“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
As we continue this first part of the year, this is always a good time to re-evaluate our lives and ask ourselves what is first in our daily lives. What takes priority in our lives? What gets the best and first of our priorities and time?
Our key scripture tells us to seek FIRST the Kingdom. First is defined as coming before others in time, place, order, or importance.
I believe there is also a correlation with our first and our best.
That when we give our first, we are giving our very best – before anything else is taken, before anything is given, we have the choice to give our first to His Kingdom or to our kingdom. We can give our first priority to things that build His Kingdom or to things that build us up.
What are my first thoughts of the day? What are my first actions of the day? Is the first of my day spent in His Word, in His Spirit? Or is it wrapped up in emails, in texts, in the news of the day?
The first determines what comes after. The FIRST determines my direction. We’ve all been there…. when we’re heading out on a trip using our GPS or we’re in an unfamiliar area. And we’re about to start our trip but we’re not sure if the GPS is telling us to turn right or left. So, we take that right turn, and it adds ten minutes on our trip. Why? Because our first turn, our first step, determines our direction and the route we take. Now yes, we have a choice, we can change things. We can make the U-turn. We can turn around and make the right choice. But when we make Him FIRST, it saves us from making those mistakes and those delays in our lives.
We see the importance of FIRST in our key scripture…
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
When we seek His Kingdom FIRST, then these things will be added unto us.. We must seek Him FIRST and the things that we need according to His will and plan will be added.
In our lives, there is a constant fight for who or what will be FIRST. Who is first when it comes to our priorities and focus?
We put a lot of emphasis on what is first, but we don’t talk about what is second or what is last.
Because in our spiritual walk with God, there has to be a first. There’s no first and a co-first, or a kinda first.
We see this in sports – there aren’t two championship teams. There aren’t two Superbowl winners. That’s why there is overtime – there’s a fight to the end to name the first-place team. Now I know the soccer fans, not many but there are some, will point out that a soccer match can end in a draw or tie. But even in a soccer tournament (I had to google this) where a winner must be determined to advance, if there is a draw, there is extra time given until a winner is declared.
In our spiritual walk with God, it is important to understand that must be a clear FIRST in our lives. If we want the will of God to take place in our lives, we must make it evident that He is first in everything thing we do.
But the mistake we make too often is we go into overtime, we allow there to be competition between our kingdom and His kingdom, between our ambitions and His plan for our lives.
God gives us that choice to put Him first or to put other things first. But if we want to see the Kingdom of God truly take place in our lives, we need to call off the game, blow the whistle, shut off the clock and declare there is no competition. There is no question that I’m putting God FIRST in my life.
In our society, there is such an emphasis on who is first, who is the best, who is greatest.
I talked about this several Tuesdays ago, but there’s always talk of the GOAT…the Greatest Of All Time.
Who is the greatest in basketball? Who is the greatest in football? Who is the fastest? We equate the greatest with ability or what we have to offer.
But when it comes to the Kingdom and the spiritual, Jesus teaches something completely opposite of this.
Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side.
Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.” Luke 9:46 – 48 NLT
“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” Matthew 20:16 NLT
This is counterintuitive to how we think in the physical. God is saying that if we want to achieve greatness in the Kingdom, if we want to see all that God has for us – we must be last. We must humble ourselves and submit to His will and His Word. Yes, we must put the Kingdom First. But in order to put Him first, we must be last.
Not saying to neglect our responsibilities in life and declare, “Well, I’m just a loser.” No, the Word tells us to give our very best in everything we do, in the physical and spiritual. But we do it with a mindset that says, “I’m doing for the Glory of God…I’m in this place in my life to put the Kingdom First and mine last.”
That’s Kingdom First.