Eight verses later and still within the Sermon on the Mount, He says, “seek, and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7).
With those verses laid as groundwork, I would like everyone to understand I am writing to Christians today. I want Christians to look a little deeper at these two famous passages and a few others and see something maybe you have never considered before.
Whenever the Bible uses the same words close to one another, it is a good sign God is trying to emphasize something, prove some point or pound something into our think skulls. He tells us to seek the kingdom of God first, then a paragraph later He tells us if we seek we shall find. Jesus wants our primary goal in life to be the advancement of God’s kingdom; not the accumulation of our stuff.
In the midst of the command about seeking the kingdom of God is the promise to supply our needs. “These things” are more than just food, clothing and drink. God will provide all we need to accomplish our part of His plan on this earth as we live out our lives as a Christian. In 2 Peter 1:3, we read, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
Please do not think I am preaching a prosperity gospel. Following God will not guarantee you $1 million, or $10 for that matter. If following God makes one rich then why did Jesus have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20; Luke 9:58)? It is also very likely that the only thing Jesus owned were His clothes. That is interesting because the only things God promised other that clothing was food and drink, which are consumed; therefore, His robe is all He owned.
Jesus had everything He needed to accomplish the Father’s will. When it was time to pay taxes, out of the fishes mouth came the money needed. When it was time to feed 5,000-plus people, the five loaves and two fishes were enough. When it was time to ride into Jerusalem as the coming Messiah; a donkey was provided. When it came to doing the work of the Father, even though all He owned was the clothes on His back, He always had enough.
God does have a will for all of us and being a living sacrifice is the way we discover the will of God (Romans 12:1-2). Since Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36), the closest thing we can have to the kingdom of God here is to live out the plan He has for us.
Therefore, we give ourselves as a living sacrifice to God; we do this by obeying Him because we love Him (John 14:15; 15:10; 1 John 5:2-3). As we do this God supplies the things we need to accomplish His will. By seeking His kingdom, He provides all theses things.
“These things” are far more than money. Money solves few problems, but God works within all difficulties. “These things” are talents. “These things” are life experiences. “These things” are the warmth of a hug, the brightness of a smile, the food we eat at supper, the spouse God has given us, the clothes on our back, our children. Since God has given us everything, we have, “these things” are everything.
My daughter has MS. God has given it to her. Remember, God gives us everything we have. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.
Some may have a hard time believing God giving a sickness to someone is good, but remember He said, these things will work together for good. God has a plan for His glory, how He works that plan – the details most of the time are unknown to us, but the general overall reason is known. It is our faith in Him which lets us know all will be well.
As a Father, I can understand a little bit better what the Father was going through when Jesus was slain, but He has an advantage over me. He knew all the good that would come from His Son dying on that cross; I do not know what good will come because of my daughter’s illness but, I can trust His Word that He is working it for good.
Why do we have “these things” we have? The money in the bank? Our health, or lack of it? The talents we possess? Our family? God has given us all these things and much, much more.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
We have what we have for the benefit of God’s kingdom.
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit preacherjohnson.com.