Troubled? Seek First the Kingdom of God

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious 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: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:19-34nature-sky-sunset-man-medium

The kingdom of God has several aspects.  Broadly speaking, the kingdom of God is the rule of an eternal, sovereign God over the entire universe including our own hearts and lives.  We live in a war zone where the battle for authority is raging.  The battlefields are within us (our hearts) and around us (the world). 

Today Satan is alive and well.  But one day in the future this battle will be over and two things will occur: 1) those that know God through a personal relationship with Jesus will spend eternity with God in peace 2) those that don’t will spend eternity apart from God in torment (John 3:16-18, Luke 16:19-31).

The modern day world is our temporary home. 

Something that is temporary has a definite beginning and definite end.  The Bible tells us that Christ will come again, and then after that the world and the things of the world will no longer exist.  The temporary world will be replaced by the eternal kingdom of God.

If you lived in a temporary home while a magnificent new permanent home, with every conceivable necessity and feature, was being built which home would you focus your attention on? Would your mind and your resources be focused on the temporary home?  No.  You would give the temporary home just enough attention so that the basic necessities remained functional.  You would talk about, and dream about, and work about and toward, your permanent home.  Especially since the builder was giving you explicit instructions on what steps you would need to take today, to properly occupy the permanent home tomorrow.

Don’t get caught up in the things of the world or the desires of the world as they are all passing away (1 John 2:15-17). God knows what you need in this temporary world and He promises to meet every single need you encounter, IF you demonstrate your trust and love for Him by acting according to His instructions.  You aren’t even required to act perfectly – just purposefully.  And you are equipped to do this through the power of the Holy Spirit and the instructions of the Bible.

  • Where is your treasure? Reflect upon how you spend your hours each day and what you labor for, and how you spend your money.  Compare that to how much time you read your Bible, and pray, and give.
  • What does it mean that the eye is the lamp of the body? Read Luke 11:33-36, John 9, and James 4:17. 
  • Why can’t we serve both God and money? Read Luke 12:13-21.  When we stand before God will He be more interested in the amount of money and possessions we have or will He be more interested to what ends we utilized our money and possessions and why we labored for money?
  • Read Luke 12 which is a parallel account of Matthew 6. What else do you learn from Luke 12 about seeking first the kingdom of God?

Permission to distribute: Please feel free to download, print, or electronically share this message in its entirety for non-commercial purposes with as many people as you like.

© 2016 Michael Martin

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