Summary: The moment we put Christ first our priorities are radically changed
September 14, 2014
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness… Matthew 6:33
The importance of seeking
How often do people chase after things that never satisfy? People are chasing after the stuff of earth that cannot satisfy the eternal longing of the human heart. How much time, effort, energy and expense are wasted on things that never have the ability to bring satisfaction?
The truth is that this is not a new problem. Jesus dealt with the same issue by helping people see the importance of priority. Notice that I said priority and not priorities. The reality is that there should be only one priority and that is Jesus. When He is our priority, everything else falls in place.
The expectation of Jesus is sometimes missed here because we fail to understand the word seek. Jesus is not talking about a one-time event but rather something ongoing. We cannot things that we seek God one time and be done. The English might be better translated keep seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. There is never going to be a point when we will ever be able to stop seeking Jesus. It should be a constant and daily pursuit. Our goal should be to become more and more like Jesus. The only way we will ever be able to do that is to keep seeking Him.
Seeking is also a matter of the heart. We have to put the entire strength of our lives into seeking Christ. He deserves our best effort and the best of our lives. We need to put a total effort and our whole being into seeking Jesus. There is no room for halfway efforts or partial attempts. We need to eliminate try from our vocabulary. There is no trying to seek Jesus, there is only doing.
The Reality of First
Jesus says that we are to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness. Seeking after God should be our first option and not our last resort. Our problem is that we seldom place God at the top of the list and pursue other courses of action first. We try to exhaust all other options before we turn to God. How often do we make a mess of things because we fail to look for God’s help?
* We miss out on the blessings of God’s power and strength
* We lose the opportunity to see God at work in our lives because we try to do everything ourselves
There are multiple implications with Jesus telling the disciples to seek first.
When we have God as the priority of our lives, we place Him first. We live with the goal to please God with the way we live. We place the desires of God ahead of our own desires. Too often we do not live with God as the priority of our lives because we are focused on ourselves. Often we live with our selfishness at the forefront of our lives. We place ourselves first and we live accordingly.
Hebrew thought believed to live with something as first meant to use that as a basis for understanding. When we place God first, we should see the world through His eyes. It means that we allow God to shape our understanding of things. When we live with God’s kingdom first in our lives it helps us to see the world as it really is.
Often many Christians falsely believe it is their place to condemn the world. The truth is that the lost nature of our world should break our hearts and we should look on the world with the compassion of Jesus, not judgment. We should see lost people as Jesus sees them, potential trophies of grace. Jesus died for them just as much as He died for us and when we pass judgment on them we slap Jesus in the face.
Instead of judging the world and pulling away we must go out into the world and share the love of Christ. How can the world ever know Jesus if the church refuses to associate with lost people? Where would we be if Jesus had this attitude? When we act like this, we are no different than the Pharisees.
Our first alliance is with Jesus. Our first commitment is to Jesus. When we come to Christ, we are saying that we are willing to give Him our entire life.
The Value of the Kingdom
The Kingdom of God happens in two distinct realities: the present kingdom and the perfect kingdom.
The present kingdom exists here on earth and impacts the reality of eternity. Our role in the present kingdom is to serve Jesus, to show the love of Jesus and to share the good news of Jesus. We are to live our lives on earth as citizens of the kingdom of God. We live under the authority of Jesus. We experience the Kingdom as believers and members of the body of Christ.