Perfect soft cotton T-shirts with ok, but first coffee are only too true. We have a coffee first habit in the upper NW corner of the States. Shamefully I must admit, even most churches have a coffee stand in them. So in preparing for Made New 2015 I decided to spin it and see what the scriptures say should be our “OK, BUT FIRST”
Mary of Magdala had her ok, but first when she witnessed the death conquering victory of her “Rab-bo’ni!” (which means Teacher) Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (John 20:17)
Matthew writes of her beautiful exchange in more detail.
Matt 28:7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.
8 So they left the tomb hastily with fear and great joy and ran to tell the disciples.
9 And as they went, behold, Jesus met them and said, Hail (greetings)! And they went up to Him and clasped His feet and worshiped Him.
10 Then Jesus said to them, Do not be alarmed and afraid; go and tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see Me.
In the midst of unexpected or heightened activity, you find out what you’re made of- Mary found her first response to Jesus- worship. Before faithfully proclaiming the news of his victory over death- she worships.
Even Jesus gave his but, first before He returns and lights up the sky from one end to another. He prioritized his order of events in this statement to his followers:
Luke 17:25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
And then He gave us our but first priorities. Not the wearing the the t-shirts mentioned before but the seeking of the Kingdom of God.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness-
But first be concerned about God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and
all of these things will be provided for you as well.
The but first for leadership?
1 Kings 22:5
-Then Jehoshaphat added, “But first let’s find out what the LORD says.”
Before war, before leading, or making decisions first find out what the Lord says.
The but first for the church?
2 Corinthians 8:5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave- And this they did, not as we expected, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Give yourself first to the Lord, then to others, keeping with the will of God. First daily give yourself to God.
Mark 13:10 But first, the gospel must be proclaimed to all nations. The FINAL most important But first, given to us by the word of GOD for all of us-ok, but first this Good News must be spread to all nations.
If you want to know your current ok, but first take a reflective look at these questions- written by Tozer.
1. What we want most;
2. What we think about most;
3. How we use our money;
4. What we do with our leisure time;
5. The company we enjoy;
6. Who and what we admire;
7. What we laugh at.”
― A.W. Tozer