Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Seek the Kingdom (Matthew 6:19-34)

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matt. 6:33).

Proverbs teaches that the proud in heart cannot please God. Only those who humble themselves and seek, not their own glory, but God’s, will be pleasing to Him. For the next week, our studies will break from Proverbs to look more closely at the idea of pleasing God.

The proud do not seek to please God; they seek to please themselves. They seek first not the kingdom of heaven but kingdoms on earth. They are more concerned about filling their stomachs with food and drink than partaking of the bread of life. Their zeal is not to seek the righteousness of God but to obtain wealth, fame, power, and pleasure.

Matthew Henry once wrote, “If we were but more careful to please God, and to work out our own salvation, we should be less solicitous to please ourselves, and work out an estate in the world. Thoughtfulness for our souls is the most effectual cure of thoughtfulness for the world.” If you want to please God, His glory must be your chief end. You must humble yourself and confess your dependence on Him for everything. Such humility is foreign to unbelievers, but to those changed by the grace of God, it is essential to life.

Jesus told His followers to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” This alone is pleasing to God. If you are consumed by the things of this world, you are missing the primary duty of the Christian. If you want to please God, you must trust in Him to provide for you. You must also seek, desire, pursue, and aim at His glory through faith in Christ, obedience to His Word, and reliance on His power. Again, Henry wrote, “Let your care for your souls and another world take the place of all other cares: let all the concerns of this life be made subordinate to those of the life to come: we must seek the things of Christ more than our own things; and if ever they come in competition, we must remember to which we are to give the preference.” If you do this, God has promised to meet your every need. Solomon prayed for wisdom and received riches too. The disciples gave up everything, but Christ promised they would receive a hundred times more in their own lifetime and eternal life in the age to come.

What is the first thing that occupies your mind when you get up in the morning? To help you seek God’s kingdom above all else, commit to praying and reading some Scripture before you do anything else in the morning. If you have to get up earlier, do so. Try it tomorrow morning, and every morning to the glory of God.