Seek God’s Kingdom – Weatherproof 15
Does your dependence on money ever frustrate you? It sure is upsetting to me. I don’t like it. There is enough, or there is not enough. We need this, or that, or we go into debt to have what others have. How about the simple act of just getting by? It is nearly impossible to reside in many states without constant financial vigilance, because the cost of living is so high. So Jesus has a very timely message for us, one that will weatherproof our lives from the constant pressure of finances.
No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:24-34 NLT
The best way to weatherproof your life against the constant pressure of finances is to be born again into the Kingdom of God. To seek His Kingdom, and put knowing Christ above all else in life. When you do, a somewhat confounding dynamic happens in your life—you enter a different economy, with different resources and different values. You become part of God’s Kingdom, where you are in Christ and He is in you. Jesus becomes your King and Sovereign instead of money, and He reconfigures your hearts desires to be a generous giver instead of a constant consumer. And He looks out for your needs, provides better security than Merrill Lynch or Simply Safe ever could, and leads you down the path of right-living and simplicity.
Curiously, the Kingdom of God you enter into is operating, invisibly, concurrently with the kingdom of the world. You don’t physically leave the earth at your point of entry into God’s Kingdom—which is one of the wonderful benefits. Life goes on in a newfound beauty, while in a real sense we have joined the eternal ranks known by loved ones that have gone before us, those who have been made truly whole. They no longer worry about earthly pain, hardship, or just getting by. And in the same way God provides for them, and provides for the wildflowers and the sparrows, he will provide for you and me.
So everything may look the same around you, similar pressures and conflicts, splinters, stubbed toes, disappointment, heartache and loss, but the truest essence of life becomes fundamentally different. There is no longer a need to worry or fear.
Seeking God’s Kingdom first in life, after you have chosen to follow Jesus, is an ongoing discipline involving several key areas of life. It is a discipline because the power of the world is ever-pulling against godly values and truth, and will try everything to redirect your focus from Christ to money and related concerns.
Be humble. Arrogance and privilege are not virtues of God’s Kingdom. Humility is.
About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 18:1-4 NLT
Be forgiving. Grudges and bitterness have no place in God’s Kingdom. Things offend us on a daily basis. We must become unoffendable, and forgive others quickly to protect our hearts from anger, hate, and bitterness. Forgiveness, as we have been, and continue to be forgiven by our Father in heaven, is required among those seeking God’s Kingdom first.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 NLT
Be generous. Our heavenly account grows in proportion to our generosity. It may seem to be a backwards accounting method, but accumulating goods in this life is not a Kingdom value—investing in others, is. Remember the story Jesus told of the poor woman who gave sacrificially? He said:
And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Luke 21:1-4 NKJV
Be pure of heart. You can’t fool God. There is no room for lying, gossip, back-biting, sexual immorality, or any hidden sin, in God’s Kingdom. Everything we do is known and seen by God, nothing is hidden, don’t even try it. Stop the bad choices, and ask God to wash you and make you clean. He will because He loves you so much.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:5 NKJV
… as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. I Thessalonians 2:11-12 NKJV
Dear one, this world is not our home, we were created for eternal relationship with God. Eventually, in seeking His Kingdom, we will follow many of our loved ones to eternal life with Jesus. But His Kingdom is here, now. And being a part of it places us in a new economy. Don’t worry about tomorrow, trust Jesus, and be a blessing to others, be generous, God watches over you, and He knows what you need, even before you ask.