‘But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’
– Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”
~ Ezra Taft Benson
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
In 1 Kings 2:13-end, we read how Solomon’s kingdom was established. Each of the men that Solomon executed had one thing that he refused to give up for the kingdom.
Adonijah had to have Abishag. Joab wanted his revenge. Shimei wouldn’t let go of his servants.
We all face similar temptations. Some of us are like Shimei: our temptation is what money can buy. So we are unwilling to walk away from a lucrative business deal that isn’t entirely honest. Or we build our careers at the expense of our families. Or we shortchange God by skimping on our tithes and offerings.
Other people are like Adonijah: we put sexual gratification ahead of our commitment to the kingdom. Or, like Joab, we are guilty of angry violence, always seeking revenge and payback.
The question for each of us is:
What is the one thing that is keeping me from giving everything to the kingdom of God?
It is all or nothing with God, as it is for every self-respecting king. It is of the very nature of a king to demand total allegiance. If we only follow God when he gives us what we want, then we are not treating him as a king at all but only as a servant.
For God to come first for us, he has to come first in everything, including the one thing we really do not want to give up for his kingdom, whatever that one thing may be.
Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
The trouble is, of course, that we often put what we want ahead of what God wants. We build our own kingdoms rather than seeking first the kingdom of God.
This is evident every time we indulge in sinful pleasure, speak an angry word, or make a selfish purchase. And this is why we need the mercy and forgiveness that God offers us in Jesus, the king who established God’s forever kingdom by bleeding on the cross and then rising from the grave.
To accomplish this saving work, Jesus had to put the kingdom first, and so he did. Now Jesus calls us to join him in putting the kingdom first—first in our minds and hearts, first with our bodies, and first with our bank accounts.
It is only when we share our wealth for kingdom work, protect the purity of our sexuality, and give up any claim to rule our destiny that we are able to stop using money, sex, and power for ourselves and use them instead for the glory of God and the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
LET US PRAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your saving grace. Thank you for Christ’s death and resurrection.
I confess and repent of everything that I have put ahead of you in my life. I repent of my selfishness, self-indulgence, and self-comfort.
I repent of not putting the kingdom first at all times. I receive grace today.
Help me to always put you first at all times and in all things. Thank you for loving me.
In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
(Kindly share with someone today)