HIS KINGDOM, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS
We live in an age of dramatic distraction. Many of us know what we need to do, but we can become sidetracked by many competing demands. The result is we’re unsure if we have a proper sense of our priorities. Jesus addressed this problem in the Sermon on the Mount. He taught the people that they did not need to be in bondage to worry. Jesus elevated their perspective from an earthly mindset and He put their focus upon God:
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33
Many people are seeking to make a living, but not a life. We may discover too late that the most important things in life aren’t things, but our relationship to God and people. The word seek conveys the idea of a careful investigation or search. This is a present tense imperative, which means that we are to keep on seeking.
So what trips us up? Too often we may attempt to obey Jesus’ command in our own strength. We think if we can get our act together, then God will accept us. We feel that we need to be better, do more, try harder and get our act together and if we can’t, at least act like like we have our act together. This results in failure and we experience frustration. We place ourselves under the yoke of legalism – legalism may be described as anything we do to earn God’s favor. It’s not about our performance, but it’s what Jesus has already done. We need to learn to depend upon the Spirit’s power to enable us to work out what He works in! The Apostle Paul revealed that it’s not about our efforts, but we are saved through God’s grace:
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
When Jesus said that we are to seek first His kingdom, He did not say we that we are to become an ascetic. We are to replace earthly desires with a pursuit that has far greater significance in this life and the life to come. The word first denotes that which is most important.
What are you seeking in life? C.S. Lewis in The Joyful Christian writes, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth thrown in, aim at earth and you will get neither.” Goethe taught us, “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”
The word righteousness is a demonstration of Godly character before God and men. Would others describe you as a person of character? The more you focus on God’s kingdom and righteousness, the less you’ll think about your worries. Is your focus on your problems or God’s promises?
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