Seek First

What are your priorities in life?  I’m sure that you want the basic necessities in life such as food and clothing and shelter.  Everyone needs these things.  Apparently some people in the time of Jesus were struggling to obtain these basic necessities.  Jesus taught in Matthew 6:31-33 “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. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  Whether it is your basic necessities or other desires and needs, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness should be your number one priority.

What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness?  The kingdom of God on earth is made up of all true Christians.  It is the church.  Jesus gave parables about seeking the kingdom.  Matthew 13:44-46 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  These parables teach that obtaining the kingdom of God should be your number one priority, your number one joy and desire.

God’s righteousness is the righteousness which He gives you based on your faith in Jesus Christ.  The apostle Paul described his priority in life in Philippians 3:7-9 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” It is also the righteousness that He wants you to demonstrate in your life.  1 Peter 2:24 “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.”  Make it your number one priority to be right before God.

God wants you to seek Him.  Jeremiah 29:13-14a “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord.”  Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  As Christians, we seek Him through prayer, scripture reading and study, worship, fellowship and living as He wants us to live.  Colossians 3:1-4 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” The glory that awaits you is worth seeking God as your priority in life.

Jesus said that when you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, He would supply your needs.  I believe He will also bless you with many blessings.  If you seek your earthly needs and desires first, you will not find room for the things of God.   Try this.  Take a large jar and fill it about three fourths full with rice.  Then take about the same volume of large nuts in their shell, like walnuts, and try to add them to the jar.  You can add a few nuts, but there will not be enough room for all of them.  Then empty the jar and try again.  This time, put the large nuts in first and add the rice afterwards.  It might take a little shaking, but you should be able to fill the jar with both the nuts and the rice.  The rice fills the voids around the nuts.  I hope you get the picture.  The jar is your life.  The rice is the less important activities in life.  The large nuts are the important things of God in your life.  While this is not a perfect analogy, it illustrates the principle of putting the things of God first in your life because there will still be room for many of the less important things, for your needs and desires.  But if you first try to take care of all of the less important things in life, there won’t be room for God.  Jesus said to first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Nothing is more important than the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  Being a part of the kingdom of God leads to eternal life.  Nothing is more important than that!

Where do you primarily spend your energies? Is all your time and money spent on goods and activities that will certainly perish, or in the service of God?  You are to seek the things of God as a priority over the things of the world.  Primarily, it means we are to seek the salvation that is inherent in the kingdom of God because it is of greater value than all the world’s riches. Does this mean that you should neglect the normal duties that help sustain your life? Certainly not. But for the Christian, there should be a difference in attitude toward them. If we are taking care of God’s business as a priority—seeking His salvation, living in obedience to Him, and sharing the good news of the kingdom with others—then He will bless us as He promised.  Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

My encouragement is to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first in your life.