Luke 12:31 - Making God First And Last And Best In Everything!
Luke 12:31 - Making God First And Last And Best In Everything!
Luke 12:31 (NLT) Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he
will give you everything you need.
Luke 12:31 (MSG) Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative,
God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Seeking the kingdom of God means making Jesus the Lord and King
of your life. He must control every area--your work, play, plans,
relationships. Is the kingdom only one of your many concerns, or is it central
to all you do? Are you holding back any areas of your life from
God's control? [Life Application SB]
Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God." ... "Bend all your
life to obeying God's will and rest content with that. So many people
give all their effort to heap up things which in their very nature
cannot last. Work for the things which last forever, things which you
need not leave behind when you leave this earth, but which you can
take with you." [Barclay Commentary]
Jesus often reminded His followers not to worry. He told them
not to be anxious about tomorrow's needs or potential problems (Mt
6:25). Rather, Jesus stressed a daily reliance on the Father, who
provides for His children day by day.
As the Israelites wandered in the desert, they had no way to
get food. Miraculously, God provided manna that appeared on the
ground each morning. God's provision was sufficient for one day at a
time. Each day the children of Israel received fresh manna as a
tangible reminder of God's love for them. If they attempted to store it
for the days to come, they found that it had spoiled by the next
day. It was impossible to stockpile God's provision, because God
wanted them to trust in Him, not in their pantry. God's grace was
sufficient for each day.
God wants us to trust Him daily with our needs. This trust
does not make us poor planners or careless with our futures,
unprepared to face what may come. Rather, it keeps our relationship with
the Lord in its proper perspective as He reminds us daily of our
dependence upon Him. God is aware of what tomorrow will bring and how we
should prepare for it. He knows the problems we will face, and He has
already made provision for us to overcome them. He asks us to trust in
Him daily. Our faith in Him today cannot substitute for our trust in
Him tomorrow. If we walk with Him closely today, we will be in the
center of His will tomorrow. [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and
I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light. My Presence with
you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Me. Many things
can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry. My
children tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life. However,
worry is a form of unbelief; it is anathema to Me.
Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have
good reason to worry. But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary
and counterproductive. When you start to feel anxious about
something, relinquish the situation to Me. Back off a bit, redirecting your
focus to Me. I will either take care of the problem Myself or show you
how to handle it. In this world you will have problems, but you need
not lose sight of Me. (Luke 12:22-31; John 16:33) [Jesus Calling by
A few of years ago I found myself in the midst of heavy
circumstances; so much was coming at me and I felt like I had to uphold so many
things. There was constant pressure, and I was deeply weary. And in the
midst of trying to keep all these things together, I found myself in a
place of worry.
Before I could even come into work, I had to sit in my car
and just worship. This was my refuge. One day a particular song
called "Let Go" began to speak to me:
There's so much going on.
Sometimes I can't find my way.
And often times I struggle -
Struggle from day to day.
I have to realize that it's not my battle.
It's not my battle to fight.
I have to know if I put it in His hands,
That everything will be alright.
We have to know deep down that even in the midst of a storm
we can trust Him and His Word - even when we can't see it. I
realized that I was trying to carry and hold onto things I wasn't
designed to carry! Psalm 55:22 came alive to me: "Cast your burden on the
Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to
be moved." I could cast all of these things I was trying to uphold
on the Lord and He would take them.
And for a time I had to re-give my burdens back to Him every
day; I had to allow Him to truly have ownership. As I did, a new joy
filled me. So many times we walk around trying to manage our heavy
burdens whether they are situations, people, wrong ways of thinking,
etc. God is saying to us there is a better way of living - and it's a
burden free lifestyle.
God taught me that what He has for me is better than anything
I could put together for myself ... my family ... anyone else.
This deep conviction makes me long for what God has for me ... I want
what God wants ... and I want everyone I know to have what God has
for them, because what He has is the very best they could ever have.
Hear these words of truth - Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know
the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of
peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." We can't
create something better than what God has for us.
These truths shape my view of the people we serve. They give
me confidence God is able to carry their deepest burdens and that
His thoughts and plans for them are good, full of peace, and contain
a future and a hope. Michael Woods is Exec Dir of the Western
Carolina Rescue Mission
I was just out of college in 1973 when I moved to Nashville
to work in the gospel-music industry. One of many aspiring
songwriters and musicians I met during my first years in Music City was Van
Stephenson. This was years before his group, Blackhawk, hit the big time,
but he still left a lasting impression on me.
Van spoke about a relationship with God I had never even
imagined. He said he relied on God to provide everything he needed,
including food, shelter, and a purpose in life. He spoke with great
enthusiasm and peace about his decision to follow Christ. For the first
time, I understood what "living" faith meant. It was about making a
commitment to God. After that, he takes over and provides everything we
As years passed, I remembered Van's testimony, the essence of
Luke 12:31, whenever I faced a crisis or a decision in my life. Our
paths never crossed again, but I continued to follow his career. He
became a celebrated songwriter, and eventually, Blackhawk became a
platinum-selling music group. It was only after Van passed away in 2001 that I
learned he was also an ordained minister who had continued to baptize
and teach Bible studies throughout his music career.
I believe God blessed him in ways he may never have
anticipated. But more important, God led Van to teach others - including me -
that trust in God is all we really need.
Kathy Harris is a writer, an agent, and an associate manager
for The Oak Ridge Boys. [The One Year Bible Life Verse Devotional]
Make Christ first and last and best in everything. AH105
Those who accept the one principle of making the service and
honor of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path
before their feet. DA330
SPECIAL VIDEO CLIP ON SEEKING GOD FIRST
GREAT VIDEO CLIP FOR SHARING
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY