Seek First the Kingdom

“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.” Matt.6:33 (Amplified Bible)

What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God? How do we do that? I’ve heard believers pray “Lord just remove anything in my life that keeps me from putting you first.” Then when they lost their job or something, they thought it must have been God who took it because they were putting it ahead of him. Sounds very spiritual, doesn’t it?

I’ve prayed along those lines, feeling pious, hoping I’d impressed God with my holiness. But that’s really about all it is – religious piety trying to impress. Then God began to correct me and show me from his Word.

Satan is the destroyer, the one who takes away from us, but Jesus came to give us life and a life that we can enjoy. “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10 (Amplified Bible). Satan is the one who takes away, not God. And Satan will use our words against us to steal, kill and if possible to destroy us.

Jesus came to give us life and life that we can enjoy. 2 Peter 2:3, 4 says He has given us everything for life and godliness. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (New International Version). He has given us everything we need for life and for godliness while we are here on the earth. We have these things through our knowledge of God and his word, not by giving up things.

We put God and his kingdom first in our lives, not by praying for God to remove things from us, but by the choices we make every day. We know what our priorities are, we’re the ones who set them. We know where we’re spending our time, the choices we make. When we are honest with ourselves, we know what we’re allowing to separate us from God. We know if we need to remove something from our life. If we want God to be first in our lives, we have to make that decision and chose to put God and His Word first place in our lives.

When we put God and his kingdom first in our lives, He will add to our lives, not take from them. We go to work, we take care of our families, we have fun in our lives. These are things God desires for us and has given us. But we do them with the purpose of serving God, not just ourselves. Pray and ask God “How can I serve you today through the task before me?” That is seeking God and his kingdom.

Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ
Dee

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WORDS OF MY MOUTH

“Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.”

Psalm 141:3 (The Amplified Bible)

I was reminded a few days ago how I need to pray this prayer every time I start to speak. I said something that had unintentional results of hurting someone and causing them to question me as a believer. Actually, I didn’t say it. I posted it on Facebook, but same thing. It was done in jest, without thinking, but I should not have done it. I deleted it, but like words spoken aloud, I couldn’t take back the hurt it caused.

My mouth has been a problem for me most of my life. Disrespecting and talking back to those in authority over me, rude and even mean things said to friends and inappropriate comments were common when I walked as the world walks. But as a Spirit-filled believer, this should not be the case. When I go to the Father to confess my sins, I am usually talking about my words.

The Bible has a lot to say about the mouth. In the Wisdom Books alone, Job, Psalms and Proverbs, there are over 200 references to the mouth. Jesus said what is in abundance in our hearts our mouths will speak. (See Matthew 12:34) God takes our words very seriously. We have the capacity to bless or to hurt by the things we say. We can bring glory and honor to our Lord or turn unbelievers away from Him by our words.

If we sincerely want to be mature Christians, we must first learn to control our mouths. The book of James says, “For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.” (James 3:2, The Amplified Bible) Sounds difficult if not impossible, doesn’t it? Left on our own it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. When we consciously and constantly ask the Holy Spirit to help us, with HIS power, it is possible. God never calls us to do anything that is not possible.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14 (New King James Version)

Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Dee