January 1, 2021: Put God First
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33, KJV).
During my early teenage years, this verse became very special to me. Shortly after my baptism at age 13, my father died, and I was left to navigate life virtually on my own. The local Seventh-day Adventist church became a central part of my life, and I decided to live to please God in all things.
What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? For me it means to make God’s priorities mine and to incorporate the principles of His Word in every aspect of my life.
After completing high school in Guyana, I received a scholarship from the ministry of education to attend a two-year college. At the conclusion of the first term, I was confronted with the challenge of writing exams on Sabbath. I informed the dean that I could not do this because of my religious convictions. Initially, the dean told me that the school had always held exams on Saturday and that it would be difficult to change the schedule.
But God honored my decision, and for the duration of my time at that college, exams were no longer scheduled on Sabbath.
I have faced similar challenges here in the United States, but God has kept His promise in every situation as I have honored His Word.
Dear God, thank You for the gift of your Son, Jesus, for the presence of Your Holy Spirit and for the treasure of the Bible, Your holy Word. Please help me to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Amen.
David Richmond is a member of the West End Simple Home church in Pennsylvania.
- January 1: Put God First
- January 2: Light in the Darkness
- January 3: Live by Faith
- January 4: Prisoners of Praise
- January 5: Pushing Back Against Spiritual Distancing
- January 6: The Phone Call
- January 7: Just Ask
- January 8: Find Home
- January 9: Joy is a Promise
- January 10: Just the Boost I Needed
Join the Journey
To help you dig deeper into God’s Holy Word this year, we’re offering:
- Every Day—Read our Words of Life daily devotional book that features favorite Bible verses from members, pastors, students and leaders from across the Columbia Union. You can also read the devotionals on the Columbia Union app, and interact with the verses in our instagram stories.
- Every Week—Delivered straight to your email, read our e-newsletter by subscribing to Visitor News Bulletin at columbiaunionvisitor.com/vnb. Keep up with the latest Year of the Bible events, devotionals, videos and more.
- Every Month—This calendar, themed “Words of Life,” coincides with the devotional book and videos. It features a biblical topic and verse each month, with additional passages for further exploration, study and ideas on how to apply the concepts in your daily life.