|“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, |
and all these things will be given to you as well.”
With what do you concern yourself the most? I can honestly say I spend most thought on those things that I can do nothing about except to pray. Jesus knew we tend to suffer most over things it would actually take a miracle of His grace to resolve.
In His Sermon of the Mount, Jesus used as His illustration the worries about food and clothing—something we would all commonly worry about if we didn’t have them. But, rather than telling His disciples to pray about those things, or giving them solutions to those potential problems, He tells us to put our minds first on His kingdom requirements and on the righteousness He expects of us.
Sometimes, in order to get our lives straightened around after a deeply embedded sin and its consequences, we think most about the consequences. Instead, Jesus turns this idea on its head and tells us to first take care of the sin problem. He is the very embodiment of righteousness. And, He has graciously made a way, through His death on the cross, to make us righteous, too. He speaks peace with the words, “I will take care of the other problems.”
Do we put His Kingdom first? Are we anxious about living righteously in our New Year? In each new day? At the beginning of a new venture? When we are faced with troubles?
I was interested to see that in James 5:13-16, where the Apostle teaches us about praying for a sick member of a congregation, he admonishes those praying to confess their sins one to another. Would we consider that important when a man’s or woman’s life hangs in the balance? Certainly God does.
As we begin another new year, whatever worries we may have, if we start by first dedicating ourselves to His kingdom work and His righteous requirements for our lives, we can remain assured that God has the power to act in our behalf. I love the way that Charles Spurgeon addresses this verse:1
What a promise this is! Food, raiment, home, and so forth, God undertakes to add to you while you seek Him. You mind His business, and He will mind yours. If you want paper and string, you get them given in when you buy more important goods; and just so all that we need of earthly things we shall have thrown in with the kingdom.
|1 Spurgeon, Charles H. Faith’s Checkbook. Chicago: Moody Press, 1980. p. 150.|