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"Seek ye first the kingdom of God..."

A simple refrain that we have read, memorized, stated, and even sung on numerous occasions. We have looked into the eyes of our children and taught them the song that accompanies the words in Matthew 6:33. We have looked into the eyes of those who are dealing with trials and tribulations in this life and have called to mind the words found in Matthew 6:33. We have even, in some cases, written those words on a notecard and taped it to our mirrors in our homes to remind us of what is to be first and foremost in our lives. The simple challenge in reading this verse is not whether you can recall the years of singing, reading, and studying that you have done concerning this verse, instead it is the challenge that comes with realizing that I do not consistently put God first in my life.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God gives us an "if-then" proposition... "...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." The concept here is that God has declared that He will forgive and heal those who are seeking Him. IF we are called by His name, IF we humble ourselves, IF we pray, IF we seek His face, and IF we turn from our wicked ways, THEN God will hear, heal, and forgive. The entirety of God's THEN statement is based on whether or not we will complete the "IFs".

I encourage you to read Matthew 6:25-7:14... Be amazed at the simplicity of Jesus' message to a group of wandering people who were desperately seeking answers to the meaning of life. We wonder often about what life is all about and Jesus, simply speaking, bluntly explains.

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

What things? The things listed in the passage before it... food, drink, shelter, clothes, general care and compassion from the God who created it all! The meaning of life is contained in the simple statement " first..."

Look at the word FIRST and think of it this way:

Is God FIRST in my Focus? - Have I allowed distractions and detractors to take God from my view? Have I allowed cares of this world to knock me off our balance?

Is God FIRST in my Income? - Do I give to the work of the Lord? Am I constantly seeking out ways in my own personal life to share the bountiful gifts of God with those that are less fortunate?

Is God FIRST in my Relationships? - Is my marriage or romantic relationship one that God can bless? Is my relationship with God coming before my relationship with others (including family, friends, etc.)? Do I see God in the ones I am dedicating my time to?

Is God FIRST in my Security? - Do I find peace and calm in my connection to God? Am I living in such a way that God can bless? Do I feel chaos and disruption or do I feel complete?

Is God FIRST in my Time? - Do I spend any time with God? Is my prayer life a true prayer life or is it mumbled thoughts to check a box daily? Is God getting a return on His investment in me?

In dealing with those questions, the song and reading of Matthew 6:33 take on a new life and a new importance to those who are children of God.

"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe He exists and that He rewards those who[diligently] seek Him." - Hebrews 11:6


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