Matthew 6:33 - SEEKING GOD FIRST.
Matthew 6:33 - SEEKING GOD FIRST.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
To "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness" means to "give
him first place in your life." It means to turn to God first for
help, to fill your thoughts with his desires, to take his character
for your pattern, and to serve and obey him in everything. What is
really important to you? People, objects, goals, and other desires all
compete for priority. Any of these can quickly bump God out of first
place if you don't actively choose to give him first place in every
area of your life. [Life Application SB]
Francois Fenelon made this startling and somewhat unnerving
statement: "You must lose everything to find God for himself alone. But you
won't lose everything until it is ripped from you. You won't begin to
let go of yourself until you have been thrown off a cliff!"
Fenelon was speaking to a particular individual, so maybe
that stark advice doesn't apply to us. Then again, maybe it's just
realistic, for in this time of global troubles and insecurities we may find
ourselves losing just about everything. If not now, eventually we'll lose
it all, for life is short and we take nothing with us. Whatever it
is that's most precious to us, whatever gives us enjoyment and
security, will one day be gone.
Actually, realizing that all we have is transitory and that
God alone gives genuine security and joy can start to free us - and
to make us realize we must seek the Lord above all.
Yet we're human. We're dependent on relationships, jobs, and
the commitments of others. We enjoy the many good things that come
our way. Says Fenelon, "It is rare to hold God's gifts without
possessiveness." He cautions that possessive love can lead to grief, but that
"God's love sets you free."
It all centers on having the attitude that Jesus described
when he spoke of the Father taking care of the flowers and birds. All
good comes from God, and we are called to trust him and find freedom
in that trust - even when what's precious to us fades or is ripped
Francois Fenelon encourages us to "experience how immense God
is, and how he sets his children free. Bear patiently all that God
allows to pass into your life. God gives you grace to bear the cross
just as he provides for your daily bread. Trust God to bring you what
Lord, I want to fully trust you. Help me to find my security
in you. I don't want to be so bullheaded that you have to throw me
off a cliff to get my attention! Here are my mind and heart. Grant
me the freedom that comes with acceptance. [The One Year Book of
Encouragement by Harold Myra]
"We're not worried," we say nervously, "just quite
Life is full of concerns - fleeting, chronic, financial,
relational, mild, or severe. These worries can drive us crazy just thinking
about them. They can also cause us to question our faith in God. Does
God care about our concerns? Is he doing anything to help us out?
In this passage, Jesus points out the lessons in trust that
we can learn from nature, assuring us of the futility of worry and
of the certainty of God's care. Strengthen your dependence on God's
gracious care, and watch your worries melt away.
Jesus knew that his disciples naturally worried about having
enough of life's necessities, so he reassured them that God would
provide for their needs. He pointed out that God provides for the animal
kingdom, so he also would provide for them - they mattered much more than
the animals (Matthew 6:25-34).
Worrying about our needs accomplishes nothing and ignores the
fact that God works to meet those needs. Jesus didn't tell his
disciples to be lazy or not to work, just to trust God and not to worry.
Do what you can about the concerns you have, but also realize
that God, who loves and cares for you, has made provision for them as
well. He will not let your needs overwhelm you. Whenever worries
plague you, follow these three steps: (1) tell God about your concerns,
asking him to provide for your needs; (2) do what you humanly can to
work on your concerns; and (3) trust in God's goodness remember
that he cares for you more than even you care for yourself, and he
will provide all you need at the right time. [The One Year Through
the Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman]
Save your best striving for seeking My face. I am constantly
communicating with you. To find Me and hear My voice, you must seek Me above
all else. Anything that you desire more than Me becomes an idol.
When you are determined to get your own way, you blot Me out of your
consciousness. Instead of single-mindedly pursuing some goal, talk with Me
about it. Let the Light of My Presence shine on this pursuit, so that
you can see it from My perspective. If the goal fits into My plans
for you, I will help you reach it. If it is contrary to My will for
you, I will gradually, change the desire of your heart. Seek Me first
and foremost; then the rest of your life will fall into place, piece
by piece. (1Ch. 16:11; Mat. 6:33) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Trust Me enough to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the
demands of the day. Refuse to feel guilty about something that is so
pleasing to Me, the King of the universe. Because I am omnipotent, I am
able to bend time and events in your favor. You will find that you
can accomplish more in less time, after you have given yourself to
Me in rich communion. Also, as you align yourself with My
perspective, you can sort out what is important and what is not.
Don't fall into the trap of being constantly on the go. Many,
many things people do in My Name have no value in My kingdom. To
avoid doing meaningless works, stay in continual communication with
Me. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I
will counsel you with My eye upon you. (Luke 10:41, 42; Psalm 32:8)
[Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Come to Me with all your weaknesses: physical, emotional, and
spiritual. Rest in the comfort of My Presence, remembering that nothing is
impossible with Me.
Pry your mind away from your problems so you can focus your
attention on Me. Recall that I am able to do immeasurably more than all
you ask or imagine. Instead of trying to direct Me to do this and
that, seek to attune yourself to what I am already doing.
When anxiety attempts to wedge its way into your thoughts,
remind yourself that I am your Shepherd. The bottom line is that I am
taking care of you; therefore, you needn't be afraid of anything.
Rather than trying to maintain control over your life, abandon yourself
to My will. Though this may feel frightening - even dangerous, the
safest place to be is in My will. (Luke 1:37; Eph. 3:20-21; Psa.
23:1-4) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Be still in My presence, even though countless tasks clamor
for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with
Me. While you wait in My Presence, I do My best work within you:
transforming you by the renewing of your mind. If you skimp on this time with
Me, you may plunge headlong into the wrong activities, missing the
richness of what I have planned for you.
Do not seek Me primarily for what I can give you. Remember
that I, the Giver, am infinitely greater than any gift I might impart
to you. Though I delight in blessing My children, I am deeply
grieved when My blessings become idols in their hearts. Anything can be
an idol if it distracts you from Me as your First Love. When I am
the ultimate Desire of your heart, you are safe from the danger of
idolatry. As you wait in My Presence, enjoy the greatest gift of all:
Christ in you, the hope of Glory! (Rom. 12:2; Rev. 2:4; Col. 1:27)
[Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
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
Dearest child, There are two ways you can go about the business
of your life. You can be stressed and anxious and crippled with
worries. Or you can trust that I am in control, working in your
circumstances, and you can be free! Why is trust so difficult for you? Why do
you worry about menus and calories and grams of fat? Why do you fret
about styles and fashions and putting together the right wardrobe?
Life is so much more than food. Your body is so much more important
that the clothes you put on it every morning. Look up. See the
birds? They have never made a grocery list or counted a calorie, and
yet they are fed. Find a field filled with flowers. Spend an hour
gazing at their beauty. You think they are worried about what's in
style this year or what color goes with what? Now, if I take care of
birds and flowers, can't you believe that I will take care of you? It
is the godless person who worries about these things. But you are
my child. Seek my kingdom, and I'll provide for you. Leave
tomorrow in my hands. I love you, God [Postcards from Heaven by Claire
For a good portion of my life I struggled with what it meant
to be a Christian. Did it mean knowing about Jesus? Living a life
good enough to please God? Going to church more Sundays than I miss?
One day about ten years ago, all the questions were cleared up for
me in one verse--Matthew 6:33.
I finally understood that being a Christian didn't have
anything to do with who I was, what I knew, or how I lived; it had
everything to do with Jesus. God was calling me to give up my life in
exchange for his, to forget about my own agenda and put aside all my
When you put God first, he will never disappoint you. He may
not always give you what you think you need, but he always gives you
what is best in order to fulfill his call for your life--whether
that's football, family, career, or your own personal ministry. Every
day I wake up asking God to lead me, mold me, guide me, and use me
to accomplish his purpose: reaching the world with the good news of
Kurt Warner, NFL quarterback and Super Bowl XXXIV MVP, is the
founder of the First Things First Foundation. [The One Year Bible Live
Verse Devotional re Mat. 6:33]
All the kids called him "Grandpa." He was a plumber with an
eighth-grade education. But no one was more articulate about Jesus Christ
than Grandpa Craig.
Kids from all over spent a lot of time with Grandpa--eating
popcorn in his living room, having Bible studies, praying, just
"shooting the breeze." No matter where the conversation wandered, though,
Grandpa would always bring it around to Jesus.
Whenever we were talking about school or dating or the
future, Grandpa would say, "That reminds me of something Jesus said....."
or, "That's just like when Jesus......" and he would reveal new
insights to us about Jesus.
Grandpa's life was filled with the reality of Jesus'
presence. On Saturday afternoons, we would sometimes take long walks with
Grandpa. He would point to the countryside and say, "Now, that's Jesus'
way of showing us how much he loves us. He made all these things for
us to enjoy."
Grandpa saw Jesus in everything around him. "See how the sun
goes down so faithfully every evening?" he would ask. "That shows how
faithful Jesus is to us. Just like the sun, he never lets us down."
When anyone wondered how to act toward a new kid in school,
Grandpa would ask, "How would Jesus act if he were in school?" Problems
with parents? "What would Jesus do in your shoes?" His advice was
always simple: "Focus on Jesus. Figure it out from there." [Youth SB re
One day Tauler met a beggar. "God give you a good day, my
friend," he said. The beggar answered, "I thank God I never had a bad
one." Then Tauler said, "God give you a happy life, my friend." "I
thank God," said the beggar, "I am never unhappy." Tauler in amazement
said, "What do you mean?" "Well," said the beggar, "when it is fine, I
thank God; when it rains, I thank God; when I have plenty, I thank
God; when I am hungry, I thank God; and since God's will is my will,
and whatever pleases him pleases me, why should I say I am unhappy
when I am not?" Tauler looked at the man in astonishment. "Who are
you?" he asked. "I am a king," said the beggar. "Where then is your
kingdom?" asked Tauler. And the beggar answered quietly: "In my heart."
Make Christ First And Last And Best In Everything. AH106
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
SPECIAL VIDEO CLIP ON SEEKING GOD FIRST: