“Seek ye first the kingdom of God”
My question is: HOW?
How do I seek the kingdom of God?
It seemed to me that the answer would lie in the body of Christ’s words to those present that day - now called the "Sermon on the Mount”
It says be:
Mend broken relations;
Even when it is the other person having the problem with you.
Don’t stand on your rights;
"I did it my way" mentality, or "It's my right".
Make your righteousness not an outward form, but an inward belief;
(I've often heard, "thinking something is not sin, but only if you do it." But my own experience has been that sin’s outworking is rooted in giving the thought house room.)
Be radical in dealing with our own personal sin;
Don’t swear oaths;
If the intention is true a yes or no will do.
Relinquish my right to self defence;
And the hardest of all is this one. My first response to perceived personal attacks is "You cannot do that to/treat me that way. I'll teach you not to mess with me."
It seems it is personal retaliation that is the subject here. Resisting others seeking to impose their will on me. It deals I think with our self esteem.
I don’t think this is about defending the life of another or stopping a thief. This sermon was at a time when Israel was subject to Rome. Apparently the Roman soldiers felt free to demand the people they were ruling over to carry their stuff or give them their property.
Love your enemies;
This is as simple as loving people of opposing beliefs, secular or religious. Also, those who personally treat you without proper respect, who denigrate your person. Corrie ten Boom’s story is a remarkable example of this love.
Let your gifts, good works, and prayer be private;
Don’t seek man’s honor for your actions. I think this was one of the first and strongest lessons received from my own father. Even so, it's easy to not remember.
Trust God’s provision;
It’s not that we don’t work, but we need to remember that all we are and have is a gift from God, our brains, our health,our job, our skills and gifts. The very food we eat and the air we breathe. And when one area is blocked, say in health, job or failing mind, one can still trust God for provision. Be aware, and give thanks for blessings - and when there are hard parts, thank God. He is in that too. We are not ever alone when He is our Saviour.
Make ones treasures eternal, not temporal;
That is, don’t depend on earthly treasure for security. God may bless us with earthly goods, but it is not our security. In other words, don’t be possessed by your possessions.
God knows our needs and can bring about their fulfillment.
Ouch! Don’t ascribe motives to actions of others. You are merely revealing your own heart. It shows what your motivation would be, not theirs.
Don’t throw pearls before swine;
I see this as arguing ones doctrines and beliefs in a secular ‘court’. If asked about your religion speak of Christ and what he has done. If they press you about a specific beliefs, say abortion, adultery, divorce, alternate lifestyles, creation vs. evolution, I would say the only answer would be those things are not what is important. Christ and His gift of salvation is what is the center of my life. When we open the door of our life to his knock, he will make sure to teach us his way.
I have particularly failed in this area but the truth is God is our life and our salvation and he will, with others, as with us, bring those who love him to know his heart, mind and will for us.
His love and patience is amazing, but for all my life, since I open my heart to him as Lord and Saviour, it's like there is a string from my heart to his. In all my failure and sin, there is ever that gentle tug for my attention to his love and grace.
This is not all God has for us to learn about seeking the Kingdom of God. It's only a start to open our minds and hearts to all He has for us.
He tell us in Matt 7: 7 to Ask, to Seek and To knock. He says if we Ask it will be given, if we seek it will be found, if we knock it will be opened - This is the core of finding the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
It will not be a cake walk. Our lives will be filled with choices; God’s way being the harder choice or acting on our old nature. But in going God's way, we are walking in the Kingdom of God.
God’s way will build our house on solid rock.