The Bible calls on Christians to put God first and to live out Jesus Christ’s commands to love the Lord and love others. But what does it really mean to put God first in the modern era? It can be complicated considering the chaotic and busy nature of life, but there are some valuable and easy-to-implement tips for creating actionable steps for putting God first.
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Proverbs 3:6 proclaims, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success,” and 2 Corinthians 5:21 adds, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” When we put God first, we live our lives with the purpose of pleasing God, following His will for ourselves and obeying by His commands and the Holy Spirit's direction.
It may not always be easy to put God first, or you may not know where or how to start seeking Him first day to day. Here’s a list of actionable things you can do to put God first. We'll also review some of the perfect Bible verses about putting God first.
Seeking God First
1. Start Your Day With Prayer
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” - Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
The Bible makes it clear that prayer is essential. Begin each day with a prayer to God, thanking Him for another day and asking for guidance to cope with the ups and downs that are sure to come. Starting the day with Christ is the best way to put God first and set the day in Be sure to ask Him to be with you as you move about your day, so you can continue to feel His presence in your life.
2. Consider Creating a Verse Card
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” - Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
Another step toward putting God first would be to take the time to write out a Bible verse each day on a sticky note or index card — a Scripture that you can look at throughout the day as you meditate on things that truly matter. Posting this verse around the house or putting it in your pocket, wallet or purse is a great way to keep truth close to your heart. No matter what your day brings you, having the Word of God close to you can remind you to seek God at multiple points throughout your day.
3. Subscribe to a Christian Podcast
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” - Galatians 5:16 (NIV)
It can be complicated to understand heaven, Christ’s love and the kingdom of God on your own. Because these ideas are hard to grasp is why you should consider subscribing to Christian podcasts that take an innovative approach to faith. Podcasts are a wonderful supplemental way to learn more about Christ, to deepen your understanding of Scripture and to learn more actionable ways to live out God's love.
4. God First: Commit to Reading One Christian Book Per Month
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” - 2 Corinthians 1:3 (NIV)
The Bible is essential to learning about the Son of God, but another wonderful way to put God first in the modern world is to commit to reading one Christian book per month. There are wonderful book lists that can help guide you in the right direction as you embark on a journey to build a more solid relationship with Jesus Christ. Daily devotional books are also a great way to deepen your relationship with God and put Him first daily.
5. Play a Morning Sermon
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” - John 10:27 (NIV)
Sometimes it’s hard to find time to infuse truth into the morning routine, but with countless Bible apps and online resources, it’s now more possible than ever to play a Christian sermon, to listen to the Bible and to hear biblical messages while on the road to or from school drop off, commuting to work or getting your morning coffee. Small little changes like this are what lead up to making a larger impact in putting God first in your daily life.
Tuning in to Christian programming in the morning is one of the best ways to put God first and get your mind ready for the day.
6. Journal Your Faith
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” - 1 Corinthians 15:3 (NIV)
As you navigate the Word of God, consider journaling your thoughts, prayers and reflections. Sometimes this helps you better understand the Kingdom of God and helps keep your faith in check. A journal is a wonderful and private way to speak to God. Setting aside as little as five to ten minutes to journal and talk to God is a great way to reflect on the day, see where you recognized God moving in your life and see where you may have failed to put Him first.
The true story of Rachel Joy Scott and her ferverant faith would not have been told in "I Am Not Ashamed" if it weren't for the journals she kept. Because of them, her story was able to inspire thousands of people.
7. Pray Throughout Your Day
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” - Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
Don’t just pray in the morning. Be sure to make a pointed effort to invoke God and to ask for His guidance as you journey through the day. Saying prayers at each meal or picking other times to remind yourself to focus on God can make all the difference, especially when problems arise.
When problems do arise, praying throughout the day will help remind you to pause and talk to God before reacting to the problem. This simple act can help you develop more patience and obedience as you continually put Him first when encountering different situations.
8. Take Every Struggle to God
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
In addition to praying in the morning and throughout the day, be sure to take every decision and major struggle to God. There’s no set time frame for when prayer is appropriate, but remember that God is also the best guide when it comes to navigating tough decisions. He’s there; you simply need to ask.
In "Miracle at Manchester," Brycen's life as a normal high schooler changes in an instant when he’s diagnosed with aggressive cancer. Brycen and his parents stop to pray every time through each new decision and hurdle they encounter while he goes through treatment.
9. Keep an Eye on Media
“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, ‘Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.’” - Matthew 15:10 (NIV)
In a world in which questionable messages often come through the media, putting God first means making an active assessment of what you’re listening to and watching. It’s easy to slip into bad patterns and to forget that what media people consume can permeate their hearts and soul. If you want to put God first, it’s helpful to be sure you’re making wholesome or enriching entertainment choices.
10. Look for Ways to Help Others
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” - Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
Jesus’ first command is to love God, but it’s also important to live that out by loving others. So, if you’re looking to put God first, consider finding ways throughout the day to help others. This help can come in simple forms, like holding the door, donating food and resources — anything kind that expresses love for others.
In "5000 Blankets," young Philip's wish to help the homeless in his community inspired a movement that gained momentum well beyond what he and his mom thought possible. His desire to help others inspired others in his community and across the nation to do the same.
11. Memorize a Verse Per Week
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” - Ephesians 3:12 (NIV)
In addition to creating a verse card, consider picking a Scripture from the Word of God to memorize each week. Over time, these verses will permeate your life and help you more readily act in accordance with your faith in Jesus Christ. Learning Scripture brings you closer to God and His Word, thus helping us seek Him first daily.
12. Help Connect Others to God
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” - Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
God also calls believers to share the gospel with others — to explain Jesus’ sacrifice and the importance of asking for forgiveness of sins. If one is truly concerned with putting God first, then sharing the gospel is a key component to living out that desire. Another way we can share the gospel is to spread Jesus' love for His people. By loving others how Jesus loves us, we can show our neighbors what God's love looks like in action.
In "A Thousand Tomorrows," Ali becomes an example of being a faithful follower of Jesus to Cody and leads him back to the church. Cody is awestruck by her sense of peace and faithfulness she has while battling her illness and desires to find the same. When Ali tells him that her peace comes from her relationship with God, Cody starts to explore his own relationship with God.
13. Volunteer at Church
“Not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)
From weekly Bible studies to Sunday services and volunteering in various ministry activities, taking part in church is key. Making time in your schedule to serve God's people through ministry activities and volunteering opportunities is another way of putting God first in your day to day.
14. End Your Day With a Devotion
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” - Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Just as you start the day with God, consider ending it with the Lord in prayer and devotion. Put God first by reading the Bible or a devotional that is designed to help you learn and grow. What better way to pursue putting God first than to start and end the day with Him?
In "Going Home," Charlie always ends her day on her porch, talking to God about what happened throughout her day. It's through this peaceful prayer time that she feels truly connected to God. Her daily ritual reminds her to always make time to talk to the Lord regardless of how the day went -- through the good and the bad.
Read Also: 20 Goodnight Prayers for Peaceful Evening
15. Make a List of Gratitude
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” - Ephesians 1:7
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re living out your faith in Christ is to focus on Jesus’ sacrifice with gratitude. Consider creating an ongoing list of things in your life that you’re grateful for — a list that you build on each day. Writing down what you’re grateful for will help you focus on the positive elements in your life.