Summary: The number one priority in life should be seeking the kingdom of God.
Text: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you….” (Matthew 6:33).
The word “seek” means to “look for,” “search for” or “try to find.” All of us have looked for things or people. We have searched for something lost or misplaced. We have probably searched for a better job with more pay; a larger house for our growing family; an automobile that will get us from point A to point B without breaking down, or a life-time partner.
During our life-time, each of us does a lot of seeking. Is what we are seeking important? I venture to say that what we seek is of importance to us. If we were never in seeking mode, our life would be stagnant, non-productive, and boring.
God gave us the opportunity to choose. If we didn’t seek we would have no reason to choose. I believe God wants us to seek all the things the world has to offer. Everything God created, He created for his children. Since God created so many things for us, there must be some logical way to go about seeking that which we desire.
God gave us a start down the right road when He said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness….” (Matthew 6:33). In other words, some things we seek are more important that the others. If this is the case, then we should prioritize what we are seeking. This should not be a problem because God has already given us item number 1.
Everything God created is good if we accept and use them in the correct manner. After the sixth day of creation “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Creating the world and everything necessary for man was God’s number one priority. After this was complete, He proceeded to his second item of importance and that was the creation of man.
If God had gotten his priorities out of order and created man first, man would not have been able to remain in existence. Getting our thoughts in order enables us to then get our actions in order.
Jesus told about the rich young man who had his priorities out of sequence. The young man had all the things of the world, but he wanted the assurance of knowing he had eternal life. We will all have eternal life, but we can spend it in one of two places. I think the young man knew this, and that he was talking about salvation and spending eternal life in the presence of Almighty God.
Jesus said to the young man, “If you want to enter life, obey the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).
There are Ten Commandments, so which one was he to obey? The commandments Jesus mentioned included adultery, stealing, giving false testimony, honoring mother and father, murder, and love of your neighbor. All of these commandments involve relationships with God’s other children.
Up to this point, the young man seemed to have his priority list in order because he did all of these things. Then Jesus said, “…sell your possessions and give to the poor….come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). Selling and following did not appear in the man’s priority list.
His number one priority was his wealth. His wealth seemed to get between him and God and he was not about to give up his riches. The young man didn’t realize it, but he had broken the first commandment which says, “You shall have not other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
Jesus was trying to impress upon the mind of the young ruler what one has to do in order to be justified in the eyes of God. It is not bad to possess worldly possessions if they are not our first priority. God provides us with many things, but he wants us to use those things for the benefit of ourselves, our families and for other people.
If He should ask us to give up one of our possessions, we should not hesitate. If we hesitate to follow God’s directions, we are selfishly disobeying Him and placing that item between Him and us.
The young rich man could not bear to give up what he had, give to the poor, and follow Jesus. We cannot love God with all our heart if some worldly item is first on our priority list because that worldly item becomes our god.
If more people in the world would make Jesus number 1 in their life, they would not have many of the problems they now have. If Jesus occupied first place in the life of every married man and woman, marriages would last more than two or three years and children wouldn’t be pulled in several different directions.