King James Version (KJV)
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
New International Version (NIV)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
New American Bible (NASB)
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“and he will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.”
Seek First the Kingdom
This passage is so powerful. These are the words of Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount. This is the second part of many powerful teachings of Jesus in these chapters. Only a few verses before this, Jesus tells us how to pray, in a model prayer, The Lord’s Prayer.
The context of this verse is Jesus’ response to our worry. He has been on the earth over 30 years at this point. He has been steadfast in His mission. But he has also heard people complaining, worrying about things like clothing and food. People were (and still are today) focused on worldly, temporary goods – which don’t sustain us eternally.
Even back in Matthew 4, Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Again, this message was to the ‘tempter’ himself. It is not about the bread that we physically hunger for. Yes, He will provide that as he says in Matthew 6:33. But we are to Seek Him first. We are to put our focus on Him. We are to rest at His feet.
In a single day, there are many applications of Seeking the Kingdom first. In choices that we make – We can either choose the world or choose Jesus.
The first step we can take every single day is to make sure we spend time in the Word. If we aren’t doing that at all, we need to start somewhere. Open Matthew, read a little every day and take notes. Or if we are already doing that, then we need to dig deeper. Start memorizing, studying more.
And prayer. Prayer should be a daily spiritual routine. We should speak to our Father daily. Then throughout the day, when we are struggling at work or at home – we stop take a moment and ask God for help.
The rest is allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us and direct our steps. But there will be decisions. And we can make choices. It doesn’t just fall into place. Step three is being intentional, and making choices that align with the Word. With God’s will.
I pray that this year will be blessed and fruitful for you and your family!