Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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First Things First

Editorial by Marvin C. Brown, III

One of the most important principles found in Scripture is that of God being first.

In Matthew 22:37–39, we read, “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (NKJV).

Jesus’ greatest commandment is that God is to be number one in every category of our lives. For God, being number two is not an option. So, for those of us who insist on being number one in our spouse’s life, that goes against God’s teachings.

When God is first in our minds, we are constantly seeking His wisdom, guidance and will for our lives.

Furthermore, just as a spouse desires to be cherished and loved by their partner, God desires to be the utmost priority in our affections. He wants to be first in our hearts, where our deepest emotions and desires reside. When we love Him with all our heart, we are willing to surrender our desires, dreams and ambitions to Him, knowing that His plans are greater than our own.

Just as a spouse desires to be intimately connected with their partner, God desires to be first in our souls. He longs for a deep and personal relationship with us. When we love God with all our soul, we open ourselves to be transformed, shaped and molded into the unique individual He created us to be.

This commandment also reminds us that we are to extend the same love, care and kindness we have for ourselves to our neighbors. As we celebrate with family, friends and even strangers during the upcoming holiday season, let’s remember to be compassionate, understanding and generous.

Let’s strive to make God the center of our holiday celebrations. I trust that our love for Him overflows, guiding our interactions with others and creating an atmosphere of gratitude, love and unity.

During this holiday season, let us not only count our blessings, but may we be a blessing by loving and serving those around us. In doing so, we honor God’s commandments and fulfill the greatest desires of our hearts.

Marvin C. Brown, III, serves as the president of the Allegheny West Conference.

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