But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)
God Is Almost First Place
The sermon of Jesus on the mountain was a powerful preamble to the constitution of the kingdom of God. In many ways, there is little new in the message as principles laid down from the foundation of the earth were reestablished in the minds of the disciples in a manner they could not expect. When Jesus finished his sermon, the people were astonished. They had heard similar preaching but nothing to the power of the words of the Christ. Fundamental statements of truth reminded the people what God has always demanded and expected of His people: obedience. This obedience came with a price and the price was high. There was no room for error or failure to obey. What Jesus laid out in the sermon was the nature of His Jealous Father.
Seeking God requires first place. There can never be a half-hearted devotion, almost a disciple attitude, or a seasonal interest in the will of God. If there is not complete devotion to the kingdom of God, there is no devotion. Seeking first the kingdom of God was not a suggestion. It was a clear mandate eliminating everything else. This can be a little confusing because many things in life are very important. A man must be a faithful son, husband, and father to his family but that is not the most important. Women serve the same obligation to be faithful daughters, wives, and mothers and like the man, this is not the most important.
From the beginning of time, God required the man to work and labor with his hands. Jobs are essential and necessary for the livelihood of the family. Throughout scripture, the Holy Spirit forbids a lazy spirit and if a man refuses to work, he should not eat. God said that! Seeking first the kingdom of God places our jobs off the number-one spot of importance. Obeying the government is required by the child of God but seeking the kingdom of God comes first. Friends are an important part of life. Recreation is helpful to bring comfort to life and enjoy some time off. Spending money for the creature comforts of life can be a blessing. But seeking first the kingdom of God is putting everything far down the list of importance.
Jesus preached a bold message. He was clear in his teaching as He sought to bring the people’s minds back to the word of God. There was a need for the people of God to repent and change their view of God. John the Baptist began his ministry with the preaching of repentance. Jesus began His Father’s work with the message of repentance. It was not the people who had left God for some pagan idol. The preaching of the word of God had grown soft and God was not first in the hearts of the people. To serve Jesus Christ, first place was the only place.
The preaching of the gospel has softened on the essential character of putting God and Jesus first place. Christianity has become an accepted part of the fabric of society as casual as the Jews of Jesus’ time. Families struggle because God is not first in their lives. Husbands and wives find themselves embroiled in discord from a spirit that never put the word of God first. Jobs are more important than assembling with the saints. It has become an acceptable practice for Christians to forsake the Lord’s supper to go to their jobs. This can happen for weeks or months. Assembling with the saints takes less importance as friends, recreation, jobs, and couch sitting church disciples take precedence over serving God first.
Seeking the kingdom of God first is trusting the Lord will care for all the needs of His children. The birds of the air testify that God knows and cares for His creation. What is there that man must worry about that is not in the hands of the Lord? Nothing must come before my service to God. Without exception. Putting the word of God first is abiding by His will first. Seeking God first brings a high price of devotion but the reward is eternal. What is first in your life? Or rather – WHO is first in your life?