THIS IS ONE OF THE TEXTS WHEREIN OUR Lord identifies and demonstrates that the search and passion for the kingdom of God
and His righteousness must and should always be given the first priority in our guest for a qualitative living and a proper relationship with God and fellow man.(Mathew 6:33).
In our churches, we have been told that repentance is a panacea for salvation, very important in one’s life, an experience which
brings man and God to a close, peaceful and joyful relationship. Now you are a Christian, living in a changed and changing world, a
world of constant changing values and competing factors. World of great trials and tribulation, a world of insecurity, diseases and hydra-headed problems. With all these,
a Christian is faced with the problem of choice, decision and aspiration, what should be t he Christian focus and approach to
such world as to please God and remain on the right tract.
The above formed the choice of this theme “The Neglected Truth” which is Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness,
and every other thing shall be added unto you. To show the importance of this theme. It becomes the dominant theme of the
Synoptic Gospels and constitutes the focus on which Jesus began His Galilean Ministry. It is the central theme of His parables. It is
the overall theme on His lips at the last supper. In the thought of the kingdom of God, Jesus lived, worked and died. For more
understanding of the massage, let us look at the world at the time of Jesus.
THE JEWISH WORLD AT THE TIME OF JESUS
Palestine at the commencement of Jesus’ Ministry was one devoid of peace, stability freedom and liberty. Being part of the
Roman Colony, its leaders and administrators were appointed by the government of the day. Exploitation and impoverishment of the people was very
prominent in the society. Freedom of speech / expression was a very scarce commodity. John the Baptist was incarcerated because
of his prophetic utterances. Again the society at that time was one in which the sanctity of human life was not guaranteed. It
was indeed placed after personal ego. It was to retain his pride that Herod ordered the beheading of John the Baptist.
Economically, people were living far below the poverty line. One only needs to read the parable of the workers in the vine yard
(Matt. 20) to appreciate the fact that unemployment was at its peak. That the owner of the vine yard could easily get
workers at any period of the day shows that the situation was not funny.
Again in the gospel according to St. John, Jesus indicted the crowd. Searching for Him. “I tell you the truth, you are searching
for me not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill” (John 6:26).
For the people to take the risk of crossing the sea in search of Jesus only for Him to repeat the Miracle of the feeding of the
multitude just for them to have something to eat shows that at that time in question, hunger was a regular companion of the people.
Therefore, given the background of the social, economic and political hardship of the time, one can then see or understand
why the quest for survival was uppermost in the minds of the people. Because of the prevailing ugly situation, some of them
threw justice, equity, fairness and other demands of the covenant which their fore fathers had with God over board. Their quest
for survival engendered all forms of injustice and oppression in the society. little wonder why then the Lord Jesus made it a point of
duty to draw their minds back to God’s standard and way of survival- “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and every other thing shall be added unto you”
THE KINGDOM TO SEEK: IT’S MEANING
Down the centuries, man has read diverse meaning to this concept. Let me start with
some of their views. As early as St. Augustine, men began to equate the kingdom of God with the Church, and some still do.
The error here is to confound the divine rule with those who live under it, the people of God. Liberal Protestants like Harnack in the
19th century took the phrase to mean the rule of God in the heart of men and so men’s obedience to God’s will. This is to confuse
human response with divine activity, for according to Billo, God’s rule exists whether men respond to it or not.
Towards the end of the 19th century, when science and religious debates were in full swing, Christian apologists took it to be a
kind of biblical equivalent for the evolutionary process, on the principle of: some call it evolution, and others call it God.
They forget that for the fulfillment of history, the men of the Bible look not to e-voltio but to in-gressio, not to an evolution; from within
but to a divine invasion from without. Really, the kingdom of God is not man’s deed but God’s seed. It is not men creating a new and
nobler society based on the Sermon on the Mount, it is the Holy God breaking into history from outside it to deliver and redeem sinful men.
The Greek word in the Gospel for kingdom is “Basileia” which means dominion, rule, royal power, kingship, and reign. The kingdom of
God is where God exercises his dominion, and where God is the king because there is no king without a kingdom.
The kingdom of God is both here with us and as well as futuristic as seen in our lord’s prayer “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done….” (Matt. 6:10) etc.
The finality of the kingdom comes when Christ finally triumphs over all evil/opposition and deliver up the kingdom
to God the father (1 Cor. 15:24-28). The kingdom of God carries the idea of God coming into the world to assert His power,
His glory and rights against the dominion of Satan. It is more than to be saved. God must express Himself with power in our world.
God braking into our world with power result in us possessing spiritual power over Satan’s rule and dominion (Matt. 12:28; 18:36).
The coming of the kingdom is the beginning of the destruction of Satan’s rule (John 12:31; 16:11) and the deliverance of mankind fro sin and demonic attack.
The essential evidence that one is experiencing the kingdom of God is a life of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17).
In Matt. 11:12, Jesus gave additional information on how the kingdom is realized. There, He indicates that the kingdom of God
is obtained by forceful people, who are committed to breaking away from the sinful and idolatrous practice of the human race.
These people had resolved to turn to Christ, His word and righteousness, no matter what may be the cost. Such are the people who vigorously seek the kingdom in all its power.
In order words, experiencing the kingdom of God and all its blessings requires earnest desire to seek a fight of faith, accompanied
by a strong will to resist sin, Satan and idolatrous society.
THE RIGHTEOUSNESS WE MUST SEEK
Righteousness according to our text denotes basically a relationship. It refers to
the whole Christian behavior which includes goodwill, reconciliation, purity of heart and motive, forgiveness, faithfulness, no
retaliation, mercy, love and distribution of wealth. Our Lord Jesus made “doing righteousness” in entry requirement into heaven.
Righteousness, which is right standing with God by His own standard, cannot be compromised. There is self righteous and God’s righteousness.
In God’s righteousness, the standard is the word of God, God’s demands as He approved it and provided through Jesus Christ.
God’s righteousness is not attained by mere good works but on the basis of the redemptive work of Christ. It is received upon repentance from sin and turning to Christ (Eph. 2:8-9).
Anyone who has through faith put on the robe of righteousness of Chris is unconditionally acquitted and discharged from eternal damnation.
Anyone who believes through Jesus and acknowledge Him as his Saviour and devotes himself to Him is absolved from every charge and is given right standing
(righteousness) with God (Acts 13:39). We experience and manifest God’s righteousness only when we remain in Christ.
This is the righteousness we must seek, a priority that cannot be over looked.
THE IMPLICATION OF THE THEME TO US AS A PEOPLE:
As I pointed out earlier, the social, economic and political hardship at that time in the
Jewish nation brought about a strong quest for survival among the people. There were worries among the rich and the poor. People were worried about what to eat drink and
wear today and in the future. They were afraid of a lot of things that can distract one from pursuing the most important goal in life.
Little wonder why the Lord Jesus made it a point of duty to draw their minds back to God’s standard and way of survival.
Is the present condition of our own world different from Palestine then. Are there not worries /anxiety written in people’s face in your country?
Are we free from the hydra headed problems that causes worry and anxiety in your nation?.
We are living in a generation where worries, fears and anxiety have eroded faith and confidence in God because of the calamities and challenges around us.
Insurgency, armed robbery, terrorism, human trafficking unemployment,Hiv-Aids, covid19, divorce cases in marriage, kidnappers, hired assassins, poverty , political thurgery,
bribery and corruption ,children factory, abortion religions and even denominational discrimination, extremism, fanaticism ,
hunting for babies in hospital, maternities and home for sale, sickness ,occultism witches and wizardry , use of charms and
armlets against each other etc. are causing nightmares on daily basis and there is worry and fear everywhere.
Many lives have been affected to the level that they feel that there is no God and no solution.
May I call on all Christian in the world in general not to worry; there is solution to these problems. Remember that worry for the future is sin.
It denies the love, wisdom and power of God. It denies the love of God which implies that he doesn’t care for us or that he doesn’t
know what we are passing through for that he is not able to provide for us and deliver us. You cannot change the situation through
worry and anxiety instead you gradually wear away your life. Your part is only to “seek first his kingdom and his
righteousness, every other need and causes of all these worries shall be taken care of”.
Remember that “seek ye first” denotes a sense of priority and determination. This appeal is emphatic. I personally see this
massage “seek first” as a divine panacea to every conceivable human predicament here on earth. If our attitudes in all things is patterned to, and in consonance with the
divine will and economy of God as enunciated in the kingdom concept our emotions and other human faculties will be governed by the rule of God. If we are really
under God’s rule/kingdom, then our lives should be all sun shine. If we are minded to follow Christ instruction by seeking the
kingdom first, we shall discover the folly of worry and anxiety in other individual and society.
Brethren; 1st thing they say “must be first” if we must nor drift any endeavour we want to take. Seek him first and never be over-careful about things of this world. Mathew
6:25-34 shows us that over carefulness about the things of this world is most unworthy of a Christian. As a Christian who
has a clearer light and knowledge of God you should give a proof of it by your faith and commitment. Do not act as if there is no God and no Christ. God’s promises are sure
he assures that if we seek first and for most to have a place in the kingdom of grace and glory, everything that we really need in this world shall be given to us. It shall be “added”
over and above our heavenly inheritance. “all things works together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (psalm 84:11) .
Therefore our responsibility is to live for the lord, trusting God for the future with unshakable confidence that he will provide
I therefore advice us not border about tomorrow, tomorrow can worry about its own things (matt 6:34) we are not to carry
cares before they come. We are to attend to today’s business and leave tomorrow’s anxieties till tomorrow dawns. We may die before tomorrow, our assurance is that if
tomorrow brings crisis, He who allows it can will send grace to bear it.
This massage “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and every other thing be added unto you” has a treasury of
golden lessons. Let us seek a place in God’s kingdom first with passion. Many of us have passion for the things of the world more than heavenly things. Politicians, business
men, bankers, traders, athletes, students tec. Are all ambitious people . They commit their energies to advancing their personal, even community agenda. They will lose
sleep and stop at almost nothing to achieve their goals, if we as Christians should emulate this ambitious attitude and redirect
same to our heavenly goals we and our society shall be the best.
Beloved people of God let us follow Christ instruction as we ought to and then learn to watch and pray against the anxious and
over-careful spirit and passion for earthly things/concerns. By fancying all these mundane things of the world and going after them more than the things of the maker,
where then is our faith as Christian? What is our concern? “Where is our confidence in our savior word”? look at the verse of the chapter of our discussion then look into your
heart and then tell yourself the truth. But remember the words of David in psalm 37:25 “I have been young and now I am old
yet never saw I the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” in reality the best future whose realization begins today with our intelligent decision and creative involvements.
As for me and my family we have decided to seek and serve the lord first. What of you? What is your own decision; decide today
May the Lord bless us..
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