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First Things First: The Primacy of God’s Kingdom

In the sixth chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus imparts a foundational principle for our spiritual journey, an instruction that has far-reaching implications for how we orient our lives and priorities. He invites us to seek the realm of God and His righteousness first, assuring us that our needs will be taken care of. This counsel shared as part of the Sermon on the Mount, serves as a compass for our daily living, reminding us of the primacy of God’s kingdom in our lives.

At the core of Jesus’ instruction is the call to seek, which suggests an active pursuit, a dedicated quest, and a determined effort. It’s not about a casual interest or a passive observation but a deep commitment and an earnest desire. We are called to seek, to explore, to strive for understanding and engagement with God’s kingdom, His rule, His reign. We are encouraged to direct our energies, resources, and time towards understanding God’s ways and aligning our lives with His principles.

The object of our quest, according to Jesus, is God’s kingdom. This kingdom is not a geographical domain or a temporal realm but a spiritual reality characterized by God’s rule and presence. It’s the sphere where God’s will is done, His values are upheld, and His love is demonstrated. When we seek God’s kingdom, we’re seeking to live under His authority, to embrace His values, and to engage with His mission in the world.

Accompanying this pursuit of God’s kingdom is the quest for His righteousness. Righteousness, in the biblical sense, is more than moral uprightness or ethical purity. It’s a way of life that mirrors God’s character, reflects His justice, and embodies His love. To seek God’s righteousness is to strive for a life that resonates with God’s heart and upholds His standards of justice, mercy, and love.

Jesus assures us that our earthly needs will be addressed when we prioritize God’s kingdom and righteousness. This means we’ll still be subject to challenges or have all our wants fulfilled. But it does mean God will provide for our needs in His wisdom and love. We are freed from excessive worry about the future, knowing that our Heavenly Father, who knows our needs before we even ask, will care for us.

In conclusion, Jesus’ counsel in Matthew’s Gospel invites us to reorient our priorities and place God’s kingdom and righteousness at the center of our lives. It challenges us to actively pursue a deeper understanding of God’s rule and strive to live according to His standards of righteousness. And it reassures us that our dedicated pursuit of God’s kingdom will meet our earthly needs. As we journey through life, may we continually be reminded of this call to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness first, trusting in His provision and experiencing the fullness of life under His gracious rule?