Saturday, February 7, 2015

Four Ways We Should Seek the Kingdom First!

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

Yesterday I wrote about how God Wants to Glorify You. In the post I describe how many people are not glorified to the extent that God desires them to be only because if they were, they would stop seeking after God. Because God cares more about the relationship than their status or calling He, by His grace, holds them back from the calling in order to preserve the relationship. This is why Jesus told us to seek the Kingdom first. 

If our eyes are focused on the Kingdom 
then we will suddenly realize that everything else has fallen into place.

But how do we seek the kingdom first? In what ways are we supposed to focus on the Kingdom of God? Here are four ways to do just that:
1) We seek the Kingdom first through prayer.

What are your prayers like? Do you constantly pray asking God for your needs? I believe this is the foundational way that we can set our priorities straight. In what is commonly known as The Lord's Prayer, a model prayer that Jesus used as a response to the question "Lord, teach us to pray..." (Luke 11:1), Jesus's first actual request to the Father is:

...Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Luke 11:2

Later in the model prayer Jesus does ask the Father to "Give us day by day our daily bread." (Luke 11:3) but I think it is telling which comes first. 

Our prayers should focus on ushering in God's Kingdom!

I think most people get it confused. They pray for their own needs to be met 90% of the time and then devote maybe 10% of their prayers to kingdom pursuits. 

When was the last time you prayed for your lost family member or friend? 
When was the last time you prayed for your pastor or the missionaries that your church supports? When was the last time you prayed for revival in your city?

These are the things that should occupy your prayer life. What truly matters more your bills being paid or the eternal state of your co-worker's soul? The answer is obvious but do your prayers reflect that answer?

2) We seek the Kingdom first through our finances.

No one likes to talk about money unless it has to do with making it, but this is an important one. There is a reason the Bible talks about giving the "firstfruits" (Ex. 23:19; Prov. 3:9; Neh. 10:35). The Old Testament calls it the tithe which means literally "a tenth", but the new testament talks about giving generously. 

Because the tithe is barely mentioned in he New Testament there are a lot of people who have made the argument that it is a part of the law that has been done away but there are two things that are very clear in the New Testament: we should seek God's Kingdom first and we should give generously from our finances. In my opinion, when we consider that all of our money is God's anyway, 10% can barely even be called generous, but since the tithe is a Biblical idea it is a good place to start.

We should financially support the Kingdom before paying anything else!

Even if God hadn't promised to take care of our needs and to give back to us we could simply use the argument of eternal significance. Not paying our bills may make life on earth difficult but it has no eternal significance, but preaching the Gospel will rescue souls from hell and bring them into eternal life! The least you can do is set aside 10% of your money and put it towards something with eternal significance.

3) We seek the Kingdom first through service.

Through serving the Body of Christ we are seeking the Kingdom. What kind of priority do you put on your service? 

Have you used your work schedule as an excuse not to serve? 
Do you refuse to serve in your local church because you're afraid you'll miss the game? 
Do you pass up opportunities to visit the sick, help the widows or mentor the fatherless?

These things have eternal significance. It is funny how often we say that we don't have time to serve and yet we have time to watch a movie. Think about how much you could do in those two hours! I'm not saying it is wrong to watch a movie, however I think we need to realize how much time we truly have. I used to say that I had no time due to my two jobs but I would spend hours at one job watching Netflix. When I finally realized how much time I had I was able to find again how to serve the Body of Christ. 

Our service strengthens and enables the Body of Christ to fulfill her mission!

4) We seek the Kingdom first through evangelism.

Ultimately, the purpose, the mission of the Body of Christ is to reach as many as possible with the Gospel of Jesus. This is how we spread the Kingdom. 

Have you spoke to anyone about Jesus in the last week? 
Do you shy away from discussion about any Christian things when surrounded by non-Christians? 
Do you actively pray for opportunities to share the Gospel?

We are constantly seeking after success in our careers, how to get ahead, how to live in abundance but we forget that there are billions of people in this world on the road to hell and we know the road to salvation! Rick Warren, in his bestselling book A Purpose Driven Life, made the comment:

"A church that doesn't want to grow is saying to the world, 'You can go to hell.'"

How often have we as individuals said that very thing through our action, or lack of action? There is someone in your life waiting for you to tell them about the Gospel. They may not be ready for you to preach it to them directly but I believe if you let the Holy Spirit guide you He will give you creative ways to plant seeds into that person. 

Winning souls is our ultimate mission and purpose on this earth!

Note: If you have not received the salvation from Jesus Christ then please go to What is the Gospel?

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