Wednesday, 23 November 2022
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33
Our reading today starts with verse19: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven …” What does this mean? The emphasis here is not to give undue priority to the materialistic things of this world, but give absolute importance to the eternal things of God. It doesn’t mean that it is sinful to have earnings and savings, but we should not live exclusively for these things; we are to have a balanced life, giving priority to filling the spiritual vacuum, satisfying the spiritual hunger thereby loving and honoring God. The will of God and the purpose of God concerning our life is to be diligently pursued.
Our key verse Matthew 6:33 is part of Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’- a sharp Scripture pointing to get our "priorities" right by "Putting God First" in our lives. Our success in life, accomplishing our goals and dreams have to be centered on God’s will for our lives. In all we do, we have to seek Him first. Anything that is not adding to our spiritual growth, but hindering and affecting our relationship with God and His purpose for our life, we need to let go. This phrase best summarizes what Jesus said: "first things first." If we consciously and consistently put first things first, it would absolutely transform our lives. The word ‘seek’ in the present tense means to "actively pursue" or "to go after" – which is a continuous process. When we seek the kingdom, we must first seek the King of the kingdom!
Not only are we to seek His kingdom, but "His righteousness" too—we not only seek God's rule over us, but we seek God's character within us. If God’s rule is over you and me, then His righteousness will be within us. Character is always seen by the way we conduct ourselves. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Matt.5:6)
Now the Lord says that if you will seek His kingdom and His righteousness, "all these things shall be added unto you." What "things" was the Lord referring to? – the things we need in our daily lives- food, clothing, etc.. Throughout history, Our God is Jehovah Jireh - our provider and He shall provide all our needs! (Gen.22:14). The Psalmist confidently wrote in Psalm 34:10: “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.”
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, on being asked about the secret of his success and the impact that the Salvation Army made in the world, spoke with tearful eyes, "I will tell you the secret. God has all of me. There have been men with better brains, greater talents, and greater opportunities. But, from the day I got a vision for what Jesus could do with the poor of London, I made up my mind that God would have all of William Booth." General Booth’s life was submitted to the One Commander of the Salvation Army- God Himself, whose power surpasses all other governance. Hence God meeting our provision as promised in Matthew 6:33 flows from the basic understanding that God is not interested in building our kingdom but committed to meeting our needs that equips you and me to build His kingdom.
The well-being of our soul and our eternal destination depend upon this priority of putting God "first.” 3 John 2 encourage us - “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” Blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence (Jer.17:7). May God bless us all with these thoughts!
Meditate on: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)