Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Seek first! - September 27th, 2011

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:31-34

History and Context
The book of Matthew does not actually name an author, but Christian tradition from as far back as we have has claimed Matthew's authorship. The author was clearly a Jewish Christian writing to a main audience of Jewish Christians. For this reason Matthew is careful to clearly lay out how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures. He quotes the Scriptures much more than any of the other Gospel writers. Much of Matthew is very similar to Mark and therefore scholars believe that Matthew drew on the book of Mark for material. The believed date of writing was somewhere around 80 AD but it could be anywhere from 50 to 100 AD.

The Text:
Matthew chapter 5, 6, and 7 make up the famous "Sermon on the Mount". These teachings provide the foundation of Christianity. They show how Jesus interpreted and intended the law and the prophets to be applied to our daily lives. In Matthew 6 Jesus uses the examples of the sparrows and the lilies. He says 'look how the Father provides for them, how much more will He provide for you'. He then ends the analogy with this statement, "do not worry... But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." In other words He is telling us that if we simply seek God and His kingdom, we won't have to worry about clothing, food, or shelter. Our needs will be provided for.

The Challenge:
Set aside all worries today and simply seek God. This truly is a challenge, but if you can succeed in this you will find a radical change first in your mood and attitude and eventually in your circumstances as well. If we can truly seek after God and His will on this earth, we will no longer have to worry about the petty things that bother us. This will revolutionize your life and the lives of all in your family.

The Prayer:
Lord, I just want to know you and your kingdom! I want to know who you are, and have the same mind as you. Help me to focus only on seeking you and not to be distracted by any circumstances around me. In Jesus' name, Amen! 

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