Saturday, November 18, 2006

Finding All Things

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
Peace, prosperity, healing, success, significance, fulfillment of purpose, well-being, happiness, the meeting of all needs. These things are not found by looking for them; they are found when you cease searching for them and begin seeking the one thing that really matters — the kingdom of God and His righteousness. When you turn your heart toward that, everything else will be taken care of.

Here is how a few other translations put it:
But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition. (Bible in Basic English)

But make His Kingdom and righteousness your chief aim, and then these things shall all be given you in addition. (Weymouth’s New Testament)

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (The Message)

Set your heart on His kingdom and His goodness, and all these things will come to you as a matter of course. (Phillips New Testament in Modern English)

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. (The Amplified Bible)
The kingdom of God is His rule and reign. The righteousness of God is His rightness — the way God does things, which is always appropriate and just and good. The world was created to operate according to the rule and reign of God and His righteousness, and when we line ourselves up with that, we are positioned to experience and enjoy all the blessing that naturally flows from it.

We find this same principle in operation in the Old Testament. For example, Deuteronomy 28:1-14 lists the rich blessings that come upon those who diligently obey the voice of the LORD and carefully observe all His commandments.

In the opening of Psalms, we find it expressed this way:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted by rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
(Psalm 1:1-3)
David sums it up this way:
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:3-4)
The world desperately strives after many things, but the one thing that matters, and from which all other good flows, is the rule and reign of God and His rightness.

(See also One Thing)