(Matthew 6:33) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Often times Christians have a wrong notion of this particular verse although they quote and even sing this verse frequently in church. So let’s study the whole context from verse 25 to verse 34.
25. “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?
26. “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?
27. “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28. “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;
29. “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30. “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?
31. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32. “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
First of all, these sayings of the Lord Jesus are exclusively for the children of God. Notice that He says: “Your heavenly Father”. You should understand that not everyone in this world is a child of God unless he or she is born again. Jesus said; “You (plural) must be born again”. (John 3:7)
From verse 25 to 32; it doesn’t mean to say that we can become sluggard or lazy since we need not to worry about anything.
Proverbs 6:6—11, says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”
Paul instructed the church in Thessalonica that if anyone is lazy, Christians should not give him any food to eat.
(2 Thessalonians 3:6—10) “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
The Lord Jesus here is teaching us the troubles of laziness and worrying on our basic needs which the Gentiles or Pagans are also seeking.
The Lord says “Your Father knows that you need all these things.” The next verse is very important to be discussed: verse 33: “BUT SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED TO YOU.”
How do we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?
First, we should be aware about this world that we live in. The ruler and the god of this world is the Devil or Satan. The whole world is under the control of the evil one.
(2 Corinthians 4:3—4) “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
(Ephesians 2:1—3) “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”
(1 John 5:19) “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”
While the world we live in is under the control of the devil, we as children of God, live under the control of God. We are living in His kingdom, meaning the Lord is our King. While the unbeliever’s mind and thoughts are of the world and are controlled by Satan, we as God’s children have renewed our minds and thoughts.
(Romans 12:1—2) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
When are we going to avoid wickedness and sin? Here on earth or in heaven? Obviously, while we are living here on earth.
What is the sinful nature in us that needs to be buried with Christ? Let’s read the warning from God’s Word:
(1 Corinthians 6:9—10), “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
By the way “drunkard” here represents any addiction a man has that controls his entire life and enslaves him to obey to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.
(Romans 6:16) “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey?”
So it’s not only drug addiction but other forms like gambling, cigarette smoking, sex, shopping, pornography, over eating and anything that controls you and which you obey as your master. If the Lord Jesus is our Master, then we should not allow any one or any habit to be our master.
(Galatians 5:19—21), “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outburst of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
All these wickedness start from the heart, and from within, it goes to our mind.
(Mark 7:21—23), Jesus said: “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly (stupidity or foolishness). All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.”
The Lord Jesus enumerated sin but notice He first mentioned “thoughts” or the mind. That is the reason why all Christians (there’s no exception!) need to renew our mind continually as we live in this wicked world.
(Romans 12:2) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the RENEWING of your MIND, that you may prove what is that good acceptable and perfect will of God.”
(Romans 8:1), “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
(Romans 8:5—15), “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness is seeking to live on what we have just read in this passage– to live according to the Spirit, and the things of the Spirit. And all these things (our basic every day needs) will be given unto us.
Many times I hear some pastors preaching from their pulpit especially in America, mockingly saying that Christians who believed to be poor are too spiritual. They insinuate that the things which the Lord Jesus mentioned: “And all these things will be given to you” refer to material things that can be gained abundantly in this life. These ministers are dead wrong! What the Lord is talking about here is our needs —not to worry about our basic needs but first seek to live the kingdom life in holy living.
(Luke 17:20—21), Now when Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed the kingdom of God is within you.”
It means the kingdom of God is in your heart.
(Romans 14:17), “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
When are we going to live holy lives? Here on earth or later on in heaven? Obviously while we’re living here on earth in the midst of this wicked world.
I hope that after reading this written sermon, you will understand that it does not guarantee that just because you have joined a local church congregation, you already found the kingdom of God. We need to fully understand that when we choose to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, that means we choose daily to live godly lives, die to our flesh and carnal ways, renew our minds continually and trust in His grace to help us obey Him through His Holy Spirit as we live in this wicked world. And when we walk in Kingdom living as His sons & daughters, He will provide ALL our needs & give us righteousness, peace & joy in the Holy Spirit.
Continue reading “The kingdom of God here on earth”