Saturday, July 7, 2007

Seek ye first the kingdom of God

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God,and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt 6:33 --- Most people have heard this verse, and usually it is given in the context of "Put your attention on the important goals, and these smaller day-to-day issues will sort themselves out" Or some similar way of looking at it.

In my personal life I am hoping to get my now-empty house sold, and rescue my finances.

Today in church our pastor related his recent doctor visit which revealed that his choice of lifestyle and healthy diet is why he is alive today. He has a hereditary cholesterol condition that if had been combined with ordinary diet and lifestyle, he'd be dead. So for him, "seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" was not merely a better choice to focus attention than other worldly pursuits, it is why he is still alive at all!

Which made me consider my own situation. Sometimes there may be a direct cause-effect such as with the pastor's health. Other times there may be a cause and effect, with another factor at work: Remember the Lord's prayer? It asks in part "Lead us not unto temptation, but deliver us from evil".

Assuming God answers our request, there may be lessons we need to learn in order to move on. I need to learn to say "No" to my kids when they ask for things, especially when I see it is from a dissatisfaction in life and they are asking for things as their own personal shopping "fix", a temporary feel-good that invariably doesn't even last all the way home from the store. I probably need to be more careful with money for what I spend on myself as well. Those small Items add up to big money. In hindsight, would I forgo a couple months of fast food in exchange for a laptop? all it takes is discipline.

So it comes down to this: If I seek first the kingdom of God, and learn the lessons that God is waiting for me to learn, then the rest "shall be added unto me". Perhaps the things I am seeking first are set as a learning opportunity, by changing my focus those things will all come together.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been struggling with finding a job and our finances are getting more strained each week. I've continued to pray and ask God that his will be done. "Trusting" that it would all just work out. Then the verse, "Seek Ye First..." came into my head and hasn't left.

I did a google search and found your blog. It's funny because the point you made - we need to be active in making better decisions with how we spend our money. For me and my family this exactly what we need to do. A small toy here, a coffee drink here or just a quick stop for snacks adds up so quickly and if we would just be better stewards with what the Lord blesses us with, we would have more money to put towards the tuition and other bills we are struggling with. Yes, seek God, Trust God BUT be more aware of what decisions we are making and how that can help or deter the blessing bestowed upon us.

Smart Alec said...

Thanks for your comment! This post was originally made over a year ago, and my house still hasn't sold, and we now hold to a tight budget not because we know we should, but because we absolutely have to. It does not come as second nature yet; it's only been two months since the credit cards maxxed and all available resources ran out. And we've made mistakes and bought things that were both not good for us and cost too much. But we're learning discipline, tracking everything, and I *hope* that's why we're in a financial pinch, because once we learn the skills we need to maybe we can move forward. That being said, we have not lacked for anything, and I am open to any plans God has in mind.

I imagine Paul prayed to be released from prison, thinking he could do so much more in person rather than through letters, never realizing that his letters would constitute much of our new testament.

Trish said...

I've been thinking on this scripture (especially as expressed in the worship song) and have been thinking what it means - the kingdom of God, the place where God is sovereign, where His will is done without question, without hesitation by His servants ... (yet Jesus calls us friends and showed to his disciples that he was willing to explain things for them) where He rules with love for the benefit of His subjects ... that 'place' in me where God is enthroned and as His beloved child, I share His will ... hmmmm, your words gave my thoughts a new turn - thanks. Praying for us to find that 'place' within where ego holds no sway and the loving presence lives in power bringing peace, purpose and righteousness to our lives.

Anonymous said...

I googled 'seek ye first' to find where this scripture was, as I'm trying to memorize scripture. My husband is unsaved so thank you for being a man after God's own heart. Your very existance is a testimony and a blessing to your family, friends, coworkers, etc.

Anonymous said...

This scripture came to me as I was preparing a sermon for this Sunday..inviting our congregation to put aside their fright and anxiety about their economic situation and to live as if we were part of the kingdom of God,
"to stand in the gap"as God called the people in the time of Ezekiel. to stand in the gap by G-giving, A- Acting and P - praying, for those who are in dire economic need. I thought of how fortunate we are as children of God to have a foundation that teaches us to seek first the kingdom...a foundation that does not fluctuate with the stockmarket. My prayers that your times of difficulty will lessen and that your faith remains as strong as when you posted your blog.

Tim Cook said...

I googled the "Seek ye first" verse this morning and came across your blog and I read with interest your postings about selling your house and your struggle with debt.

My wife and I facilitate Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" at our church. This course has changed our lives and our way of budgeting and spending. Dave makes it so easy to bring control back to this area of our lives in a simple and entertaining way. Best of all, it is all Christ centered and Bible based.

I would recommend finding a FPU course taught in your area by going to www.daveramsey.com and click on the Financial Peace University link. The cost of the course is $90 but the lessons you learn are invaluable.

Becki said...

I, too, found this post by Googling the first phrase of the verse so I could locate it in my Bible. I'm one of those people who's always getting in God's business, trying to help Him out, point out where He could improve things...I assume you know how that goes! On those occasions when I'm able to quiet my heart and my mouth and just try to listen for and obey His will, things go so much better (of course). Thanks for publishing this post.

Maria! said...

I googled this verse to complete my blog and i'm happy to read your blog about it.

Anonymous said...

joenatan Im now 40 and single, i pray God for a wife to be since 19 ,im struggling in christian way of Courtship.It ends to depression and ask why my prayer is not yet answered. This past few months i read this text and change my attitude,my life and mind. The reason why im not answered is my motives ill ask for a best girl, beautiful for short a perfect , its not wrong but my attitudes why im praying for it is my pride that people will laught at me if i marry a woman that is not beautiful. God change me upside down in this verse although im still single but i have faith that God give me a wife that is according to His will , what i gonna do is seek his FACE, seek His KINGDOM and seek His RIGHTEOUSNESS, for He says for I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper and not to harm.In a right time God will give me a wife God has never been late .Amen

brynbstn7 said...

Hi Smart Alec,
I googled "Seek ye first..." because it came to me as the answer to a friend's approach for financial security. This friend is hoping to find a well-off partner and then marry them.

I would like to advise this friend to seek Love first, otherwise, while they may find financial security, they will probably be unhappy inside.

I think these words of Jesus' should be taken as direct instructions: When you have a predicament, or any choice to make, go inside and seek the answer from within, in that place of deep prayer within your heart. God may tell you exactly what to do: go here, go there, do this, do that. I believe God's Love is direct and personal enough to provide this to those who have faith and will listen and obey.

Anonymous said...

"..Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God"...is my favorite verse, and I googled it as well, to find where it is in the bible (Matthew 6:33). I have found if you obey this one commandment from Christ, you will gain the wisdom and know what True Obedience to the Divine Law means. It means "taking up your cross and following him" (see Mark 8:34)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I are contemplating buying a very large house with a very large mortgage. We believe this is the dream we always wanted. We are within 24 hours of signing a contract to make this a reality, and am losing sleep with the finality of this decision. In the silence of the night, I became silent with GOd, and asked him for his direction for our lives. The verse that popped into my head, and won't leave, is "Seek Ye First the Kindom of God, and his righteousness.... and all these things shall be granted unto you.., so here I am up Googling where to find this in the Bible. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What is the Kingdom? Is it really simply allowing God to help us spend our money on ourselves more wisely? Or is it something more concrete like the Church that Jesus is building and its mission to take the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God to the world? Jesus said that no one could be His disciple who did not give up all that he had (Luke 14:33). In other words the only true disciples are those using all their resources to advance the Kingdom of God and "seeking first the Kingdom of God" has nothing to do with spending money on ourselves more wisely.

Smart Alec said...

You make a very good point - that seeking first the Kingdom of God is not about us, it's about putting God first. It is also saying that if we put God first, God will see to the smaller things we've put in second place - He knows everything we need, from basic needs like employment to things like growth in our skill with handling money, or to our life's direction.

The Kingdom of God is both now and future. Seeking it first on a day to day basis includes Bible study and prayer, which will lead to personal growth and wisdom. It may be that our own lack of growth in some area up to now has prevented us from realizing God's blessings, and that "Seeking first the Kingdom" and putting our other needs in second place will open the way for those very needs to be met.

God does ask some of us to give up everything for His cause, sometimes imprisonment or even our lives. But He asks all of us to put Him first.

Anonymous said...

while am praying "seek ye first the kingdom of God" i exactly dont what it is.Then i did google search.i deeply understood the meaning of HIS kingdom.Its a life changing blog.Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I googled this verse in search for an answer. Thanks for this post, many of the comments have been helpful to me.
God Bless.

Lorna G. Poston said...

Thanks for this post. I've been struggling financially for some time now. Tried to fix it on my own with a refinance, watching what I spend, etc. When that didn't work, I prayed for God to help me get out of debt, but so far, He's been silent.

I got it knocked over my head today that I was putting my desire to get out of debt over my desire to know God, and as a result that obsession became my god.

But the Bible says to seek God first, and everything else will fall into place.

Trying to do that, praying for guidance.

TheMouse said...

I'm days away from being dismissed from my most recent employment. Tho I generally listen to secular radio, today my radio was tuned to WMHR out of Syracuse, NY. The program that was on was about John Bishop who'd gotten meningitis, suffered irreparable damage and was reduced to an infantile state ( literally ) and had to relearn how to eat, talk, think, took 2 years to learn to walk again, etc. He later started "God Is Good Ministries". The "message from God" which I rec'd from listening to this broadcast was "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness" and then "TRUST". Once I arrived home ( sent home from work on this 22nd day of 2011 by my boss & the director of HR ) I helped my wife a bit and then, before doing anything "for me", I did what I felt that God wanted me to do ... I sat down at my PC and Googled this verse ... and the 1st link I found was this blog. Talk about amazing confirmation from God that He's still on the throne and in charge. God has blessed me SO much today and let me tell you that ALL of you who've already posted have been used of Him to bring a greater degree of peace to me. God bless you all !! I look forward to meeting each one of you @ our Father's Throne as some day we sing his praises.