Healthy Churches Keep First Things First
The ultimate goal of the church is not growth, great environments, or effectiveness. The ultimate goal of the church is to bring God glory. Everything is for His glory.
Healthy churches keep first things first. They passionately seek God. They are not driven by programs or numbers or accolades, but use them as they are driven by the Spirit of God and making Jesus’ name known. They are seeking God’s glory to be revealed through them. They are hungry to know God more. They understand that the Gospel is not ultimately about us, but it is about God. They constantly fight to keep first things first.
We see the first-hand struggle of doing for Jesus versus being with Jesus in Luke 10. This well-known story of Mary and her sister, Martha, stills speaks to us today about the need to keep our relationship with Jesus primary to our mission for Jesus.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Don’t busy yourself so much with God’s work that you forget to be in His presence.
As you read today’s scriptures, remember that you’re a follower of Christ first and foremost. Your ultimate goal is to know God and make Him known, all for His glory!
Luke 10:38-42 AMPV
Now while they were on their way, Jesus entered a village [called Bethany], and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was continually listening to His teaching. But Martha was very busy and distracted with all of her serving responsibilities; and she approached Him and said, “Lord, is it of no concern to You that my sister has left me to do the serving alone? Tell her to help me and do her part.” But the Lord replied to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered and anxious about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”
Matthew 6:33 AMPV
But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right--the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
Philippians 3:8-11 AMPV
But more than that, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him--a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him [believing and relying on Him], not having any righteousness of my own derived from [my obedience to] the Law and its rituals, but [possessing] that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith. And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did]; so that I may attain to the resurrection [that will raise me] from the dead.
Ephesians 3:18-19 AMPV
be fully capable of comprehending with all the saints (God’s people) the width and length and height and depth of His love [fully experiencing that amazing, endless love]; and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].
Psalms 96:3-8 AMPV
Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works and wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are [worthless, lifeless] idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Ascribe to the Lord , O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; Bring an offering and come into His courts.
Isaiah 43:7 AMPV
Everyone who is called by My Name, Whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”