Kingdom Living: What’s In It For Me?

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. — Matthew 6:33

We’ve all got them…priorities. From the moment we wake up to the time we fall asleep, something is fighting for our attention. The question is what will be our greatest priority? We all make time for what is important to us and we seem to always have time to do what we love…so where is the priority of God’s Kingdom for you? This is what we must reconcile.

Jesus said this during what’s known as the Sermon On The Mount. He is talking to His disciples and many people from various backgrounds and levels of devotion. As Jesus gives His discourse, He drops this phrase which surely struck some to the core.

What’s in it for me?

Many may seek God for what He can do for them. It’s the “what’s in it for me” mentality. Sadly there are many who only turn to God when times are tough…maybe that’s why times are always tough? Because it’s the only time they look to God? Something to think about…

Anyway, when God’s Kingdom is our priority, that means that we are not looking at everything from our perspective but from God’s. God’s Kingdom is not about “us”. God’s Kingdom is about God. As much as God loves us and cares about us, we are not the center of His attention. God’s glory and His will are at the center. A kingdom focused person will have to set aside the idea of what’s in it for me and embrace that regardless of whatever we get out of it, God will not only be getting first priority but all the glory.

When you hear seek God’s Kingdom first, what does that mean to you? How have you been suffering from a “what’s in it for me” mentality?

What are you seeking first today? Whose kingdom are you seeking, yours or God’s?

 

 

 

Kingdom of God: Seek

In this passage Jesus readily invites us to seek, to inquire, to not stop looking until we find! I have to admit that I have been guilty of stopping short of the goal line at times. Jesus’ invitation to seek His Kingdom should be like a running back’s magnetism to the endzone.

We can be so easily satisfied to pick up a few yards carrying the ball and think that’s seeking. Not really. There’s no running back who is carrying the ball who would ever stop short of the endzone without being stopped. His drive, passion and goal is the endzone and nothing short of it. Ever.

Is it possible that this is what Jesus meant when he said seek his kingdom? We tend to believe that seeking God’s kingdom means praying. It is! But not that alone! Every team has a huddle (prayer) but unless they break the huddle they will never truly seek the goal!

Seeking means pushing forward. It means dragging every force of earth and hell forward with you. It means shaking off things that cling to you and throwing off the opponent that is dragging you down. It means getting back up every time you get knocked down. It means never stopping, never quitting, not even a thought of it until you are in the endzone.

Seeking means looking in directions you weren’t planning. In all athletics, gamebooks and plays are designed for certain situations. However these plays can be blown at the onset and force creativity.

A running back is gonna juke, fake, lunge, and jump in order to seek the goal. Don’t be afraid to improvise. God is the King of improvisation. Who knows? Maybe you’ve got some moves the world has yet to see but will only been seen as you seek!

Seeking means have your eyes open. No one runs with their eyes shut! How is it we try to seek God’s kingdom and yet keep our hearts, minds, and eyes closed to the people and needs around us? How can we seek the Kingdom of God and expect to find it without being willing for God to show us new and different things!

Each quarter in a football game the teams switch endzones. Don’t run in the wrong direction. There are two endzones but only one is yours! Make sure you are running in the right direction! Keep your eyes open and know your surroundings!

God invites us to seek his kingdom. To do so means we need to run toward all that is good and godly while it’s being formed around and within us. Until then keep seeking and never stop! There’s only one endzone at that’s heaven!

Kingdom of God: King

In our way of life, it is hard to understand the concept of a “King”. Having traveled to Africa several times though, I do have a much better understanding of what a king does and how he operates within his kingdom. Even though I have some idea now, it’s still quite different visiting a Kingdom rather than living in one!

One of the main things about  kingship is that the kingdom does whatever the king wants. It’s not like the people really have any say at all. The king makes all the decisions and the people obey.  Now we have all been educated about good and bad kings but we really can’t even imagine what it would be like to live under a king that is less than good. Isn’t this why America was founded afterall, right?

Another thing about a king is that the king shares in the very best of everything and anything, while often others suffer to satisfy the king. The king may have compassion but very seldom is the king going to go without anything the king wants. He will not only have the best but more of it than he or his family needs.

Jesus is vastly unique in both of these areas as King. Yes, He does have rules, guidelines and parameters for people to follow. Yet, He gives us freedom to choose. We don’t have to follow Him. We can ignore His rule (for a time) and live how we want. However, those who are seeking His Kingdom have to submit to His Kingship in their lives. What this means is that Jesus has the ultimate and final say on and about everything in our lives. Sure there are times when He will allow us to choose between several good and God-honoring things. However, people of His Kingdom submit to His leadership, knowing that He is a good King and His desires and plans for us are always best.

A very interesting thing about Jesus as King is that He willingly left His rightful throne in Heaven to come and make Himself like one of us. Having more than enough of anything and everything, He made Himself nothing to show and demonstrate His great love for us! His compassion for us moved Him from the throne room to a cradle to a cross.

A while back as I was looking through friend requests on Facebook, it struck me that Jesus and I weren’t friends! Frantically I searched through the friend database to find and friend Jesus. And then it struck me, (obviously I’m kidding here) that Jesus doesn’t want to simply be my friend…He is my King! I hope you get the point.

Many people in today’s age only look at Jesus as “friend” or “buddy”. In fact, it’s easy for any of us to treat Him that way, especially since we don’t live in a place that operates under a “king”. Yet, Jesus Christ is the King and He has a Kingdom. Every King has a Kingdom and Jesus is inviting all of us to be part of that Kingdom. It is impossible to seek God’s Kingdom first without seeking the King. We can’t seek God’s Kingdom without understanding and knowing what is important to the King! So what is important to the King?

If you were summarizing what was important to and in the Kingdom of God, what would you say? Write me back and leave your comments.

Matthew 6:33 Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God. It is the place where the King rules and hearts adore Him. The Kingdom of God is not as much a certain place as it is meant to be every place. It is not so much outer space as inner space. This is the mystery of the Kingdom of God. This is what we are told to seek first.

Seek First. First priority. First thought. First thing. We are to seek not our desires, goals, purpose, plans, wants, needs, or anything short of the Kingdom first. What does this mean and what does it look like to live in such a way?

If the Kingdom is everywhere and within as much as outside of us, then there are some tangible applications to what Jesus means when He says “seek first His Kingdom.”

Application #1 Every Kingdom has a King. The rules and guidelines for life are set by the King. He determines what is important and what is not. We often like to be masters of our own domain. However someone who seeks His Kingdom first has surrendered his castle, fortress, home, etc. to the rule of the King. Begin to allow the Spirit of God to rule your life . Don’t cater to your preferences, desires, whims, or even beliefs about how God does things. Allowing God and His Spirit to move and work as they please is the only way to live within this Kingdom. The Kingdom of God only has one King and it’s not you or I!

Application #2 Govern your life by Sovereign Rule. We can find ourselves struggling to continue to do the right things. It is then we must remember Kingdom of God. People may wonder why we choose to be nice and give money to a homeless guys who is going to go and blow it on some cheap liquor. My response is that I am only responsible for what I do, not what He does. I can only obey God and seek to build His Kingdom. I must rest and trust in God’s great sovereign rule. God has the power to take my good (and my bad) and transform it into something beautiful. When I am seeking His Kingdom, even if I choose poorly and make a mistake, He will direct my path back to Himself. In other words, don’t fail to choose to do good for fear of it not working out. Don’t fail to give your absolute best when the results are not there or in your control anyway. Trust in His sovereign rule. When we are seeking his Kingdom, God will use even our worst failings to do something for which He alone gets credit.

Application #3 Give Him The Glory. God’s Kingdom is about God’s glory. It is a place where all attention is directed to God and all is done for God. We can easily fall into a trap of living out self-serving tasks in the name of Jesus. We can forget that the reason we exist is not for ourselves but for The King. When we choose to live for the Kingdom of God everything about our lives is used to simply direct people to the King. We don’t live for ourselves but for the King. We don’t serve ourselves but the King. We don’t accept praise but we give it to the King. All that we are and all that we have is for the King and to be used for Kingdom purposes.

In the Kingdom of God life is upside-down and inside-out. It is seen and hidden, eternal and now. The Kingdom of God is not only near you or in you…you are in it! So let God your King, let him rule and control each area of life and give Him glory in all that you do. When you do…you are seeking the Kingdom of God!