Seek first the kingdom!
Scripture reading for January 8th: Matthew 6
Jesus’ message was full of teaching about the kingdom of heaven. Jesus taught His disciples to pray to the Father. Their first request was to be the declaration, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Jesus wanted His followers submitted to the King and in agreement with His will! In their case, the King would be their heavenly Father! Jesus was taking them beyond where they were to a New Covenant understanding of adoption as God’s children.
Jesus taught His followers not to store up money or earthly treasures. He taught that many things can rob us here of those earthly treasures. Thieves could steal them or the elements could cause them to decay or become worthless. Instead, kingdom people store their treasures in heaven where they will be eternally safe. Jesus stated emphatically, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Besides that, no one can serve two masters! “You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24b)
We all have a tendency to worry about our daily needs. People in Jesus’ time did the same thing. Jesus encouraged them not to worry about their needs, telling them that their heavenly Father knew them. They were supposed to ask Him for their daily bread each day! (Matthew 6:11) They could observe the birds and the grass and see that God cared for them. They were much more valuable to God! “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)