Lord, teach me to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness.
Read MATTHEW 6:25–34
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
New International Version (NIV)
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“But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).
In her book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, Bronnie Ware describes her experience as a palliative caregiver. She asked her patients about any regrets they had and anything they would do differently. Compiling all the responses, she put together five top common themes. One of them is, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” Many expressed regret at spending so much of their lives trying to earn as much as possible. Ware suggests that if we could adopt the discipline of simplicity and make conscious choices by creating more space in our lives, we could become happier and would probably need fewer material possessions.
Jesus deals with our material security in today’s reading. We worry about our life, what we need, what we want and what our future looks like. The world of advertising is effective at making us want more than we need in our life and at selling the lifestyle, status and security that we crave.
Jesus draws us back to the discipline of simplicity. To seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness does not mean that we do not plan for our future. It means that we arrange things so that we make room for God and for others. It means that we seek change and transformation in the world we inhabit. It means that we care for the elderly neighbor who needs extra help. It means that we consider the single mothers and the poor in our community. It means that we make positive changes in our world. Jesus promises that if we do this, we shall find joy, contentment and purpose in this life. God will surely not abandon us but will provide for our needs.
Jesus is calling us to look beyond ourselves and our self-centered perspectives of life. What can you do today to seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness?
Lord, order my desires around what pleases You and what advances Your kingdom in this life.