More! More! More! And all these things . . .

I’m thinking about the verse below, Matthew 6:33, an invitation and promise from Jesus. And I’m thinking about all the real-life applications and the ENORMOUS results.

What would life look like if I were to respond to His invitation by applying these “seek first” principles to every area of my existence—spirit (mind and emotions) and body. What if I were to measure every thought, decision, and action against Matthew 6:33?

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.”

By nature of context, the teaching tendency of this verse has categorically been toward 1) not worrying about practical needs; God will provide, 2) meeting the practical needs of others; and 3) tithing. But today I was arrested by ALL the ramifications of this verse to every aspect of my life. First, let’s break down the verse: there are two things we are to “seek first,” above all other things in practical day-to-day life: His kingdom and His righteousness. The latter, “His righteousness,” is pretty self-explanatory: right thinking, right decision-making, right action. But what is “His kingdom?” And what are “all these things” that will be added to me and to you?

The pointed context in which Jesus is speaking in Matthew 6:25-34 is to our worry over practical needs: how we’ll be fed and clothed. But if you’ve experienced God’s nature, you’ve come to know that when He gives us a principle, a directive (which often includes a promise), that principle will ALSO apply to every aspect of our lives, not just the one or two He’s specified in a particular text—in this case, food and clothing. There’s always far more—more, more, more—that God has for us whenever He speaks.

We understand the greater implications of His “kingdom”—which includes more than food and clothing—when we read the cross references:

  • 1 Kings 3:13—”I will give you what you have not asked for–both wealth and honor–so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.”
  • Psalm 112:3—”Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.”
  • Proverbs 8:18—”With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.”
  • Proverbs 10:3—”The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.”
  • Proverbs 28:10—”He who leads the upright astray in an evil way will himself fall into his own pit, but the blameless will inherit good.”
  • Ecclesiastes 10:2—”A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left.”
  • Isaiah 26:9—”At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.”
  • Isaiah 33:6—”He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”
  • Matthew 19:28—”Truly I tell you, in the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
  • Matthew 19:29—”Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”

Clearly, seeking God’s “kingdom” is not solely about our physical needs but about our EVERY need—spirit (mind, emotions) and body—and God’s desire for us to THRIVE in every area of our being NOW and throughout eternity.

Although I’ve read and sat under teachings on Matthew 6:33 about 2, 637 times, today I was not only surprised by its broader and deeper meaning—encompassing everything—(which caught me in some ‘ouch’ moments), but also challenged by God’s “living” Word to consider the following real-life applications and the results:

What if I were to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”

  • in my availability other others?
  • in my giving to those in need—not just to their practical needs but to their emotional, spiritual, and educational needs?

What if I were to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”

  • in my knee-jerk reactions?
  • in my verbal and non-verbal responses?
  • in my unforgiveness?
  • in my excuses?
  • in prayer for others, rather than primarily for my own needs and desires?
  • in reading and thinking on the Word?
  • in worship?

What if I were to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” . . . .

  • in my not-so-pretty thoughts about others, and about myself?
  • in my misunderstandings?
  • in my ill habits?
  • in my hurts?
  • in my hang-ups?
  • in my anger and stewing?
  • in my bitterness?
  • in my jealousy?
  • in my pride?
  • in my emotional neediness?
  • in my guilt?
  • in my shame?

What if I were to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” . . . .

  • in my sadness?
  • in my feelings of hopelessness?
  • in my depression?
  • in my despair?
  • in my desperation?
  • in my confusion?
  • in my indecision?
  • in my paranoia?

What if I were to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” . . . .

  • in my lack of mercy?
  • in my lack of grace?
  • in my lack of authentic love?
  • in my lack of authenticity / honesty?
  • in my lack of humility?
  • in my lack of sympathy?
  • in my lack of empathy?
  • in my lack of gratitude?
  • in my lack of joy?

What if I were to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” . . . .

  • in my decisions?
  • in my lack of knowledge?
  • in what I listen to?
  • in what I read?
  • in what I watch?
  • in where I go?
  • in whom I confide?

What if I were to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” . . . .

  • in how I view and make assumptions about others?
  • in messy circumstances and with messy people?
  • in how I interact with others—including my spouse and children and mother-in-law, and strangers—i.e. the waitress, the store clerk, the account collector . . . ?

In other words, what if I were to PUSH PAUSE at my very first thought in every given circumstance to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” BEFORE I take the above steps “in?” Wouldn’t the result be a deeper, higher, richer, fuller heart and mind in Christ Jesus? Wouldn’t I become even more exceedingly blessed in spirit (mind and emotions) and body?

In summary, it’s so perfectly fitting to put the following two verses together, for no one speaks life-giving truths better than the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ:

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

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All scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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