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First Things First

First Things First

The cowbird does something unique to the avian world.  In order to shirk its duties as a parent, the female cowbird will remove an egg from the nest of another bird species, destroy the egg, and return the following day to lay her egg with the other eggs in the nest.  The cowbird then leaves the egg to retain and maintain her previous lifestyle while leaving the builder of the nest the responsibility of rearing the cowbird chick.
 
Our Father in Heaven knew, because of our sinful nature, we would be tempted to leave the “first things” to others while looking to our own self-interests.  (Pause for Thought:  “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  I Timothy 5:8.  Knowing we are made up of spirit, soul, and body, and knowing we relate to our Heavenly Father in spirit—“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”  John 4:23-24—what must we make a priority in our lives to be fully complete and approved by God?  Who has God chosen to be our children’s primary spiritual care-giver?)
 
A wise and judicious institution or government will always see the family as the cornerstone of community, and it will not place anything above the family’s spiritual, soulful, or physical welfare.  Godly parents/children will not sacrifice their family’s welfare for personal gain.  (Pause for Thought:  “The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies.”  Esther 8:11.  “A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.”  Proverbs 15:27.  In what ways has the family been under attack by Satan?  In what ways has Satan “bribed” you to be fearful about making your family’s spiritual welfare a priority?  Has he bribed you with financial security?  Ministry?  Self-peace=lack of internal/external conflict? Time?)
 

The tragic story of the cowbird doesn’t end with the destruction of just one egg.  Most nest builders will accept the cowbird egg and try to raise the chick as their own.  However, the cowbird grows fast and large to the point it will out compete the other chicks for food until they die.  A few birds, like the robin, will recognize the intruding cowbird egg, and its parent’s selfish intent.  The egg will either be destroyed or covered up with the rest of the eggs in hopes a second nest will not be invaded.  (Pause for Thought:  “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.  If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?”  I Timothy 3:4-5.  How will you make the spiritual welfare of your family a priority this week?  Is there something you have to give up to make this so?  How will you do it?)