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Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV: Matthew 6:32)

One Sunday morning, I was in church listening to the sermon when the sweetest memory I’ve had in recent months drifted through my mind. Even knowing my mind was supposed to be on Jesus, I was tempted to linger, to taste, to remember.

Suddenly, I was ten years old again, back at my grandmother’s house raiding her peach tree in the backyard. My mind was focused on the peaches at the top of the tree where the biggest, ripest, juiciest peaches lay like plump jewels kissed by the sun. My fertile imagination had no problem whatsoever conjuring up the taste, the sweetness of the juice as I bit into the firm ripe flesh of the peach. I could literally feel the juice slowly dribbling down my chin.

The topic of the sermon was “First Things First” and it was about putting God first in all things. I searched for the significance of “peaches” so I could put it in some sort of biblical context but I didn’t find a parallel until three days later.

God and I have conversations while I am stuck in traffic which is most mornings. Most of the time I do the talking but occasionally, God will share His thoughts and that morning, He helped me relate the peaches to seeking His kingdom.

On my way to the top of the tree, I encountered several perfectly good peaches but my eye was on the peach at the very top of the tree. That was my goal and I was focused; determined to reach it at all cost. I could feel the weight of the peach; taste the ripe sweetness. I wanted that peach more than anything and no other peach would satisfy my craving. The other peaches were simply distractions.

God is the peach at the top of the tree and the peaches along the way are just distractions to prevent us from giving Him our full attention. When we seek God, our path is often littered with distractions—family, finances, relationships, jobs, etc. Of course, those are healthy distractions but we are also faced with negative influences that can produce road blocks and detours—worry, sexual desires, idolatry, jealousy, anger, malice, illness, greed, addictions, etc. that separate us from God. The list of distractions and negative influences is endless.

We must be prayerful—constantly and consistently (Ephesians 6:18) always making sure we put God first. He has promised if we seek Him first, He will take care of all our needs (Matthew 6:32) and even give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). 

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