Summary: In this sermon on the Kingdom of God we look at what Jesus identifies as the first priority.
The Kingdom of God
“The First Priority”
We began this new study this morning on the Kingdom of God in the message entitled, “The Kingdom Proclamation.” The reason for this series is that we have all these different subjects within Christianity but nothing that seemingly connects them together. We teach on salvation, justification, redemption, sanctification, atonement, heaven, hell, evil, faith, grace, mercy, hope, idolatry, judgment, obedience, and the list just keeps on going.
But these are just dots on a page with nothing to seemingly connect them, nothing to reveal the picture of God’s overall plan and purpose. Yet, in the Bible there is one connective thread that brings all of these together into a beautiful picture, and that is the Kingdom of God.
This morning we looked at the proclamation of God’s Kingdom that the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Therefore we’re to repent, and believe in the gospel. (Mark 1:15)
Tonight we’ll be looking at what Jesus said, that God’s Kingdom should be our first priority.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)
Jesus here brings to a head what He had been teaching about in our need not to worry or be anxious about what the world worries or is anxious about. It’s a part of a much larger sermon Jesus gave known as the Sermon on the Mount.
During the course of the Sermon Jesus make this general statement summing up His whole position, which is the essence of the Christian message.
Now the reason we’re exploring this so intently is because of the tragic and terrible confusion that exists about God’s Kingdom and Christianity, because if we take our understanding from what the newspapers and books say, then we’re in one big mess.
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us the essentials of the very proclamation Jesus stated and that we looked at this morning.
There are, however, several general principles that Jesus brings out in His statement that cannot be overlooked.
The first is that the gospel message is completely different than anything and everything else. It’s completely different from what humanity thinks and believes is important, and challenges what humanity believes.
Notice what Jesus said just prior to this
“Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek.” (Matthew 6:31-32a NKJV)
In Judaism the world is divided into two groups, the Jews and everyone else, those who have the right religion and those who don’t, and those who live by God’s law and those who live outside of it. And so you have the Jews and the Gentiles.
The Gentiles in our day are those who don’t know God as revealed in the Bible. They trust in religion or their own thoughts and ideas about God and life.
And so what Jesus teaches is altogether different than their point of view. His teaching is different from everything that man has ever thought.
This is a very important distinction, because what it says is that Christian way of life is totally different and stands apart from the world.
The next general point of emphasis is Jesus wording, which reveals that belief in Him is very radical from the world’s perspective. Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” This is the first thing that we should do. It’s of top priority and should before anything else.
This is completely different than the world’s line of thought. In other words, the world is looking in a totally wrong direction. Humanity doesn’t need to be patched up; instead we need to be radically changed, which is what Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7) Humanity needs a brand new start.
Finally, Christianity and Kingdom living is a way of life. It isn’t a life style or some philosophy of life. Therefore it demands a total commitment. It doesn’t ask to be understood; rather it demands to be obeyed.
To know the truth and blessing of Kingdom living, we must give our lives completely over to it. The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8) We’ll never know that the Lord is good until we’ve tasted His goodness for ourselves.
Theoretical knowledge isn’t going to work. There are a lot of scholars that have a lot of biblical knowledge, but don’t know Jesus. There are also a lot of homeless people who know the Bible better than we do but don’t know the Lord. And so Jesus is calling for a commitment, not head knowledge, but a heart relationship.
Such a commitment can be seen in what Jesus calls for all His disciples to do.