But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Matthew 6:33 NIV
When we make something "first," it takes priority above everything else. It is our top objective and our primary motivation. First can be good, like valedictorian in your class, or recognized as top in your career. But we can also put harmful things first. For example, an acholic puts drink first, and the greedy put money first.
In our spiritual lives, we need to put our relationship with God and our search for righteousness above all else. Anything other than first is well, less -- it is saying God is second-best. Yes, there are things in life that are important, just not as important. Jesus acknowledged this when he talked about "all these things," he said, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'" (6:31) When we put God first, he provides the rest.
We all have competing things in our lives that want to become our firsts. Satan uses anything possible to distract us from our God focus. He can use even the harmless needed items; what we eat and drink, the clothes we wear, and the homes we live in and make them our idols. But there can only be one first; everything else follows. To quote Will Ferrell's character Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights, "If you ain't first, you're last."
God, you are First. You are the First that in the beginning created all the other firsts. But, we confess, we often stumble, we fail to make you our priority, putting other things ahead of you. We become caught up in the temporal things and fail to remember; you are First. Please forgive us, and help us as we strive for righteousness. We pray this in Jesus'' name. Amen.