But seek first the kingdom of God

matthew-6-33

Revised and re-posted are comments based on Matthew 6:30-33 in the Message Bible, the Verse of the Day for September 27, 2016:

30-33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

From this passage verse 33 is often recited as a reminder of what our priorities should be as believers:

Matthew 6:33 (Amplified Bible):

33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Here is the familiar rendering from the New King James Version:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

In light of the Gospel of Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus as the King, the expression “the kingdom of God” is used four times in the first book of the Gospel writers: Matthew 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43. In its simplest form, the term is translated from the Greek word basileia, referring to the reign, rulership, the authority or dominion of a king.

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word malkūt generally refers to the authority or to his rule of the heavenly king. The Psalmist declares: “They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power.… Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations” (Psalm 145; 11, 13) “The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all” (Ps 103:19). Ultimately this sovereign rule of God, which Jesus Christ initiated with his earthly life and ministry will be fulfilled when “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15).

The Verse of the Day and other references to the Kingdom of God remind us that we are all

Living in the Realm of the Kingdom of God

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;

but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Romans 14:17

 

In the place of transition where God makes covenant

We find the comfort that we seek and the sweet release

Of the Jubilee extended to a bondservant.

Though turmoil surrounds us, we are kept in perfect peace

With a blessed assurance that we are ever secure,

Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty,

But we must wait with patience and not faint but endure.

While pressing toward the mark for the prize triumphantly

We living in the realm of the Kingdom of God,

As we submit our lives to Kingdom authority

And respond to each fiery trial with the Word of God.

No longer in bondage, we are redeemed and set free.

“It is written”: the true standard where we always find

Strength to triumph, transformed in the spirit of our mind.

The Maranatha Singers offer Matthew 6:33 as part of a medley of commands from the Lord Jesus Christ: Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Ron Kenoly provides a lively reminder that “Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost” are the essential elements of the Kingdom of God.

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