Looking back at the core principles my parents taught me, I learned 3 things lived out by my father: discipline, hard work and honoring the Sabbath. As a son of an immigrant, my dad persevered as he learned English, eventually becoming a Ivy League student before entering the military. His service to this country in the Army reinforced these attributes while his Roman Catholic background instilled in him a wholehearted effort to attend church wherever he was and whatever else he was doing.
Although the jealous may give circumstance or luck the credit, its clear that his successful career in sales, nice house at the beach and extended health is directly related to Matthew 6:33. When an individual begins to seek God first by worshiping the Lord Sunday, starting each day in prayer or studying the Bible, these acts get God’s attention. If these selfless acts continue with the right motives, the promise of daily bread and other blessings follow. Sure, maybe my dad didn’t earn as much as he desired or reached the position of his dreams, but I see the fruits of his labor today.
While far from being perfect, I am trying to pass the baton to my own children so that they too may live a life of discipline, hard work and keeping God’s day holy. Though the hypocrite in me may steer my kids off course from time to time, I can’t help but cling to Jesus promise within Matthew 6:33. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteous and all these things (life, food, drink, clothes and health) will be given to you as well.” Before 2014 speeds up too fast that you can’t catch up, take some time to slow down, Psalm 46:10, so that the hope of Matthew 6:33 may find you and your family.
by Jay Mankus