A Word from Pastor Trocon Langford – Effort Baptist Church – Paynesville, Liberia -July 2022

Albert E. N. Gray spent his life searching for the one habit/discipline all successful people share. His essay
entitled “The Common Denominator of Success” revealed successful people’s common characteristic was not hard work, good luck, or astute human relations, although these habits were important. The one factor that seemed to transcend all the rest was the habit of putting first things first. He observed, that successful people have the habit of doing the things ordinary don’t like to do. Even successful people don’t actually like doing them either. But they subordinate their dislikes for the strength of their purpose.

Too many times we are caught up between the tension of what we want and what we need. Ordinary people go for what they want. Successful people pursue what they need.

Whenever you find ourselves wrestling between your wants and your needs, just know that you are being an ordinary individual.

This is why Jesus preached saying “seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these thing will be added to you.”

I can imagine this crowd, as Jesus was teaching in his Sermon on the Mount, he was speaking to regular people just like us. They were just like us as people with kids, problem, jobs and bills to pay. They had issues of health concerns, as well of social and religious matters.

Many of the issue we have concern about tend to become issues of worry. Jesus was urging his audience that Kingdom citizens should be people of faith and not live with worries and too much concerns about life. Jesus brings to us two truths about life and how it unfolds itself without much concerns and care as we do.

1.) Jesus speaks about the fowls of the air. The birds do not plant, harvest or store up food. However, he says that God feeds them daily (Matthew 6:26). Jesus also claim that human life is much more important that that of the birds. God sent his son to die for humans, not birds. Nevertheless, we quickly lose faith in God when things seems dark.

2.) Jesus speaks about the lillies (grass)of the field. They do not labor nor sew clothes. And Jesus compares King Solomon in his glory was never a match for any of the wild flowers. The morals of the message is, if the birds and the plants have very little value in life than us, are fed and look so beautifully dressed, how much more is God going to meet outer needs.

Therefore, if we believe and have faith in God’s provision and care for us, we must put first things first. Jesus in Matthew 6:33 cautioned citizens of the Kingdom to put life and its concerns behind and put God first.

We need to realize that God is more important than food, clothing and shelter to us. God is more than life itself. I want you to imagine, what if we have life with food, clothing and shelter. But at the same time we lack appetite, health (warmth) and sleep. God indeed blesses us with life, health, sleep and happiness. These are the thing that matter most to life.

As we celebrate our 175th Independence Day on July 26, I want us to reflect on putting first things first. As we look forward to general and Presidential elections in 2023, I call on us all to put first things first. It is God who matters first.

Rev. Trocon W. Langford (+231) 886515925/77515925

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