This is also from the Sermon on the Mount talk Jesus gave, but from the Luke 12 passage. This week the emphasis is from the end of the Luke talk. You remember, last week how Jesus talked about how He provides for food for the birds and clothing for the beautiful flowers. How much more will He provide for us. We don’t need to worry about those things.
In the Luke passage, He goes over that again, but the emphasis is a bit different. Here, He tells us to seek His kingdom first. Once that is our priority, everything else will fall into place. But what does that mean?
What it doesn’t mean
- That I’m reading the Bible all the time.
- That I’m at church all the time.
- That I’m giving all my money to the church or Christian endeavors.
- That I only think about God and never plan for the future here on earth.
- That I am not practical in terms of living here on earth.
- That I only think about God and Christian things.
What it does infer
- That I’m trusting God to supply my needs but can plan too.
- That I’m trusting God to guide me in terms of volitional service as well as daily activities and I surrender to His guidance,
- I recognize that God is my Father and He is watching out for me and providing for my needs. However, I also bear responsibility to be an adult by getting the education I need, caring for my body as I should, and being disciplined in ways I should as a Christian.
- I recognize I must be a responsible spouse, parent, friend to those with whom I am in relationships with.
- I recognize I need to be a part of a Bible-believing church where I can worship and be part of the community.
- All of this is part of seeking God’s Kingdom as I grow in grace and submit to God and His Word.
- It also means that I am reaching out in mercy to my community whether through a Christian organization or through other community organizations such as literacy, teaching English to those who can’t speak it, helping people who don’t know how to manage money, etc. It all depends on my gifts, callings and where God has placed me at the time.
- That I understand that whether I am involved in apparent sacred or secular ministry to others, God doesn’t make that distinction. It is all Kingdom work to Him if I am doing it for His glory for the advancement of His Kingdom.
There is no magic formula
There is no magic formula for seeking God’s Kingdom. We don’t follow 3 magic steps and there we are. It would be easy if that were the case. It does involve things we don’t always naturally like. Things like submitting to God and His will. Going in directions we don’t always naturally want to go. But often, the way of obedience is a path that leads us to things we find to be very joyful and unexpectedly fulfilling. So when Jesus tells us to seek His Kingdom first, then the other things will be added, I think it is talking a lot more about where our focus is than what we are doing all the time.
If our focus is God’s Kingdom, it will overflow into whatever we are doing. There won’t be a sacred/secular division in our lives because everything will be before God’s face. We understand it is all part of God’s Kingdom. Whether we are at church worshipping, teaching a Sunday School class, fixing food for the poor or helping with a food outreach to the public school system to feed kids on the weekend. It makes no difference. Everything we do is part of our work in and for the Kingdom of God for His glory.
How do you plan for your church activities?
We don’t want to ever be too legalistic about it, but it is helpful to think in terms of things we do that provide input and things that provide output. I try to exempt the worship service from that. To me, it is important to have that as something that is helpful for everything because we participate and we receive from it. In order to minister to others, we do have to miss from it on occasion, but it is important to think of the worship service as something not to miss. Then have one point of input and one of ministry depending on your stage of life.
- Read this section from Luke 12 again. The link is above. Do you get clues about God’s Kingdom from this passage? Jot them down.
- Do you find any help for anxiety in this section? Jot it down.
- Can you put together the things you have found helpful so far into a statement to help your anxiety? Are there any verses or statements you have found helpful? Jot them down along with your statement. If a particular verse has been helpful for your specific areas of anxiety, memorize it so it is easily accessible to your memory.
- Anything you have memorized is always helpful because it is something you can interact with in your mind, often when you don’t even realize it.