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Summary: We put God first because that's the purpose of our lives, the worth of our lives and the only way to fulfilment in our lives.

Matt 6:25-34 Put God First ES 23 Feb 14 1889

Our lives are driven by needs – physical, material, emotional, or social.

• It ranges from the simple and tangible like food and clothing, to the intangible need for love and recognition.

• Some are crucial to our survival and well-being, others may be just good-to-have.

Sadly we cannot tell them apart, whether they are needs or wants.

• Yet we pour in our time and effort, and even our lives into pursuing them.

• We don’t always know what we need. And even when we do, we may not know if they are really important.

• Some toil hard to earn a living and lose their health in the process. Others neglect their family while striving to build successful careers.

With so many different needs demanding our attention, how are you going to make the right choices and live your life well?

The feeling is like packing for a trip. You wish to bring as many things as you need, but you know you cannot. You just have to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. You have a THINGS TO BRING list but you still got to tick them.

And so I believe we all had such experiences – we went on a trip only to realise we left something important behind. Like what happened at church retreats – one year we left a projector, another a keyboard (and make-do with iPads, courtesy of Apple!) At least, these aren’t life-threatening stuff like your daily medicine.

Or the other way around, you went on a trip and took something that you did not used at all. It wasn’t needed but you have to carry it throughout the trip. If it is bulky and heavy, that has become the burden for your trip.

We need wisdom to know what is important and necessary.

• If this life journey comes with a SUITCASE, what are you going to put inside?

• What are the things you will bring along on this trip that would ensure that you have a good and happy life?

• Will there be some things that you can leave out because they are trivial and can do without?

These can be tough questions. But we need to answer them.

• We do not want to end up regretting the things we have opted for and not paying more attention to the things that are important.

• I have chosen therefore to share with you what Jesus said in Matt 6:25-34.

• If we want to enjoy this trip called life and live it to its fullest, then we need to take note of some comments Jesus made here. [Read the passage]

Here is the one thing that we cannot neglect, Jesus says – God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.

• When we talk about a kingdom, we are referring to the RULE of the King. Therefore the Kingdom is all about the King and His concerns.

• We are called to make God’s work and God’s will our concern.

God’s concerns must be on our radar screen. His Kingdom must be our FOCUS.

It is amazing that Jesus links this to our material well-being – what we eat, drink and wear.

• He is being very wise. Firstly, He knows our problem. That’s what we are worried about – our rice bowls.

• It is a topic people talked about at every election. Bread and butter issues are our utmost concerns.

• If You are not going to resolve that, we can’t concentrate on the needs of Your Kingdom.

Secondly, and more importantly, I believe Jesus linked the two to remind us that God is our ultimate provider.

• It is not going to be your hard work and good plan. Get your perspective right. He is the ONE who can truly provide what you need.

• Focus on God and His Kingdom, and “all these things will be given to you as well.”

• Focus on going after your material needs, and you will end up with frustrations and worries.

Therefore this is one FOCUS we cannot do without. We cannot let the common needs around us distract us from this.

• Fulfilment in life can only come for this right FOCUS.

• Let me explain why, from 3 comments that Jesus made in this discourse:

1. We put God first because that’s the PURPOSE of life

Matt 6:25 “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”

Have you ever wonder why are you here? To eat and live? Some people says they live to eat.

• Jesus asked a question. It’s meant for us. We got to think and answer.

• There is more to life than sustenance. We don’t work hard only to make a living, to make ends meet.

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