“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus, Matthew 6:33 (NASB)
Money is a necessity, of course, but it’s not the most important thing.
Obviously, we need money to pay our bills and survive; to deny this all-important aspect of daily living would be to reject a fundamental part of being human.
If you don’t have enough money to live comfortably, it’s normal to worry about it. The unhealthy aspect of this type of worry is when it becomes an all-consuming part of your life, when all you think about is where you will get more money.
If you think about money more than anything else, it’s safe to say you are out of balance and some needed correction is due.
Jesus understood that His people worried about how they would put food on their table, feed their children, and pay their bills. He knew that money was a vital part of everyday living.
But He also understood how worrying about money or anything else robbed us of the joy that we need in order to live healthy, productive lives. If anything, Jesus was a practical man. He would have made an outstanding businessman.
To be “successful” in life, we must have our priorities straight. It matters little how beautiful a building is if its foundation is weak, crumbling and haphazardly constructed. Disaster looms ahead for this structure.
Where so many of go astray in life is wrongly thinking that money is the very foundation of life instead of understanding that it is part of the building I just referred to. You can’t have a beautiful life if your foundation is built on money.
Jesus said some radical things, such as:
“… God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15 (NASB)
So much of what we hold dear and precious in life is detestable in the eyes of God; our trusting in riches is one of those things that I believe God hates. When we have everything we need in abundance, do we really need to trust in God? Probably not. Why should we? Spiritually speaking, this is a dangerous position to be in.
Jesus commanded that we “seek first the kingdom of God.” Number two on this rather short list is righteousness. If we are faithful in obeying both these precepts, then His promise is that “all these things will be added unto us.”
Jesus said to seek first His kingdom, but what exactly does this mean? Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture, and Paul writes in Romans 14:7 that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (NASB)
Seeking His kingdom, then, would be seeking the things of the kingdom, as opposed to seeking the things of this world. People of the world seek money, power, possessions, security, comfort, etc., while people of the kingdom of God seek righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
We find the things of the kingdom by being in communion with the Spirit of God. This is done by prayer and reading His Word, while constantly examining our lives and keeping sin away from us and our thoughts. It is not enough to want the things of the kingdom; we must actively and aggressively seek them in the same way you would hunt for buried treasure if you knew the general area of where you would find it.
The Greek word for “seek” means to “covet earnestly; strive after .” We can translate Matthew 6:33 in this way: “Covet earnestly and strive after the kingdom of God…” This puts this in new light, for it signifies an active, aggressive and continual striving after the things of the kingdom.
Do you crave for the kingdom of God in the same way you crave chocolate or ice cream? Often our mouth’s water when we think of a particular tasty food; do we do the same over the things of the kingdom? Do we plan to meet God with the same zeal and attention to detail as we do our upcoming vacation? Or with the same carefulness of what we will wear today?
I want to encourage you to seek first the kingdom of God. Before you start your day, even before you make that first cup of coffee or tea, get on your knees with a Bible and seek His face. Start with Psalm 145 and worship and praise Him for who He is.
There can be no better way to start your day.