FIRST THINGS FIRST
“So do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33.
We have already looked at what Jesus said about worry. There is one more thing we need to consider apart from the fact that worry cancels out our trust in God as our Father and makes Him out to be a liar.
When we worry about the everyday things of life, we make things, like food and clothing and all the stuff that the pagans worry about and work hard for, more important than God and His kingdom. That makes us just like the heathen – the people who do not love and trust the living God. God want us to be different because we live in a different kingdom. We are not ruled by “things” but by God’s love and His care for everyone in the world, not only those who love Him.
What did Jesus mean when He said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness”? We may often say this verse but do we know what it means? In the Bible, “righteousness” means “doing the right thing.” God is righteous. That means that He always does the right thing. He loves every person in the world no matter who or where they are. Is that doing the right thing? Yes, it is.
We live in a world that is full of sin. People make wrong choices and do bad things. Other people suffer because of what bad people do. God gave us the freedom to make choices and when we choose to do wrong, He does not step in and stop us because He respects our freedom and does not treat us like puppets. But God always does the right thing when we trust Him. He is able to work for our good even when we make wrong choices or when other people harm us. God does the right thing by bringing good out of evil in spite of our suffering.
God promised to help us and to provide for us if we trust Him and obey what He commands. God had provided enough of everything for everyone in the world. When greedy people hoard what God has provided, other people suffer and become poor. God wants us to have the same loving heart for everyone as He has by sharing what we have so that we can keep His provisions going around. That’s how God rules the world, by taking care of people and giving them what they need, but He does it through us.
When we share what we have, we are also doing the right thing. In that way, God is able to meet everyone’s needs as long as we keep what He has given us circulating. The pagans don’t understand that. They think that they will only have enough if they stash it away like a squirrel stashes nuts for winter. In God’s kingdom, the way to meet our own needs is to help others in need.
The people in the world don’t understand this because it is part of God’s supernatural kingdom. We need to show them how it works by being obedient to God and trusting Him to take care of us as we take care of others. When we do that, people will see what a great and loving God we serve.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
Watch this space. My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master, will soon be on the bookshelves.