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Putting 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 NKJV)

In the verse above, our Lord Jesus was admonishing His disciples not to worry about the things they need; rather, they should put their focus and attention on seeking the kingdom of God first without fear of whether their needs would be met.

What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God? How do we seek it? Simply put, to seek the kingdom means to put it in first place in our lives. Christ must always be number one in all that we do. Number one in our homes, marriages, jobs, finances, and everything else. Now that may sound like an abstract idea, but let’s talk about how that looks on a day-to-day basis.

Take your job, for instance. If your boss came to you and said, “We need you to start working on Sundays. It’s mandatory for everyone.” What would you do? When putting the kingdom first, your heart would reject that mandate, and you would stand up against it. Maybe you would tell your employer that you can’t work on Sunday mornings because of your faith which requires you to be in church every Sunday morning. Or, maybe you begin looking for a new position. Either way, you’re making a conscious decision to prioritize your attendance in church, which is vital to your growth as a Christian. You do this with confidence because you know that God is your source, and if you seek the kingdom first, everything you need will be taken care of.

Let’s take another example. Say you come home from work and all you want to do is relax, but you realize you didn’t take any time to pray or study the Word that day. You may want so much to turn that TV on and let your mind go numb as your favorite show plays, but your spirit needs substance. Putting the kingdom first means grabbing your Bible or your Rhapsody of Realities and taking some time to read through and meditate. Or, you could take a few minutes to pray and be refreshed by a time of fellowship with the Spirit of God. This is what God expects us to do, and He knows it is in our best interest.

1 Kings 17 gives us an account of a widow who was asked to give some of her last morsels of food to Elijah the prophet before she planned to go and die of starvation:

7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’”

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

This widow was about to die, and God told Elijah that she should feed him. In wisdom, Elijah asked her to give him food first, and that as a result, she would not run out until the drought ended. What did Elijah know? He was certain that if the widow prioritized his meal, since he was out doing God’s business, that she would most certainly not suffer as a result. He knew that if she did as God asked of her, she would be blessed.

As you begin taking steps to put the kingdom first in every area of your life, you will see miracles and blessings overflowing, just like the widow. Putting the kingdom first is not only good for the Lord, it’s also a sure path to success and victory for us! Take some time to evaluate your priorities today and make the decision to put the kingdom first in all areas of your life.

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