“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (Read v. 25-34)
Do we seek first God’s kingdom and trust God to provide for all our earthly needs? Or do we seek first our needs in this world and neglect our greatest need — to be part of God’s everlasting kingdom?
It is easy for us to be overly concerned about earthly things such as what we will eat and what we will wear. Even in our affluent society where the thought of going without food or clothing is far from our minds, we still devote a great deal of time and energy to gathering and keeping an ample store of food, clothing and other things we deem necessary for our life and enjoyment.
Jesus tells us not to be filled with worry and concern over such things as having enough food to eat, or enough clothes to wear. Using the examples of the birds which God feeds, even though they do not plant, reap or garner their food, and of the lilies of the field, which are clothed in fairer dress than Solomon in all his glory though they quickly wither and are used as fuel for the fire, Jesus illustrates that God our Maker can and will care for our daily needs; for, indeed, we are of more value than the grass of the field or the birds of the air.
And what good will worry do us? We cannot, by worrying, add to our stature or to the length of our lives!
Rather than being filled with worry and concern over our earthly wants and needs, Jesus would have us devote ourselves first and foremost to seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness.
Jesus says: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Our first concern ought to be seeking a place in God’s eternal kingdom and being counted righteous and holy in His eyes through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son made man to redeem us (cf. John 1:1,14; Col. 1:19-23)!
As sinful human beings, we focus our attention on having the things we need and desire in this life instead of seeking after our greatest need, to have God’s forgiveness for all our sins for the sake of Jesus’ sufferings and death on the cross in our stead. We seek to cover our bodies and make them appealing to others instead of having God cover the guilt and shame of our sins with the perfect righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ. We seek to store up the goods of this world so that we will never be in need, and we neglect to nourish our souls with God’s life-giving Word that we might be preserved in the true faith unto life everlasting.
Jesus tells us to focus on what is really important first — to follow after Him that we might have a place in His kingdom and be clothed in His righteousness. And He adds the promise that our heavenly Father will supply all our earthly needs as well (cf. Gal. 6:6ff.; 1 Kings 17:8ff.; Prov. 3:9-10).
And so, don’t be worried and overly concerned for tomorrow — each day has enough trouble of its own. Rather, follow Christ Jesus that He might wash away your sins in His own blood, clothe you with His perfect righteousness and give you a place in His eternal kingdom!
Dear Father in heaven, forgive me for worrying about the needs of this life and neglecting my greatest need, the forgiveness of my sins and life everlasting through faith in Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Grant me a place in Your eternal kingdom and clothe me in Jesus’ righteousness. And, dear Lord, give me faith to seek after You first and to trust You to care for all my daily needs. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.]