"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you."
This verse is one that is quoted often. I wouldn't be surprised if you've heard, read, or had someone share it with you before. It's a verse that tends to come up in seasons when you are struggling to trust God with a life circumstance.
I remember the first time a friend shared this verse with me. I was knee deep raising financial support to go to Poland for a ministry opportunity, and getting fully funded felt near impossible. My feelings actually revealed that I did not trust God to provide. In fact, I wrote a post about the struggle to trust God to provide in Promises of Provision. In the midst of the struggle, a friend shared the verse from Matthew with me, and we looked at the passage of the Bible where this verse originates. Let's look at it together:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34
This passage is part of Jesus' sermon on the mount - when he spoke to a crowd on a mountain about God's kingdom. Do you notice what Jesus tells them? He tells them and tells us not to be anxious about our life and the daily provision of food and clothing. He used the birds, lilies, and grass as examples to show how God cares for his creation, and he values mankind even more than the birds.
Jesus wanted the crowd to put off anxiety, and he gave them the means to do so. Jesus told them to seek first God's Kingdom and His righteousness, and that all the things they were anxious about would be provided. Jesus gave them and gives us this promise. When people seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all the things that we're tempted to be anxious about will be added to us.
But what does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? We'll take a deeper look at what this means tomorrow.
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