This traveler continues this journey on spiritual rough waters with a positive word. Not smooth but it’s worth it.
‘First’ is a word commonly associated with performance superiority. Where an individual considers a thing of positive value to him, he wants to be first, to gain an advantageous position, and it means acting before all others. In a competitive environment he wants to be the winning one when compared to others in the same arena. The competition may be real or imagined on the part of the person who is required to perform, often with a stated corporate goal (with his own personal agenda) within stated corporate parameters. In a modern competitive economy based on scarce and limited resources, there is no way anyone who wants a reasonable and sustainable living without being measured by parameters set for performance in a corporate society.
In summary, often we (earth dwellers) want to be first only when there is a competition for scarce resources. There is a finite limit no matter how advanced we may currently are in ‘creative’ technology and science. The resources of the earth are finite. Parameters set by human and enforced by those with authority and power can restrain mankind from harmful ‘excessive consumption’ within the known and predicted limits of time and space and power. Increasingly the ‘war’ to control resources will intensify in quantity and frequency.
Enough for the discussion of physical natural ‘doom’. How can Christians be hopeful for exemption from this inevitable natural constraint for all earth-bound mankind? For the spiritual (supernatural) Christian, the word ‘first’ could mean quite opposite in the spiritual dictionary. The focus makes a paradigm shift to a set of limitless parameters. Parameters not bound by scarcity of resources. Let us read some positive meanings of ‘first’:
First thing first: Whom we believe (limitless and preeminent -above all)
and did not know her till she had brought forth her first
born Son. And he called His name Jesus.
He is the image of the invisible God, the first
born over all creation.
And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first
born from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
[ The Last Enemy Destroyed
] But now Christ is risen from the dead, and
has become the first
fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first
born from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First
and the Last,”
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Christian’s strategy in a physical world:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things
(physical and other things to meet all your needs) shall be added to you.
The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops.
So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
Matthew 20:26-28 6 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,
“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
1 John 4:19
We love Him because He first loved us.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Hebrews 12:22-24 2 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
Two role models who scored ‘first’ in faith in action:
[ Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord
] Now when He
rose early on the first day
of the week, He appeared first
to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.
Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.
For the time has come
for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins
with us first
, what will be
the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
(to the church) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.