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Seeking The Kingdom

Jesus said: “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). This is an amazing verse; it says so much in so few words. It tells us how we should live as Christians, as God’s chosen and regenerated people. It says that there are two things we should “seek first,” two things we should make the highest priority in our lives, the kingdom of God and His righteousness. How do we know that He really means the highest priority? It is because the “all these things” that He places at a much lower priority are food, clothing, etc. (see Matt. 6: 25-32). Jesus tells us here that the Kingdom of God and His righteousness should be more important to us than the basic necessities of life.

To “seek” this kingdom could mean to search for it but it can also mean to work to establish it where we are. Now Jesus wasn’t telling His listeners to leave their homes and migrate to some unspecified foreign land; He was telling them and He tells us that we should work to establish God’s kingdom right here at home. It’s easy to make a donation to a foreign missionary service and be done with it; it’s not so easy to change our priorities and adjust our way of life but it is what our Lord requires of us.

But what is this kingdom of God on which Jesus places so much importance? Well a kingdom is a domain in which the king reigns and the law of the king is obeyed. The kingdom of God then is the kingdom in which the law of God is the law of the land. What though is that law? Well Jesus had just told His listeners (the Jewish people of His day) that it was the law that was given to them through Moses. He also said then that every detail of this law will not pass away and that it applies to Christians today (see Matt. 5: 17-20). (The only difference for Christians today is that Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself on the cross was the final sacrifice and there is now no further need for animal sacrifices or its associated priesthood. In fact, continuing such sacrifices today would constitute a denial of the efficacy of Christ’s sacrifice.)

How then do we seek this kingdom today? First of all we study to learn its law; second, we obey its law in all we do; third, we work to establish its law as the law of the land in which we live. This last point is necessary because we cannot be islands; we cannot avoid the erosion of our faith in a law environment that is fundamentally antagonistic to it. Families cannot maintain God’s law for their children when many of their neighbors ignore or disdain it. We must either change the environment or adapt to it and that always involves some form of submission to it.

We are beginning to feel the pain of God’s judgment for our neglect of Jesus’ words. We have not made seeking His kingdom a priority at all in our lives. We have not been the salt and the light He commissioned us to be (Matt. 5:13-16; 28:18-20). We have failed put our trust in God and fight against the ever-increasing evil that surrounds us. We have neglected our duty toward the world around us; we have tolerated lawlessness in our nation and are beginning, really just beginning, to reap the consequences of past disobedience. When will we wake up and see that much of the godlessness of the society we’re living in is due to our failure to obey our Lord?