Kingdom Priorities for the New Year

Below is a digest of the daily email messages composed by Pastor Stuart Nice. This first week of 2016, he is sharing with us how to keep God's kingdom a priority in our lives. Click the title of each to read the full article.

First Things First | January 4, 2016
The most powerful catalyst for moving people through the stages of spiritual growth is the reading and reflection upon scriptures.

"But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you." (Matthew 6:33, God's Word Translation)

First Things First, Part 2 | January 5, 2016
The only true happiness we find in this world is found in our absolute rest in the Lord's ability to care for every detail of our lives. 

"Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless. The kingdom of heaven belongs to them." (Matthew 5:3, GW)

First Things First, Part 3 | January 6, 2016
Jesus equates our worship of God with our love for and reconciliation with others. We worship the Lord well by caring for His children.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift."
(Matthew 5:23-24, NIV)

First Things First, Part 4 | January 7, 2016
The goal of the Christian faith is to know Him, not to become "spiritual." This is one of the things that sets Christianity apart from other religious faiths and pursuits. Our endeavor is to not be seen as spiritual, but to be with by the Father.

"When you pray, go to your room and close the door. Pray privately to your Father who is with you. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you."
(Matthew 6:6, GW)

First Things First, Part 5 | January 8, 2016
The principle of returning to the Lord the tenth part of any increase, later known as the tithe, is a principle had been likely practiced all the way back to Adam, in which we see Abel offering his first fruits to the Lord in Genesis 4.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said,
   “Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
      Possessor of heaven and earth;
    And blessed be God Most High,
      Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
He gave him a tenth of all.
(Genesis 14:18-20, NASB)