Matthew 6:33 …first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
The Amplified version of the Bible throw ideas that don’t always occur to us when we read a passage. Here we are told to “seek first” God’s kingdom. Then adding “and most importantly” gives a specific focus. Those words were added by the translators to attempt to clarify and make more relevant the text. I’m not preferring this translation over others, but I find it very helpful.
Now we have what might be seen as an order of things to “seek first”, but a priority also. It is so crucial.
How many times do the weeds of less important things crowd our prayers or our study or reading time? It happens too often. The rattle and hustles of the world around us takes those distractions and uses them to interrupt the points of time in our days with eternal importance.
Think about those moments and see them for what they are. It may take time to see how that moment changed and what was missed.
Making the pursuit of His kingdom and His way and character our utmost priority add benefits to our lives.
I decree in the name of God Almighty that as you rise from your bed this morning, the land you walk on will produce blessings, the sky above you will release happiness over your life, the breeze around you will blow peace, every step you take will bring fulfilment. Amongst great men and women in this world you shall never be found missing, because surely God will perfect all that concerns you. May He who raised heavens without pillars and built the universe without bricks, bless, protect and sustain you now and forevermore in Jesus name. Go and enjoy favour in Jesus Mighty name. Amen. Good morning. Have a peaceful day.🙏🏽
Are you pulling on your own?
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
A father took his son on a walk through a forest. Suddenly he stopped and pointed to 4 plants near by. The first was just beginning to shoot out, the second was a few centimeters above the ground, the third had rooted itself pretty well into the earth, while the fourth was a full-sized tree.
The father said to the son, ‘Pull up the first plant.’ The boy did so eagerly, using only his two fingers. ‘Now pull up the second.’ The boy obeyed but found the task a bit difficult. ‘Do the same with the third,’ he urged. The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it. ‘Now,’ said the father, ‘try your hand with the fourth.’ The son put his arms around the trunk of the tree and couldn’t even shake it.
‘This, my son, is exactly what happens with our bad habits. When they are young, we can remove them eagerly and easily, but when they are old, it’s hard to uproot them, though we try and struggle ever so sincerely.’
We all have weeds and even deep rooted trees that need uprooting in our lives. It takes a lot of effort to remove those big ones on our own. And perhaps you’re weary of pulling. Know that God is ready to help you. Its time to turn to Him. Let’s ask the Lord to do the uprooting while we cooperate with him not to allow them take root again, and we will see Him gain the victory!
2 Corinthians 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
I read a story of a time when there was a wave of stealing in a factory and to curtail this, the authorities put guards up all around.
One guard knew the workers in the factory very well. The first evening, out came a dude with a wheelbarrow containing a great bulky sack with a suspicious-looking object inside. “All right, said the guard, “What have you got there?” “Oh, just sawdust and shavings,” he replied. “Come on,” the guard said, “I wasn’t born yesterday. Tip it out.”
The worker tipped and nothing came out but sawdust and shavings. So he was allowed to put it all back again and go home. When the same thing happened every night of the week the guard became frustrated. Finally, his curiosity overcame his frustration. So he said, “Guy, I know you. Tell me what you’re smuggling out of here, and I’ll let you go.”
“Wheelbarrows, my friend, ” said the dude, “wheelbarrows.”
Is your attention being diverted? Think about it. Are you (allowing yourself to be) preoccupied with something that seems innocent, while the real, significant, substantial matter is slipping by every day, unnoticed? The strategies of Satan to divert our eyes onto “sawdust” and miss “wheelbarrows” are many. What is the “sawdust” in your life and in mine? If we take the time to look, each of us really knows how we miss the “wheelbarrows” for the “sawdust”. But just like that savvy guard, we ought to wise up quickly and identify the problem. Right?
Are you an armor-bearer?
1 Samuel 14:6-7; Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” So his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul”
The setting in 1 Samuel 14 is war between the Israelites and the Philistines; and while King Saul relaxed under a pomegranate tree [1 Samuel 14:2], his son Jonathan along with his armor-bearer left the camp quietly to see if the Lord would fight the battle on their behalf. Jonathan had no idea what he would face out there, how many Philistines he would encounter, their battle skills or strategies. He only knew that if God delivered the enemy into his hands he would be victorious. And he was.
“Nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few”, is Jonathan’s faith statement to his absolute conviction that victory is not determined by numbers but by God. But notice that Jonathan didn’t fight the battle alone; his trusted companion, his armor-bearer was with him. We don’t know his name, we don’t have much information about him, except this one sentence, “Go ahead, I am with you heart and soul!”
Jonathan rose up, a man with divine initiative, a sense of spiritual adventure, and a total conviction that God was with him. And then, there was this ‘nameless’ guy who accompanied him with deep loyalty doubtless inspired also by the Lord and his knowledge of Jonathan’s faith and character.
When the judgment of our works is given there will be those who were known and those who were “nameless”; loyal armor-bearers standing alongside their leader/friends whose loyalty, faith and bravery will be honored and recognized in full. Be sure of it!
Our intimacy with God must reach that height that whenever we are confronted with any problem, we should tell the problem how big our God is… This too shall pass.
Come to His presence and pour out your heart to Him. All power belongs to God. Keep praying and keep trusting, believing that He is always in control.
No matter how bad the challenge is. God is still God. Be still and know that He is God over everything. He acts in His own time. He perfect everything right on time.
Praise Starts From The Heart
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Charles Wesley, (the brother of John Wesley), is one of the most prolific hymn writers of all time with well over 6000 hymns to his credit! He is the author of my favourite hymn “And Can It Be”.
In 1742, four years after becoming a Christian, Charles realised as he read Psalm 51, that praise must be preceded by a renewed heart.
In that year, Charles wrote the hymn “O For a Heart to Praise My God” and it quickly became one of his most popular hymns. He knew better than most that true praise requires much more than true doctrine; it requires a new heart, which can only be given by God Himself.
It is therefore crucial that we confess and turn away from every sin so we can praise God with a pure heart.
“O for a heart to praise my God, A heart from sin set free, A heart that always feels Thy blood so freely shed for me.” – Charles Wesley
Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15