Summary: Seeking God's kingdom should be priority, done diligently, and whole-heartedly.
BASIC OUTLINE FOR THIS MORNING’s MESSAGE:
1) We must seek God’s kingdom and righteousness FIRST!
2) We must seek God diligently!
3) We must seek God whole-heartedly!
We must seek God’s kingdom and righteousness FIRST!
Far too often we find ourselves seeking our own kingdom. Human beings are selfish. Oh, we can act with great generosity, but in the final analysis we are seeking what makes us happy, comfortable, or satisfied. We seek to build ourselves a comfortable nest, we seek to have our way in most situations, we seek to build our reputation, or to impress others. We are busy building our own kingdom.
What’s worse is that we create our own definition or interpretation of righteousness. We excuse ourselves for exaggerating the truth or not admitting our faults. We explain away the absolutes of God’s Word. Sometime back I was in a Bible study and someone mentioned a couple that attends another church that became upset because they are living together outside of marriage. I was shocked to hear someone suggest to me that it was no big deal because they love each other and have been together nearly a decade. This person (and that couple) had chosen to set aside God’s absolutes regarding sexual immorality by suggesting the love justifies sinful behavior. My response was that just because they love each other, he cannot justify robbing a bank in order to purchase an engagement ring.
We have attempted to explain away the absolutes of God’s Word.
We must admit:
Lord, I have been guilty of seeking the kingdom of insert your name here and my own interpretation\definition of rightousness. I have failed to put you first. I have failed to live in righteousness. I have missed out on many blessings because I chose my own way, my own desires, and my own definition of right and wrong. Forgive me, Lord.
We must seek God diligently!
Enoch is one of two people who did not see death. He walked with God so closely that one day he was simply translated, an occurrence that leaves poor preachers like me baffled and confused in our ability to explain. The only other person who managed to be taken to heaven without death was Elijah who was taken up in a whirlwind (NOT CHARIOTS OF FIRE, GO BACK AND READ IT IF YOU DOUBT ME)
Enoch diligently sought his relationship with God. His diligence paid off.
I like that word: diligent. Many of us have been diligent at times with our eating habits. We have been diligent about exercising and eating properly and when we looked in the mirror we were grateful to see the results. The rewards of proper eating and diet is healthier appearance, and a higher level of self esteem, but without that diligence, we miss out on those rewards. We begin to see flab and sag..
We have to realize that God expects us to diligently seek Him and we have missed out on many rewards because we were not diligent in our quest for righteousness.
We must seek God whole-heartedly!
The context of this verse is from Jeremiah’s letter to those taken in exile to Babylon. They were hoping that the exile would be short and they were very unhappy with this situation. Nebuchadnezzer’s army had busted into Jerusalem, killed many, taken the nobles and higher class people, the people who supposedly posed a threat, to Babylon. You remember how Daniel and his friends were forced to learn a new language, new religious ideas, etc. They weren’t happy.
Jeremiah tells them to get on with life. To marry, build, and try to get along in the new land. Then he tells them that God has declared that it will take whole-heartedness in their relationship with Him before they could come home.
The people were half-heartedly seeking God. They wanted only to see God get them out of the mess in which they found themselves. They wanted God to overcome their circumstances, but they did not want to truly seek him and confess their sins.
A person who is seeking God only for the purpose of obtaining his blessings is half-heartedly seeking God.