on birthday’s), today I am just going to focus on the fact that my number one job is to point him to Jesus and help him get to heaven. Today, I will be a godly father (Ephesians 6:4).

And now on to the Cubbies. For the last month, I have been obsessed. Watching games, wearing my favorite cubs t-shirt until it became a health hazard, and cheering them on to their first World Series in 71 years has been a big part of my life. I love my Cubbies. I will watch them play tonight and I really REALLY want them to win. But, today, they will occupy their proper place in my life. Before the game I will read my Bible, spend some time in prayer and try to encourage some of my brethren. I will honor God first (Matthew 6:33). Period.

I am not sure if this is helpful or nothing more than a cold-medicine induced rambling. I don’t even know if I will feel the same way tomorrow. However, today, I am going to focus on today (Matthew 6:34). I am going to focus on what I can control in this moment. I am certainly not saying that you have to do what I do, but I hope that you can find some value in this post and maybe even some encouragement to focus on the present. Even if you haven’t been living right or putting God first, please know that you can start right now. Do one thing at a time, point yourself toward Jesus, and you’ll finish the race (Hebrews 12:2).


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