Seek The Kingdom Of God Above All Else

Posted: November 30, 2014 in The Christian Standard
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“Listen to this, all you people!  Pay attention, everyone in the world!  High and low, rich and poor — listen!  For my words are wise, and my thoughts are filled with insight.  I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.  Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me?  They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches.  Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God.  Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.  Those who are wise must finally die, just like the foolish and senseless, leaving all their wealth behind. The grave is their eternal home, where they will stay forever.  They may name their estates after themselves, but their fame will not last.  They will die, just like animals.  This is the fate of fools, though they are remembered as being wise.  Like sheep, they are led to the grave, where death will be their shepherd.  In the morning the godly will rule over them. Their bodies will rot in the grave, far from their grand estates.  But as for me, God will redeem my life.  He will snatch me from the power of the grave.  So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid.  For when they die, they take nothing with them.  Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.  In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success.  But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day.  People who boast of their wealth don’t understand; they will die, just like animals. (Psalm 49)

“Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.  May your Kingdom come soon.  May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)

And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all people will hear it; and then the end will come.”  (Matthew 24:14)

Everything moves into its proper place when our first priority in our day is the Kingdom of God.  The Living Word of God says that where our treasure is, there our heart also is.

And we know by simple observation of human behavior that the things we treasure in our hearts, the things we hold dear and cherish are the things we think about the most, that we cannot help but talk about, that we worry about.

For some, this treasure is our family.  For others, it is our work, dreams, reputation and status, money, power, leaving a legacy behind, fighting for a cause we believe in, and the list can go on.  These things in and of themselves can be great treasures and worthy of pursuit, if pursued with the right attitude.  But we have to be discerning and wise about the place of these things in our lives.

We are to seek the Kingdom of God FIRST.  All other worthy causes should fall neatly under our pursuit of the Kingdom of God in our day-to-day lives.

Christ gave us one job: to get the Good News about the Kingdom of God to the whole world, so that all people will hear it.  Yes, God is Almighty and could do this all by himself and just get it done, but He chose His children to do it.  He gave us this honor and entrusted his Kingdom to us.

If we are seeking first our own kingdom, then God’s Kingdom is not our priority.  And there are so many things within our own kingdom that dominate our time and thoughts that days can turn into weeks, which turn into months, which become years that go by without us achieving the one thing that was delegated to us for our life on earth by God.

Paul tells us candidly in 1 Corinthians 3:13 that on Judgment Day, the refining fires of God will reveal what kind of work each person did in their life.  If our life’s work was of and for our own kingdom or the world’s kingdom, we will watch it burn up before our eyes.  We ourselves will escape the fire because of our faith in Christ Jesus, but we will have little or nothing to show for our life on earth.  Paul warns that we will suffer great loss if our work does not withstand the purifying fires.  We do well to think this over on a regular basis and apply it to our lives while there is time.

Many of us have nothing to give except our prayers, but we do not realize that our prayers are the most effective work we can offer the Kingdom of God.  God does not just go ahead and fulfill his will on the earth whenever He wants to.  He fulfills his will through the prayers of the followers of Christ Jesus.  Know this truth and pray.  Each one of us is the vessel by which the Kingdom of God comes to the earth.

Lord Jesus, may we have a clear understanding of the precious treasure you have given us, the trust you have placed in us to fulfill your will on earth.  May we firmly grasp the power we hold in our prayers and understand how we fulfill your will by praying.  Let us not fall into the trap of a life of fruitless pursuit of things that we must leave behind when we die, leaving this world as naked as the day we came into it.  But let us store up for ourselves eternal treasure in heaven by obeying what you have asked us to do.  Give us eyes to see and ears to hear; give us wisdom and discernment and burden us with a deep desire to pray.  May your Kingdom come soon!

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