"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you."
When a friend first shared this verse with me, I wasn't sure what it meant to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. I was struggling to trust God to provide and take care of me in the midst of uncertain circumstances, so seeking first his kingdom felt like new territory.
The above verse is a promise. As people seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness, God will provide and meet our needs. You can read more about this promise in yesterday's post, Do Not Be Anxious About Your Life. Today, we're discussing what it means to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
Every word that Jesus spoke was important, and Jesus told the crowd to seek God's kingdom. To seek something is to pursue, desire, and chase after. It is active. Seeking goes above and beyond to find and acquire something. We seek lost keys, phones, and jewelry, or we might seek the perfect birthday gift for a friend. Jesus told the crowd and thereby tells us to seek after God's kingdom, to pursue it and acquire it. But he also said to do this first.
When Jesus told the crowd to seek the kingdom of God, there's a reason he used the word "first". He called the crowds to make God's kingdom their priority, to make it the first thing in their lives. When we make God's kingdom first, all other things fall into their rightful place. As we read two days ago, when King Nebuchadnezzar sought his own kingdom first, God humbled him and took away his kingdom. When King Nebuchadnezzar was brought back to his senses, he glorified God and honored God's kingdom as first. After doing so all of the good things God gave him, such as Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, were returned to him.
God calls us to put his kingdom and his kingship in our lives as first too. He calls us to put his kingdom before our own crumbling kingdoms. What might this look like? It might look like choosing to love a neighbor and sacrifice your "me" time to help that neighbor rake some leaves. It might look like turning down a job opportunity that would prevent you from being a part of a local church. It might even look like giving God the glory in the gifts and talents he has given you. For me, it looks like giving up my time to love and serve others instead of using my time to build myself up or accomplish things that are geared towards making me look good.
Ultimately, God's dominion is the only dominion that will last into eternity. Therefore, it is imperative to put God's kingdom first in our lives. It's the only kingdom that matters anyway.
But what exactly is God's kingdom? I'm sure some of you might be wondering that while reading this series. In all of the gospels, Jesus never defined what he means when he refers to the concept of "the kingdom of God". Does he mean heaven or an earthly kingdom or something different entirely?
Join me tomorrow as we look at this question.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Seeking the Kingdom.
You can view the rest of the posts from the series here.
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