Thought for the Week - 14th MayPastor Gareth Watkins
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns;
yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is,
and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you,
O you of little faith?
“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.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Last week I wrote about having a light attitude towards God. Today, I’d like to take it one step further.
I find it amazing that, in spite of us and our light attitudes, God still fights our battles, protects us and sees us through circumstances. He’s done that because He doesn’t have a light attitude towards us. He has high standards, high aspirations, all the things of His created child in you and me, He has all these things lined up even though we may have a light attitude towards Him.
He has a definite answer for us, a definite plan for us and a care for us. Two thousand years ago He sent His son to die for us. Those are not light actions. They are not light thoughts towards us. They are strong, sincere and permanent… and they’re going forward with purpose driven from the beginning of time through to the end of time. If we have a light attitude towards God, that is up to us. But God doesn’t have a light attitude towards us.
Sometimes we need stirring up! We can become lazy or off pace in our Christian walk. God doesn’t leave us where we are with theories – He shows us how to do things! So if we have a light attitude towards God, how do we sort it out? In the above verses, we find the “how to”: seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
God often stirs us up with various subjects, and the time will come for us to bring it before God. We need to seek the kingdom of God when it comes to everything from bringing up children, our work, our marriage etc. The “how to” that fits them all is to… seek first the kingdom of God (v. 33).
The world is raging around us! But if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything we can think of that we need – our hopes, needs, worries to be solved – will be added to you!
We read “all these things”. What things are we talking about? Where I go, who I get married to, where I live. If we want to have a blessed and fruitful life, we need to seek first the kingdom of God. The answer to the raging world is to put everything second to God, who we need to put first. We need to put everything, every one, every power, second to God. It can be quite difficult, especially if we have ill health, a poor attitude, relationship issues, low self-esteem, sins or addictions. God’s answer is in this passage – seek first the kingdom of God… and all these things will be added to you. We have to bring all those things back into a place where God is over it. We need to seek him first, while the problem is going on.
We might not be able to resolve things in and around or lives, but we can control two things: seeking (a) God first and (b) His righteousness. We can do that! Christ said we could.
God knows if we have poor health, a light attitude towards Him, if we’re full of self, if we’re not dealing with sins. His answer is simple – to seek first the kingdom of God. He wants to help us in our faithless state, with our stubborn personalities and in our troubles. What’s His answer? To seek first the kingdom of God. Do you think God has a desire to get you a job, a house, qualifications, and to look after your children? Yes He does! His answer… seek first the kingdom of God. Do you think God wants you to thrive, grow, overcome and do well in this life? Yes! We need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. When we do, all these things start to happen. It’s God’s principle for living.
The trouble with us is that when we identify a problem, we try to do it in our way. Instead of dealing with things in God’s way, we turn to our old selves, our old emotions, our old ways etc. The result is going backwards, down the wrong path and getting into more of a mess. We’re doing what God has shown us in our own way, when He has shown us His way. The way He wants us to approach all aspects of living is in the above passage… seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.
Is it easy? No. But it’s the best life. Look to God for the answer in all situations and circumstances.
Sometimes, we can become over familiar, and in a way disrespectful toward the things of God. There is a fear in these matters. We read Exodus 9 that all the nations tremble before God. There is a fearful aspect to God – there is a judgement, an awesomeness, the God of eternity! We mustn’t make ourselves bigger than we should.
Hebrews 12: 22-24
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven,
to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant,
and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
These verses show us exactly what we’re coming to when we seek first the kingdom of God! We’re not just coming to an unknown! That whole kingdom is for you, not against you. Look at what’s included when you seek the kingdom of God – we come to Zion, the city of the living God! An innumerable company of Angels are for you, under God! The general assembly and church of the first born – all those Christians who went before – are there waiting, for you, praying in intercession that you will achieve all those things that can be added unto you. All these things take you forward under God.
God, the judge of all, is in the midst of all of that! He’s created all of that and put all of that in place to help us go forward to that place. We’re not bound in physicality and time. God is beyond all those things.
If we come to Christ, seek Him and His righteousness, the proof of it will be that all these things will be added unto us. Why? Because it is part of the covenant that Christ has introduced! All of this sits behind that one little phrase “the kingdom of God“. Without Christ and the blood of Christ, none of this would be possible!
All of this is behind you to get you where you need to go in this life!
The answer to it all is to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He will take the part that we can’t do and make all these things come right under His name. This is the new covenant!
If you are feeling not bothered, sins you don’t want to sort, that there’s a blockage, thoughtless towards God, consider these words. This is how to put things right! There’s a magnitude of power and authority behind you!
God makes it simple! God puts things in place and into perspective. He gives you and me the ability to overcome all things.
Feel hope. Don’t feel lost. Feel a purpose and a plan. He has a place for each and every one of us.