This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33, NKJV.
On every hand there is that which would tempt the Christian to forsake the narrow way; but those who would perfect a character fit for eternity must take the will of God as their standard, separating entirely from everything that is displeasing to Him. Thousands are betrayed into sin because they leave the citadel of the heart unguarded. They become engrossed with the cares of this world, and true godliness is driven from their hearts. They rush eagerly into speculation, seeking to accumulate more of this world’s treasure. Thus they place themselves where it is impossible for them to advance in the Christian life. “Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” And while you pray, strive earnestly to guard your heart from all pollution; for prayer without effort is a solemn mockery.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Every moment of our time belongs to God, and we have no right so to burden ourselves with cares that there is no room in our hearts for His love. At the same time, we are to obey the injunction “Not slothful in business.” We are to labor, that we may have to give to him that needs. God does not desire us to allow our powers to rust through inaction. Christians must work; they must engage in business; and they can go a certain length in this line, and commit no sin against God.
But too often Christians allow the cares of life to take the time that belongs to God. They devote their precious moments to business or to amusement. Their whole energies are employed in acquiring earthly treasure. In so doing they place themselves on forbidden ground.
Many professing Christians are very careful that all their business transactions shall bear the stamp of strict honesty, but dishonesty marks their relations with God. Absorbed in worldly business, they fail to perform the duties they owe to those around them. Their children are not brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The family altar is neglected; private devotion is forgotten. Eternal interests, instead of being put first, are given only the second place. God is robbed because their best thoughts are given to the world, because their time is spent on things of minor importance. Thus they are ruined, not because of their dishonesty in dealing with others, but because they have defrauded God of what is rightfully His own.–The Signs of the Times, December 17, 1896.