February 25, 2018

Seek First – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:05 am by sranderson0103

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Appropriately, this passage is one of the most familiar and most memorized verses in the New Testament. Quite a few songs have been based on this verse and have etched its words into our hearts. The passage pointedly expresses a fundamental concept about our service to God.

Familiarity sometimes causes us to look past truly important lessons. Perhaps unfamiliar renditions in different translations will help.

“But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” NET

“and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” NLT

“But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.” CEV

“But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition.” BBE.

Let us look again, with care at what it says.

The original Greek verb translated “seek” or “pursue” indicates durative action, implying a command to establish an ongoing habit or lifestyle of “seeking” the things of the kingdom. As one commentator said, “We are commanded to put first things first on a continual basis and watch Him take care of the items of secondary interest.”

“The kingdom” was the theme of Christ’s teaching.

“From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, …” (Matthew 4:23)

“Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,…” (Matthew 9:35)

The Kingdom was His priority. We should make it ours. The world will ridicule efforts to live Biblically. (A good example is the new CBS show Living Biblically.) Mockery should not deter us from molding our thinking by the Word of God so that we think as He does on every issue. Spiritually minded men have always understood this.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalms 119:105)

“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23)

“With Your counsel You will guide me,…” (Psalms 73:24)

Jesus described the appropriate attitude of Christians.

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;” (John 10:27)

The context of this chapter focuses on maintaining proper priorities in relation to…

Pride (vv. 5-8, 16-18)

Treasures on Earth (vv. 19-21)

Singleness of purpose (vv. 22-23)

Covetousness, serving two masters (v. 24)

Anxiety, concern about the future (vv. 25-32, 34)

The world tends to make these things primary. Jesus says they are not. He reminds us of what we surely know. Remember, “…your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (v. 32). Did you forget? Surely we know God knows, but we act as if He is ignorant. He really “knows” implying more than just knowledge. He knows and He cares.

If we reverse the proper order and put second thing first (like the world) we are disobedient. This is not an option. It is a command from Jesus Christ. When we refuse to obey His commands we demonstrate a lack of love for Jesus (John 14:15) we sin (I John 3:4) and sin separates us from God, (Isaiah 59:2). Those separated from God cannot go to heaven.

Not only will we miss our primary goal, the blessings of kingdom, but we will miss the promise of secondary “things” as well.

The word “added,” is a mathematical term implying more benefits in addition to what already existed. These further benefits are promised conditionally… if we “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…’

Failing to meet the conditions deprives us of God’s spiritual blessings here and hereafter, with earthly blessings piled on top. Bad mistake.

Let’s make sure this passage is laid up in our heart. (Psalms 119:11)

 

 

 

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