Thursday, October 4, 2007

Seek the Kingdom, Find Everything

Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
The whole world scrambles for food, clothing and shelter. The Gentiles, because they do not have a covenant with God, must do for themselves, which often leads to worry, fear, and even anger.

Jesus teaches a different priority for those who have covenant with God: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He is not telling us just to put it on our “to do” list. He is not even telling us to put it at the top of the list, as if we are to seek the kingdom of God first and then seek after the other things. No, He is saying that there is only one priority — the kingdom of God and His righteousness. When we seek that, everything else will be added to us.

God always deals with His people on the basis of covenant, and the essence of covenant is exchange: We give Him all we are and have, and He gives us all He is and has. In other words, it means that when we belong to God, He will always take care of us. In the Old Testament, God made covenant with Abraham, and confirmed it with Isaac and Jacob. It was a covenant to bless, not only Abraham and his descendants, but also all the nations of the earth. In the New Testament, we see that this covenant is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is called the “Seed” of Abraham (Galatians 3:16).
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)
Not only that, but the Lord Jesus is Himself the mediator of a new and better covenant, instituted in His own blood (Hebrews 8:6; Luke 22:20). Nothing is left out of it.

What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness? The kingdom of God is His rule and reign; it is His will being done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). God’s righteousness, as the Amplified Bible notes, is “His way of doing and being right.” Seeking is about giving ourselves totally over to God, looking for His rule and reign and in everything, and obeying it. It is doing things God’s way, which is the right way and will always bring the right results.

When we make the kingdom of God our one and only priority, we will not have to seek after anything else; it will all be included. It will all be taken care of, because it has already been provided for in His will. In his old commentary on Matthew 6:33, Adam Clarke illustrates it this way:
This was a very common saying among the Jews: “Seek that, to which other things are necessarily connected.” “A king said to his particular friend, ‘Ask what thou wilt, and I will give it unto thee.’ He thought within himself, ‘If I ask to be made a general I shall readily obtain it. I will ask something to which all these things shall be added:’ he therefore said, ‘Give me thy daughter to wife.’ This he did knowing that all the dignities of the kingdom should be added unto this gift.”
You might say it’s a “package deal.”

Our job — first, last and always — is to seek the rule and reign of God, and His way of doing things, in everything. All else shall be added to us.



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.