(Jesus said) "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:31-33
So, what do you seek first?
People seek first a lot of things. Joey Chestnut is one person who seeks something pretty strange. What? You don't know Joey Chestnut? That's a shame because he holds 14 world records. In his field, he's the best of the best.
Now, I suppose you are wondering, "Who is Joey Chestnut and what is his field?"
Those are fair questions that call for a fair answer. Thirty-two-year-old Chestnut comes from San Jose, California, but his greatest fame has been attained on July 4, at Coney Island. And the fame part? Chestnut's famous because he has regained the world's hot dog-eating contest championship.
That's correct. At the 100th anniversary of eating Nathan's Hot Dogs, Chestnut, also known as "Jaws," has taken the prize by scarfing down 69 hot dogs in ten minutes.
That's a lot of hot dogs.
Almost as impressive was the woman's hot dog battle that was won by Miki Sudo, who managed to beat out all the other ladies by chowing down 38.5 hot dogs.
Now, more than likely you are saying, "Hot dog eating is a pretty ridiculous sport or pastime, or whatever you want to call it. It's not necessarily healthy for the contestants, and it certainly isn't going to make much of a positive impact on the world.
I agree, which is exactly why I place this hot dog-eating contest before you.
You see, in the eyes of the Lord, anything that pushes aside the relationship He wishes to have with the sinners of the world is foolishness.
He sent His Son to rescue us from our sins. To that end, Jesus was rejected, ignored and murdered. The life of the sinless Son of God was put up as the ransom that would save all who are brought to Him in faith by the Holy Spirit.
In short, from God's point of view, if you have the risen Redeemer in your heart, you have that which is necessary for a successful life here and a blessed eternity in the hereafter.
Without Jesus, everything else you do is second-rate foolishness -- on a level equal with winning the hot dog-eating contest of the world.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may keep first things first in my life. When the world wishes to get us off track and pursue goals which are second-rate to You, may we hold fast and seek the kingdom of heaven, first, foremost and always. This I ask in my Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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