The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 13 : The Gospel According to MATTHEW

[Chapter 21-4] (Matthew 21:12-32) Love God First and Foremost

(Matthew 21:12-32)
“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, ‘It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’’ Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant and said to Him, ‘Do You hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?’ Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there. Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, ‘Let no fruit grow on you ever again.’ Immediately the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, ‘How did the fig tree wither away so soon?’ So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.’ Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’ But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?’ And they reasoned among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us,’ Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus and said, ‘We do not know.’ And He said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said to Him, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.’”
 
 
I believe it is proper for a person to love and serve the Lord while living on this earth. Where should people place their hearts? People must fix their hearts on loving only the Lord. While people go on living on this earth, they cannot help but live among people because they are human beings. And human beings are social animals. Also, because they are created beings, they live in a world made by God. Yet, what is the proper way for people to live? We must have the correct knowledge of this, and we must live our lives according to our conviction. 
Don’t people think that it is right for one to love God as well as people? However, it is a human thought, and not that of God. God tells us to love only God. This is what is proper for us as human beings. Reminiscing on how we have lived, we haven’t been able to do either of these things well: Loving people and loving God. If we try to do both at once, quarrels will occur, and being unable to do either one, we will fall into misery.
Christians also have the so called “one hundred and eight agonies,” which is frequently mentioned in Buddhism. Agonies fall on people because they do not know what they should know and do not love whom they should love. Agonies fall on Christians also if they love people as well as God. It is right to love people and to love God. But people should be clear about the order. God loves human beings. Also, God told us to love Him and love our neighbors as we would love our own body. In order for us to do both, we must first love God. We must love only God. The fact is that only when we do this, we are able to love our neighbors also. We must realize that we get to love people only when we love God. We must always keep this fact in mind.
God tells us this one thing; to love God first of all. Not only is this God’s Law, but it is the truth in which we the saints go on living. The truth is that even when we receive salvation, we must love only God, and after having received salvation, we must love only God. God has made us humans in such a way that we should love only Him. In truth, God has created us for that purpose. It is the Law of God to have made the saints love only God. We must realize this truth. 
However, because we live among people, we cannot ignore relationships with people. The Lord said, “Love your neighbor as you would love your own body,” so how can we not love people? Dear fellow believers, if we love God, we will be able to love people also. But, if we try to love both at once, we will neither be able to love God nor be able to love people. There is a proverb that says, “if one tries to catch two rabbits at once, the person will fail to catch even one rabbit.” Chasing one way trying to catch a rabbit and then chasing the other way trying to catch another rabbit seen on the other side, one is bound to lose both rabbits. For us to believe in and follow God is the same. This proverb is an extremely plain story, but it is a plain and simple truth. It is even told in the Scripture passages we read today, and it actually applies to the lives of us, the saints. 
If this part does not become clear in our lives of faith, if this iron law is not kept, and if we do not realize this as the truth, then our faith will be degraded, and we will only suffer agony between God and people. It is logical to say that the life of faith would not be a joyful life since there is only agony. Isn’t it that way for those whose life of faith is difficult? We suffer agony for no other reason than that. We suffer agony when we start wondering about the question, should we love God first and foremost or should we love the world and people first. 
However, if you truly want to love others, you must first know that it is right to love only God. I pray for you to love only God. In doing this, we will naturally love others, and in return, they will become happy. Only when we love only God, do people whom we love become happy. Do you understand this? For this reason, you and I must love only God. We must know and believe that it is right to love only God, and then lead a life of faith. I would like to speak to you about this part.
If we look at today’s Scripture passage, Jesus went into the Temple. They sang praises, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9) Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem sitting on a donkey. He drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” (Matthew 21:13). Jesus went into the Temple of God and overturned the tables and seats of those who exchanged money and sold doves. Jesus kicked the tables and seats of the peddlers and by making a whip with strings, drove out cows and herds of sheep. After this, the peddlers packed up their things and ran away, stunned and pale. 
From this passage, we learn that Jesus loved God the Father only. He said, “My house is a house of prayer.” People who truly believe in God must love only God. Only then, does God provide everything to them. This was the way of receiving blessings. But people were gathering up their own profits from the Temple first. They sold doves and sheep inside the Temple while saying that they believed in God. These people were making profits by taking advantage of God’s name. How can one pursue their own profit regardless of God’s will while saying that they love God? Of course, they must have loved God. But, the fact is that they loved people and themselves ahead of God. By this, I don’t mean to say that you mustn’t love yourselves as well as other people. But, only when we genuinely love only God, will we be able to genuinely love people, too. 
When Jesus went into the Temple, He drove out all the peddlers. He healed the blind and the lame and received the praise coming out of the mouth of nursing infants. Then, He left the city and lodged at Bethany. Outside the city, when the Lord saw a fig tree with leaves ever so green, He cursed it. He came to it thinking it would have borne appetizing fruits. But when He saw that the tree had no fruit and was just thick with leaves, He placed a curse upon it by saying, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” 
What do all these things say? If those who say they believe in God love and resolve in their hearts to follow only God, the fruits of faith will be borne plentifully. But, the passages tell us that God had cursed those religious people who were without fruit for having loved people instead of having loved only God. If people were to love only God, they would receive and enjoy all the God-given blessings, and bear much fruits of faith. They would love other people within the Law set by God. But, they hadn’t done so. These words are words spoken toward us also. 
We, the born-again people, must follow only God. It means that we must love only God. Only then, through us, does God save those around us and bless them. No one can serve two masters. If we were to try to love people as well as God, a conflict arises in our hearts. God truly loves human beings. We also know that it is right to truly love others. 
But, God tells us to love only Him. The fact is that only then does our love for other people become realized. Only when we love only God and choose God as our first priority, does He grant us all the things that follow. This is the law of God. Throughout the Scriptures, you have seen the people of Israel becoming wealthy and realizing a reign of peace when they were following only Jehovah God, and keeping and abiding by the Law of God. But, what happened to them when they started loving people and serving idols all the while saying that they love God? They became ruined. From that, we must gain wisdom. We must acknowledge, believe, and follow well what God is telling us; we must love only Him. 
In order for you to receive the blessing of God, I have the responsibility to tell you this truth whether you understand it or not. If I do not guide you properly, your hearts will become misguided for not having received proper instruction and receive the curse from the Lord. If that happens, it will be my responsibility. So I must teach you properly, even in words. As for you, you must understand properly. Though our deeds might be lacking, we must go on living by understanding the Word and believing in it. 
It is easy for people to receive the remission of sins. Anyone who denies oneself and accepts the Word can receive the remission of sins. God has blotted out all the sins of people, and anyone can receive the remission of sins. However, those who receive the blessing from God are those who believe that it is right to love only God. Only those who know God properly and love God get to receive the blessings in the spirit and in the flesh while they go on living on this earth.
Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? Having seen that the tree had no fruits, He cursed it. Why wasn’t there any fruit on the fig tree? Where would a fig tree that does not have any fruit be? Fig trees grow well in warm-weather regions. That is why there is great number of fig trees in Japan whose climate is warmer than Korea. 
By the way, why did the fig tree, which grows well in warm-weather regions, not bear any fruit? Where was the fig tree that did not have any fruit? It was in Israel, where fig trees grow well. Because of God’s Divine interference, the fig tree had no fruit. It was only full of leaves. A fig leaf looks like a flat hand. Such wide leaves block out the sunlight, don’t you think there must have been a lot of shade under that tree? Jesus went near the fig tree, but there was no fruit, so He placed a curse upon it that it will never bear any fruit. 
Looking only on the outside, a person who loves only God may seem to be lacking, but the person’s spirit and flesh get to receive blessings. For those who know that it is right to love only God and believe this, their actions may be lacking, but they receive abundant blessings from God. People who love and serve only God cannot help but receive blessings. A man who has only God in his heart, a man who properly knows God and loves and follows Him first and foremost on this earth, receives blessings even if he were to fall down while walking on a road. Everything he does will turn out well. 
However, if we were to love both God and people in our hearts, with these two objects of love at the same level, there will be no fruit of faith. For that, only thick leaves will be seen. To become a blessed fig tree, we must love only God. We must realize that loving only God is proper. For the saints to receive blessings is simple. Receiving the remission of sins is simple, but receiving the blessing is simple also. If someone were to love only God and obey only God, that person will surely receive blessings. Someone’s receiving blessings can be seen with my eyes, and I am able to know by faith and say, “Alas! That person is receiving God’s blessings.” 
However, there are those who say, “We are human beings nevertheless, so I should do this,” thinking they know more than God, and loving people more, not loving only God. But that is in line with weak human conditions. After having received the remission of sins, we must love only God first and foremost. Do you understand this? We must love God first and foremost, and then, second and third, we can love other things. Loving people is correct. But, we mustn’t love people and God on the same level. We must love only God first and foremost, and then we should love people as second and third. We must prioritize the objects of our love.
This part must be well set in our hearts. Only then will we bear fruit in our lives, and can receive the blessings. Yet, many people are mistaken about this after receiving salvation. We must enlighten them on this. We must have the order set in our hearts as follows: Love God first and foremost, love people second, love material things and such third, and so on. As long as these are set in proper order, God will have fruits to be borne through that person, and God will bless the work that the person does.
God, in His power, had the fig tree to no longer bear any fruit. A tree can bear fruit only if God allows it to bear fruit. What power is there in us? We must understand this truth clearly, and we must keep our faith firm. If this is not set in order clearly in our hearts, although we may have received salvation for free by having said “hallelujah”, we might unknowingly love God and people at the same level. That is why our hearts feel troubled. It seems that we must give love here and give love there. Dear fellow believers, just put a little bit of a difference between your love for God and your love for others. I pray that you will know that it is right to love only God. I pray for you to know that it is right to have such faith as this. 
It is important for us to have our thoughts in order like this and to have in our hearts the faith that it is right. In doing this, we will be able to love people second. If we were to love God first and foremost and to love people second, God will realize all your wishes. God, the God of Order, the God of Omnipotence, will guide that person, bear fruit through that person, and bestow His grace upon all things that person does. And He makes that person’s soul prosper. He makes that person prosper in all things and be in health (3 John 1:2). This must be well embedded inside the hearts of all saints. 
Though we may be lacking in our deeds now, we mustn’t be discouraged because of it. As human beings, we are always lacking until we die. So, instead of being bound by one’s own lacking, we must go on living with clear priorities set in our hearts as to what we should love first and foremost, what we should love second, and what we should love third. Do you understand this? It is right to love God first and foremost. Do you believe like that? Yes, it is right to love only God first and foremost. It is right to love human beings second. It is right to love material things third. I am not saying to you are to love nothing else except God. The problem is that the priorities of your love are wrong, and if the priorities are right, then there is no problem.
We will take a look at the Scripture passages starting from verse 23. “Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?’ But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?’” 
When Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey, people spread their clothes on the ground, held palm tree leaves, and gave praise, saying, “Blessed is the Son of David, He who comes in the name of the LORD!” In short, the people of Israel welcomed Jesus, saying, “The King of Israel.” When Jesus came into the Temple amid people’s ardent ovation, it is said that He overturned the seats of those who sold doves inside the Temple, though He did not shake His fists. Then, He healed a blind person, and as He saw the leaves of a fig tree, He cursed it. 
Upon seeing these sights, the Pharisees asked Jesus, “How funny. Here is a Man who had appeared like a comet. Since the days of Creation, there hasn’t been anyone like Him. Because of Him, a blind person opened up his eyes. He placed an eternal curse upon a tree, and cast away those who were inside the Temple. Up until now, there hasn’t been anything like this, but by what authority are You doing these things?” Just then, Jesus asked them, “I also will ask you. The baptism of John, where was it from? Is it from the heavens or from men? John the Baptist gave the baptism. Then, is that from God or is that something the man had created himself? You tell Me.” Jesus is truly wise.
People at the time regarded John the Baptist as a prophet. For 400 years, from the end of the Old Testament until the beginning of the New Testament, no servant of God had appeared in Israel. The history of this period is referred to as the history of the middle era between the Old and the New Testament. For these 400 years, there wasn’t a single prophet or a servant of God. Everyone was corrupt. But, John the Baptist, clothed with a garment made of camel’s hair, shouted out from the wilderness, “Repent, you brood of the vipers. Come here and receive the baptism. And soon, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, will take on your sins like so. Repent and believe in the gospel. Receive the salvation by believing in Jesus Christ.” Many people of Israel who had heard his shout turned their hearts back toward God, and, having come back to God, they believed that Jesus Christ would soon save them from sin by receiving the baptism.
That is why the Pharisees could not answer the question thrown by Jesus. They couldn’t provide an answer because they knew that John the Baptist was a prophet. These people said that they loved God, but because they loved God and people on the same level, they weren’t able to precisely say that John the Baptist had come from God. It was the will of God for John the Baptist to come to this earth. He was Elijah whom God had promised to send, and he was truly the prophet of God, as well as the last High Priest who had shared together with the Lord in the work of completing all the righteousness of God by baptizing Jesus. Thus, he gave people baptism as a sign of repentance and gave Jesus the baptism. The baptism given to Jesus was the baptism of righteousness. 
Surely, he was a High Priest that came as the descendant of Aaron the High Priest. It was very self-evident, but the Pharisees could not answer the question thrown by Jesus, “The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?” As I have told you, they couldn’t answer because their love for people was as much as their love for God. So, although the Pharisees knew that John the Baptist was a man of God and a servant of God, and that the work John the Baptist had done was the work of God, they couldn’t speak the Truth as the Truth because it would be betraying the people. It was because they had a heart that loved people more than God. 
We are also like them. Clearly, both of these two issues sit in our hearts. There is our love for people and there is our love for God as well. But, we are prone to treat these two objects of our love the same, without any discrimination. From then on, problems start for us. It can only be a problem because we won’t be able to say what is right is right and to say what is wrong is wrong. Because of this, we are not only unable to properly follow God, but also unable to receive blessings from God, and we prevent those that we love from receiving the blessing, also. If we truly do love people, we must first of all love only God. We must love God first and foremost, and then love people second. In doing this, you and I will receive blessings from God.
Referring to the baptism of John the Baptist, the chief priests and the elders of the people replied to Jesus out of fear for the multitude, “We do not know.” Then, Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” Isn’t Jesus the Son of God? Isn’t He also God? He is surely the Son of God and God Himself. In the Gospel of John chapter 1 verse 1, it is written, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and everything in this universe, He created them with the Word. The Word commanded, “Let there be light,” and then there was light. And as mentioned in John 1:1, “The Word” refers to none other than Jesus. It tells us that Jesus Christ, the Creator, has existed even since the time when God had created the heavens and the earth in the beginning. 
The word Christ means “the anointed King” (Daniel 9:25). Who is the King? Who is the Creator? The King, also the Creator, as well as the Savior who has come to save us is none other than Jesus Christ. He is our God the Savior. In other words, He who is God had personally come to this earth as the Savior in order to save us. We have received salvation because He has saved us from sins. Dear fellow believers, do you understand this?
Yet, many people do not believe in Jesus who is God. They do not even believe in John the Baptist as the one who has come from God, so how could they believe in Jesus? If Jesus had said, “I am none other than God. I am none other than the Son of God,” in front of Pharisees, do you think they would have believed Him? On the contrary, they spoke ill of Jesus, saying, “blasphemous.” They accused Him and killed Jesus by making false charges against Him. Jesus had never committed a single sin, but the title of the charge under which Jesus had died by crucifixion was that He was “blasphemous”, that is, “impudent before God.” 
The people of Israel had brought a charge against Jesus. Just as they said, “That Man calls Himself to be the Son of God. And, He says that He is the King. Such a man must be killed by being nailed to a cross,” Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you really the Christ?” Jesus said, “You spoke.” Not wanting to kill Jesus, Pilate then said, “If You tell me the truth, I can free you for I have the power to do so,” but Jesus answered, “If God hadn’t given you such power from above, you would have no such power.” Those words mean “I have temporarily given you the power to kill Me by crucifixion.” 
But the people at that time did not know about the work that Jesus was carrying out. They couldn’t have known about the work that Jesus was carrying out because they had loved people as much as God even though they did love God. And so they weren’t even able to see the work that God was doing. They couldn’t know about it, believe in it, receive the salvation, and receive the blessing from God. It was because they did not love God first and foremost. Instead, they had loved people and God the same, loving both by having placed them on an equal level. 
Let us look at the passages of Matthew 21:28-32. “‘But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said to Him, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.”
It is right for us to love only God first and foremost. When we love only God first and foremost, we get to see clearly the work that God does. When we love only God first and foremost, our hearts become peaceful and set in order and we will be able to follow God. We will be able to receive the blessing from God. The attitude of our hearts must become this way also. We may be weak and lacking, but our hearts must clearly love only God first and foremost. We should love people second. We should love material things third. When we spoil the work of God, it is because we love God and people on the same level. That is why our hearts become dark and weary.
In the passage above, the man told his sons to work in the vineyard. Just then, the eldest son answered, “I go, sir,” but did not go. The second son said, “I will not,” but he felt remorse and went off to do work. Between these two, which one did according to the wishes of the father? It is the second son. 
Do you know why Jesus spoke of these words? We are those who had loved God and the creation just the same. We were those who had no priorities. But, with those words as a parable, the Bible tells us that the second child was right. Although the first son had answered, “Yes,” he did not do as he was told. The second said, “No.” Soon after he felt remorse and came back and did the work. 
We haven’t been right before God. We had loved God and people the same. Even though we knew that it is right to love only God first and foremost, we hadn’t done it. So, although we hadn’t obeyed at first like the second son, we must now obey the Word of the Father by repenting and turning back at once. It is right for us to love God first and foremost by repenting and turning back, and then to love people second.
God speaks of the salvation He has given us, but He also speaks about what sort of a person enters into the way of His righteousness, receives His blessing, and is approved by Him. Ever since the creation, many people weren’t able to receive salvation because they had loved God and people the same or loved man more than God. They would have been saved if they had loved God first and foremost, but they weren’t able to receive the easy salvation because they hadn’t loved God in the highest precedence. People who knew that their hearts must love God more and carried out that belief came to receive salvation even though their actions may not have followed fully to that extent. 
Why can’t people receive salvation? They cannot receive salvation because they love God and people the same. That is, they love God and people on the same level. That is why people cannot receive the great grace, the great love, and the great salvation given by God. Dear fellow believers, we have been the same. Even after having received salvation, although we knew that we must love God first and foremost, we did not do it. Now, we must repent in our hearts. We must love God and grasp and follow the Word of God by repenting, saying, “It is wrong,” and coming back to what is right. 
If we realize that it is wrong to love God and people the same, we must repent and then, all we have to do is to raise God to a higher place in our hearts and bring people down to a little bit lower place. Then, all we have to do is to love only God first and foremost. This is proper. After starting to love only God, if we were to love people as instructed by God, we would be entering the way of God’s righteousness. Having received the salvation and entered a life of righteousness, the sunlight will shine upon that person’s spirit. The person will be able to live radiantly in brilliant glory, receiving blessings.
Beloved fellow saints, we must love God first and foremost. And, we must repent of our having loved people as much as God. People who had repented this way during the days of Jesus were none other than the tax collectors and the harlots. Jesus accepts such humble hearts. 
Jesus Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him” (Matthew 21:31-32). In what way did John come to us? He came to us in the way of righteousness. John came to preach the way of righteousness. He came to preach the way of righteousness that makes us just and allows us to receive the remission of sins. Many people followed God by realizing that and repenting, becoming a part of the righteousness of God. 
However, the Pharisees did not believe as it is written, “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him” (Matthew 21:32). Why didn’t the Pharisees believe him until the very end? It was because they had loved people and God the same. The Lord says that they weren’t able to repent because they had love people as much as God. 
As we well know, John the Baptist came to us in the way of righteousness. He came to us as God’s servant with the way that makes us righteous. At the time, John the Baptist clearly said, “Jesus will take on all our sins by receiving the baptism like this,” but these people did not believe his words. Why didn’t they believe his words? Even by looking at his outer appearance, John the Baptist was clearly a man of God. 
People could see that his words, no matter how one sees them, were not the words of a human being, but instead his words were a message from God. Yet, why didn’t people back then believe him? They did not believe in the words of John the Baptist because they had loved people as much as they had loved God. Furthermore, all people who hadn’t received salvation were like that. Why weren’t they able to receive salvation? Jesus had blotted out all the sins of the world, but why weren’t they able to receive salvation? All they have to do is to accept it as is. But because they had no space to take in God’s love, for they had loved people as much as God, they weren’t able to receive salvation. 
Also, why aren’t we able to receive the blessing after having received salvation? If the born-again people did not receive the blessing after having received salvation, it is because they did not love God first and foremost. In other words, they have loved people as much as God, or, loved people the same as God. If we were to love God first and foremost and then love people second, God will surely give us His blessing. Though our actions may be lacking, we must draw a clear line in our hearts. 
God commanded us, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Your hearts and mine must look toward God first of all, and then we should love our own selves and other people if we want to receive His blessing. If you fellow saints wish your household to be well, your spirits to be well, and your business to go well; if you wish your life of faith to go well, and if you wish your descendants to be well, then live well before God for all eternity as you receive blessings by uniting with the Church. When we do this, we get to truly receive the blessing from God, and we are not the only ones to receive the blessing, but so will our descendants; and people around us get to receive the blessing also. This is the faith of following only the Word. You and I must know the truth. If we do not understand this truth properly, we will become confused. And once again, we will fall into the lies of Satan the devil, and then we have no choice but to fall into that curse. 
Dear fellow believers, shouldn’t we be clothed with the grace of God in order to live a blessed life? We all need the grace of God. We cannot live a blessed life by our efforts alone. Keep in mind that if we want to live receiving the grace of God, we must love only God first and foremost. Only when we have this type of faith, then proper actions will come out from us, and we get to go on living in grace before God in all that we do, all the while receiving the blessing before God. Do you believe this? 
Dear fellow believers, did you have the heart of having loved people as much as God, or didn’t you? Speaking honestly, even though you have received salvation, you did not know that you must love only God first and foremost, and this truth was not clearly set in your hearts. Haven’t you loved people unknowingly the same as God by placing them at the same level with God? When you do this, you will discover that your life of faith becomes difficult and that you will again and again fall into a slump. 
Also in the life of faith, you must place people below God. You must place God on the highest level. It is only right for God to be seated in the highest place in our hearts, to receive the glory, and to receive servitude from us. It is right for us to love only God the most. This must be established clearly in our thoughts, and it must be established in our hearts by faith as we say, “I love God first and foremost, and this is proper.” If we do this, then God will take responsibility for the rest and guide us. 
I hope you will live your lives by having established in your hearts the faith of believing in this truth. As we go on living, isn’t it true there are so many difficulties and troublesome tasks? However, the only way for us to escape from all that chaos, and to solve the problems, is by setting the priorities straight in our hearts. If we start setting the priorities straight in our hearts, things will get solved from that moment on. And if there are still some problems that do not get solved inside our hearts, I believe that God will gradually solve them for you. Do you believe this? I hope that everyone throughout the world will believe these words, and not just you and me.