What Do You Have In Your Jar? (Matthew 6:33)
A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him when the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full… they agreed it was. The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. "Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life if you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal." Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked." "It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
Now, I ask you the question… What do you have in your jar? In the book of Matthew the 6th chapter and the 33rd verse it say, "but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." As you see in the story it shows that you must have your life in order and prioritized in order to possess a life that is full. Much of our time as young people, is manipulated by the small things that occur in our life, many a times we focus on attracting the opposite sex, making sure we keep up with the styles and today's fashions, trying to be with the "IN" crowd and trying to keep up with the Joneses'. We worry about making money and getting cars, jewelry, and being rich and we neglect those things that we should have at the top of our list such as pleasing God and building a greater relationship with him. As in the story, if you put the small things first you won't have room for the important things which leaves us with an unsatisfying and unfulfilling life in which happiness is only temporal. In our scripture, Jesus exhorts us to seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, the Greek word that is used for 'Kingdom' is "BASILEIOA" which means 'royal power, kingship, dominion, rule not to be confused with an actual kingdom of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah, of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah's kingdom, a kingdom, a territory subject to the rule of a king, used in the New Testament to refer to the reign of the Messiah." So when he says seek ye the kingdom of God, he means we are to accept God's rule here and now, and enter into the realm of it's blessings in the future, for when we seek God's Kingdom and righteousness, we seek for God's rule in our lives. We must come to remember what the word says in Acts 17:28, "For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are His offspring." And that's where the second part of the text comes in…Matthew 6:33b "and all these things shall be added unto you." Just as a parent won't let their child go without, neither will God let his "offspring" go without either. When we set God, Our Father, first in our lives and seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness, all the desires of our heart, all of our needs, our life and everything else will be taken care of, for we must remember that the promises of God are Yea and Amen, and is faithful to fulfill His word. When we put God first in our life, when we put the golf balls first, then just like in the story, all the other things in our life will fall right in place, giving us a life that is abundant and rich. All things are in the hands of the Lord and if He is first in your life, you are given access to all of it, for the word of God assures us of that. In Psalms 24:1, It says "The Earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.", in Psalms 50:10 the Lord tells us "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." In 3 John 1:2 the word says, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." And if we put God first we can hold fast to the promise that King David realized in Psalms 37:25-26, when he came to a point in his life that after he had put God first in all things he could stand and say, "I have been young, and now am old: yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed." When we seek God's glory and will for our lives and do what he says do, he will make provisions for the journey and take care of all our needs, we will never be in lack for anything. Because God is the creator of all things, when we put him first in our life, everything, our family, our children, our health, our friends, our jobs, our houses, our cars, all the small stuff, everything that needs to be will be added to us and we won't have to worry about a thing because when we allow God to order our lives and have his rule in our lives we are placed into a position of favor and order. So when we put the golf balls first and let them fill our life, and let God be our first priority, then he will make a way for all those other things to fit in you life just like he did with the pebbles, sand and coffee, even with the little bit of shaking that takes place in our lives, he makes room and causes everything to fit in their own places, because when we give God total control of our lives we will enter into his rest and will be given the opportunity and rest just like the story talks about taking the time to share a couple of cups of coffee with a friend. When we seek first the Kingdom of God and all of his righteousness, our minds are shaped to do the will of God and when we follow the will of God it's the best place to be in this world because we know that it says in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." So we can hold fast to that promise that when God is first that all things work out for our God and will give us a life that is full and promising. So when you hear the question…What Do You Have In Your Jar?... that you can stand proud and say, "I have God first in my life and in my jar and that my jar is full of golf balls, pebbles, sand, coffee, and then some!" If you don't have God first in your life or if you don't have God in your life period and want God to be in your life and want him to be first in your life, I want you to pray this prayer with me,…"Lord, I know that I may not be all that I should be or could be, but God I thank you for being a Father to me, and keeping my life in order. Lord, I pray that you come into my life and be number one in my heart, my mind and in my spirit, that my life may be a full life where I never have to worry about being anything less than full. I pray that you teach me Lord to seek you first in all I do, not just for myself but for your perfect and divine will. Thank you adding on to me all the things I need and for counting me as one of your offspring. Fill me lord and let me overflow with all that you would have me say or do, as I strive to be excellent in your Kingdom. In your precious Son Jesus My Savior's Name, Amen." If you prayed that prayer I want you to keep in mind two scriptures that will help you in your journey, Psalms 37:23, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.", and Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Keep your mind focused on God put him first and your steps will be ordered by the Lord, as well he will provide a way for all you do according to his will and your life will be in a constant place of peace because the Lord is a keeper to those that love him and place him first. Be encouraged and keep your head up young people, find out what's in your jar and make that you keep your jar clean. God bless you!
-Min. Derrick Jackson