Matthew 6:33–First things first


The primary relationship in life is one’s relationship with God. Matthew 6:33, the Verse of the Day for September 27, 2014, reminds us of this truth:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”

We also recognize “The first and great commandment: To love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.”

I see a similarity between the building of relationships, beginning with God, and the building of individual or separate fires in our lives. I became glaringly aware of this reality during graduate school while working on my doctorate, and I made this comment in an article entitled “‘My Soul Looks Back and Wonders. . .’ Reflections on My Journey”:

Getting a Ph.D. was important, unquestionably, but for me it was not the most important aspect of my life. My relationship with God is foremost in my life, and I attempt to always maintain that priority. My relationship with my wife and children, and others, at times, took precedence over my graduate studies. I learned how to keep many fires going at once–cooking at four different fires–moving from pot to pot–as a student–as a teacher–as a husband/father (home fires need special attention)–and as an employee. So often I felt like a Boy Scout, a builder and sustainer of fires.

A number of years prior to enrolling in graduate school, I participated in an outdoor wilderness experience at the Total Fitness Institute in California where I actually built a fire, the inspiration for this work:

Once I Built a Fire

For our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 12:29


Scout’s honor—Once I built a fire from scratch:

Gathered dried grass, spindly twigs, kindling and

A love letter, then proceeded as planned.

The careless wind brought me to my last match.

I held my breath and prayed this time it would catch,

Then knelt, exhaled, coaxing with bellows mild

As baby’s breath to inspire my ailing child.

Throughout the night I lie awake and watch.

Indeed, I did my duty to protect,

To build and gather even more to give

To nourish this infant and not neglect,

For no fire has power within itself to live.

Though ablaze, fire demands not less but more.

Once from scratch I built a fire—Scout’s honor.

How do you build and sustain an intimate, personal relationship with God? How do you also build close relationships at home, at school, at work or in some other social setting? Building relationships and then nurturing them so that they flourish and grow require being consistent and persistent in our efforts. The challenge is not only to build a fire but to keep the fire burning, recognizing that “home fires,” in particular, demand time, energy and consistency in order to obtain the desired results.

Inspired by Matthew 6:33, “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God” is offered as a scripture memory hymn:

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2 Responses to “Matthew 6:33–First things first”

  1. John Davell Says:

    BEAUTIFUL!!! Bless you sir!

    Sent from my iPad

    John Davell 1024 Pike Forest Dr. Lawrenceville, GA. 30045 770-842-0307 cell I thank my God always concerning you for the grace given to you by Christ Jesus. (1 Cor 1:4 NKJV)


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