Tag: seek first the kingdom
Scripture reading for January 8th: Matthew 6
Jesus’ message was full of teaching about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus taught His disciples to pray to the Father. Their first request was to be the declaration, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Jesus wanted His followers submitted to the King and in agreement with His will! In their case, the King would be their heavenly Father! Jesus was taking them beyond where they were to a New Covenant understanding of adoption as God’s children.
Jesus taught His followers not to store up money or earthly treasures. He taught that many things can rob us here of those earthly treasures. Thieves could steal them or the elements could cause them to decay or become worthless. Instead, kingdom people store their treasures in heaven where they will be eternally safe. Jesus stated emphatically, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Besides that, no one can serve two masters! “You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24b)
We all have a tendency to worry about our daily needs. People in Jesus’ time did the same thing. Jesus encouraged them not to worry about their needs, telling them that their heavenly Father knew them. They were supposed to ask Him for their daily bread each day! (Matthew 6:11) They could observe the birds and the grass and see that God cared for them. They were much more valuable to God! “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)
Scripture reading for October 7th: Matthew 5-7
Matthew is writing his Gospel primarily to the Jews who knew the Old Testament law and prophets. That’s why he quotes so many passages of the Old Testament and tries to speak to them in ways that relate to their background and heritage. Matthew records one of the longest discourses of Jesus in the Bible. It is also one of the most famous and contains a rich wealth of teaching for those who are followers of the great Rabbi and teacher who is the Son of God. It is hard to pick out just one area for our devotion today but I have chosen to focus on the blessedness of those who embrace the King and His kingdom!
The kingdom of heaven was the subject of this great teaching and this term is used several times. A kingdom implies a king. God was to be King over the nation of Israel and they were to be His loyal subjects. Jesus begins with an opening to this message that we know as the “beatitudes”. This section speaks of the blessedness of those who will be subjects of the King. They are blessed when they are poor in spirit because theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3) Kingdom people are not proud and boastful and self-sufficient. Their sufficiency comes from their King in their midst.
Kingdom people are meek and merciful. They are humbly under their merciful King’s authority and guided by His Spirit. They hunger and thirst for righteousness and are satisfied by their King with a banquet of bread and wine. Kingdom kids are pure in heart because they have a new heart given as a gift from their King! They are peacemakers for they are sons of their Father who gives peace that the world can’t understand! These kids are blessed when they are persecuted for their righteousness because they have heavenly vision and know that the best is yet to come! They have a reward in heaven that no one can steal or destroy. (Matthew 5:7-12) They will see their King’s face one day and bask in His glory!
Kingdom kids are blessed to be the light of the world. They reflect the glory of their King everywhere they go. They are the salt of the earth! They bring out the “God-flavors” of this world according to the Message Bible! (Matthew 5:13-16) They help stop the corruption of sin and bring out God’s saving and preserving message of Gospel hope. They are a people who live out the law by loving God and loving their neighbors from their hearts. God’s law is written there and His Spirit empowers them to live righteously in a wicked world.
God’s kingdom kids do not have to worry about tomorrow or fret over provisions. They know how to talk to God in prayer and trust Him for everything. He is their provider and protector. They are blessed with all they need as they seek their King and His righteousness! (Matthew 6:33) They have built their houses on a Rock, their King and God! Storms may come, but they will be secure and safe in Him! What a blessed life! I’m so glad to be a “Kingdom Kid”!