“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
If we learn nothing else from the Sermon on the Mount, let it be this.
In preaching, there is something called the C-Note (no not the $100 bill c-note). The C-Note is the main point, or in one sentence or verse a summary of the message. Matthew 6:33 is Jesus’ C-Note.
If we had to summarize Jesus whole Sermon on the Mount in just one verse, it would be this verse.
But seek first . . . His Kingdom . . . His Righteousness
Just before this verse, Jesus spends nearly 12 verses telling us not to worry about earthly things, to trust in God and to think on heavenly things. In fact, it even seems as though he is reminding us that much of our anxiety and worrying comes from thinking about earthly things instead of heavenly things. We live in fear, worry, or doubt when we keep our eyes on earthly treasures and earthly circumstances rather than keeping an eternal perspective.
Our life is a battle for perspective. Jesus is showing us the remedy to worry is not control, but trust. If we can look beyond what’s in front of us, and remember to seek first His kingdom, all these things will be added to us.
When try to spin our wheels and make sure all of our earthly “ducks are in a row”, we end up consumed with control and our own circumstances. When we put God in His proper place and live for eternity, all the other things we worry about seem to fall in to place.
This is much easier said than done. I don’t know about you, but more often than not I am seeking first MY kingdom instead of God’s kingdom. I would say God has top priority in my life, but my worry-filled heart and busy hands would say otherwise.
Dr. Rick Taylor once preached to us “The opposite of faith is not doubt, but control”. When I am walking by faith, I can trust that God is for my good and pursuing Him takes away my worry and fear. When I am trying to control every one of my circumstances, I end up feeling like I need to fix everything and spiral into anxiety.
Someone once said, “Anxiety comes from not believing God has your best interest”. Others have traced worry and anxiety back to pride, which is really thinking you can control the outcome better than God.
Whatever the source of anxiety, it’s clear to me that Jesus is telling us a remedy:
Seeking first His kingdom.
When we focus too much on ourselves, and our circumstances, it usually breeds unhealth through fear, worry, doubt, and control. When we focus on God and seeking Him, it usually brings peace and comfort, a deep sense of trust and faith.
Let’s seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and trust that all these things will be added to us.
- Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. What does Paul tell us to focus on in these verses?
- How much of your fear, worry, and anxiety is rooted in seeking first your kingdom as opposed to God’s?
- What anxious thoughts and worry preoccupy your thought life? How can you preach truth to yourself in the midst of these thoughts?