What Does Seeking First The Kingdom of God Look Like?

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you

When Jesus says to, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you,” He is in the middle of instructing us (Matt 6:25-34) about worry and anxiousness.  Jesus goes right to the root of what we worry about – life, food, clothing, shelter.  It is the daily struggle of survival and what we tend to put before our relationship with God and His Son. Often times those things drive me.

For me, Jesus’s statement (some would say it is a commandment) to “seek the kingdom first and His righteousness” tests the level of my faith. I am constantly asking myself, “Do I really believe this? More over, do I really believe that if I put seeking God’s kingdom first, that God Himself will take care of these things in my life?”

Can I (and you) change what we consider important to actually put seeking the kingdom of God before work, family and ourselves? Do we have that kind of faith?

What does that look like?

  • Reading and memorizing God’s Word
  • Taking what we have read and memorized and asking, “How does my life need to change based on what God’s Word says?”
  • Being on our knees in prayer with God
  • Seeking forgiveness from those we have hurt
  • Actively sharing the gospel with those that are lost

Christ tells us that if we seek the kingdom of God first, and His righteousness, that He will provide these things. Christ tells us that God does this for the birds of the air and that we are more important than they (Matt 6:6). Christ tells us that being anxious cannot add a single hour to our life (Matt 6:27). Christ tells us that God clothes the lilies and grass of the field and that He will clothe us; He questions our faith in God (Matt 6:30).

And lastly, Christ tells us to not be anxious (Matt 6:31) and that God knows what we need (Matt 6:32). Christ says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” and ends with a wonderful memory verse – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt 6:34)

Where are you at with seeking the kingdom first? Do you struggle with the faith to believe that God knows what you need and will provide it?

Additional Scripture:

Luke 12:31 – Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

Matthew 19:28 – Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Proverbs 10:3 – The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked

 

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

My Utmost for His Highest (Discovery House Publishers; Revised edition , June 1, 1992)

I would like to share with you one of my favorite Bible devotionals. I consider it a must-have to own in your personal library.  Here are some of the reasons that I have added this book to my daily devotional time: 

  • Short, easy daily reads
  • Practical, Biblical applications for your life
  • One clear topic per day
  • Comes in many formats – hardcover, paperback, digital, audio
  • 1 devotional for every day of the year
  • Good for study, edification, and training
  • Travels easily

This edition of Oswald Chambers’ golden book combines all of the features of the updated language edition while preserving the meaning and style of the author. Men and women the world over return again and again to the words of Oswald Chambers in the most popular devotional book ever published. This book has 411 reviews on Amazon—357 are five stars! I have the digital edition and have it on multiple devices, which gives me the opportunity to read it on my Kindle, iPad, smart phone or computer.

Quotes by Oswald Chambers on Hartian.com

Bible Verses for Dealing with Anxiety and Fear – My Journey

Just over three years ago, my life changed dramatically. Up until that time, I was unaware that stress and anxiety were boiling inside of me. I was one of “those guys” that didn’t believe I could be affected by anxiety. I thought I was too tough or strong for something like anxiety. I never saw it coming; truth is, when it did come, I didn’t believe it. My wife saw it, but neither of us would have guessed the magnitude of what life can become when anxiety takes over.

Bible Verses for Dealing with Anxiety and FearLooking back, I can see 3 things that I did right from the beginning that were essential for healing:

  1. I started to journal everyday.
  2. I read and studied the Bible every day.
  3. I prayed all the time, and did not hold back my feelings or thoughts from God.

The stress or anxiety or fear – whatever you want to call it was unbearable and continuous. It completely debilitated me. I could not sleep, I could not work, I could not eat.

When You Don’t Get To Announce Your Pregnancy – The Refiner’s Fire

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The special veil has been lifted…you know the one where there is an idealistic side of life where in general you are safe and life is good. Sure, bad things happen, but they are isolated, and for the most part, are for others. 

To be clear, I know I’m not alone. Many experience this and those that do come to this point through pain and suffering.  

A refiner’s fire.

About 10 days ago, the Lord blessed us with my wife being pregnant.  Oh the emotion that went through our hearts and bodies! Both of us in our 40’s, and me pushing 50, really creates many questions for my wife and I…most go unanswered. 

Righteous Anger and Suffering, A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

I stumbled hard over the last two months.  Consider this my confession.

Romans 12 Ever burn with anger and frustration at the injustice of something or someone?  It’s a feeling that I have become very familiar with over the last 8 weeks or so.  I had gotten to the point of being so frustrated that the situation had consumed a large portion of my thought life. Planning what I would do, how I could be heard, how I could make it right.

Truth is, I have the ability to think about things and carry on entire conversations (arguments) in my mind – if this, then that. Like a chess players thinks 10-14 moves ahead.  I’m sure that you have this ability too.

When You Are Called Home

Called Home April 2014

Called home April, 2014

A dear brother and friend in Christ was just called home.  I heard the news this morning as I was preparing to head to church.  Matt was a good young man; he was 40 when he passed.  What made him good?  That’s just my opinion, my rating system.  He gave more than he took.

Matt was the leader of our small group.  He was responsible for leading 8 men and himself.  Leading a small group is akin to saying his job was to be “Christ like” to us and set an example. Matt gave all that he had to our group. He was and is an excellent example of a small group leader.

Each one of us has a day that we are going to be called home – to heaven or to hell (Ecclesiastes 3:2).  That’s true whether you believe it or not.  Everyone has to reconcile how they got here?  How were they born?  How did humanity start?  Even for the most ardent atheist you still have to explain how what you believe ever came from nothing.

What Does The Bible Say About Angels?

What does the Bible say about AngelsPeople have always been interested in angels. I can think of three television series with the/a main character being an angel. Many misconceptions about angels are spread through the entertainment industry. I’m not trying to slam them for this because they are in the entertainment business. And entertainment does not have to be fact. We all know this but it seems without knowledge of reality, our entertainment becomes our view of reality.

In movies and TV, angels are sometimes portrayed as former humans, sent back to earth to do good deeds to,   ”Earn their wings.”  Images of angels with wings or halos or harps are common, and their personalities are very human, sometimes with dispositions that exhibit emotional thinking, uncertainty and tempt able weakness. Good stuff for entertainment but not for anything more than that.

Resolve – Our New Year’s Resolution

resolve
For some reason, New Year’s Day has become a time for making resolutions. That is, making a decision to change something in our life for the better. So, this week many of us have started to do something we have been putting off, or are trying to stop doing what we wish we did not do. For a while, gyms will be busier and not as many cigarettes will be smoked and fewer calories will be consumed and many other good things. New Year’s resolutions are always good for us. Well, at least I never have heard of anyone resolving to start a bad habit. But I’ve seen that most resolutions are only for a while.

Why is doing what is good for us so hard and doing what’s bad come naturally? Jesus told us the answer. He taught us that, “The spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak.” The specific instance was the inability for the twelve, minus Judas, to stay awake and pray. Even though Jesus had just asked them to watch and pray, “Lest they fall into temptation”, they still fell asleep. [Mat. 26:36-45]. The bible often points out that the urges of the physical body, if followed, will lead us to failure.