Sunday, March 30, 2008

Verse of the Week - Seek Him First

Sometimes I get caught up in the here and now. Who do I need to feed? Who needs their clothes changed? Who needs help? Who needs some instruction or discipline? What housework needs attention? So many demands of the day calling out for my energy and time, not to mention all that carries over to tomorrow’s to-do list.

I easily lose focus of eternity. This weekend God called to mind the well known verse in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The whole passage leading up to that challenges us on having a sole focus in life, serving God as our one and only master and mindset. I get so stuck on the physical sometimes.

Sometimes I focus more on what my kids eat than on their spiritual nourishment, more on their water intake than their thirst for God, more on their clothes than the fruit of the Spirit they exhibit. Of course, this applies to my personal goals as well. I often show more drive and passion for saving money, eating well, exercising, and daily routines than for my quiet time, building eternal rewards, having a spirit of prayer, memorizing Scripture, and sharing my faith with others.

Worrying often comes with the territory of motherhood. We worry that we will ‘mess up’ our kids, that they will make the wrong choices no matter how diligent our parenting, that they will have ungodly friends, that they will stray from their walk with God. I love the way Matthew 6 ends, too. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” I definitely have enough to worry about today, and I too often expend effort worrying about the wrong things anyway.

I need to strive to seek first His kingdom, His righteousness. After that, things mostly fall into place on their own, at least the important stuff.

My husband and I have never really been in a position of serious physical need. However, we did experience one year of extreme faith building, that has helped me through times of 'little' worries ever since. We spent a year overseas as dorm parents at a Christian high school. During that time we had very little income and lived mostly off our savings, which as a young, married couple didn’t go too far either. At one point during the year our support was getting a little sparse.

We chatted with a visiting couple after church one Sunday and God used them in a powerful way to strengthen our faith and remind us of the truth of Matthew 6:33. During our conversation the man placed a little wad of something (at the time I honestly thought it was a gum wrapper, rather odd) in my husband’s shirt pocket. Later, my husband unwrapped it and showed me the $100 bill. I didn’t need to worry. God’s message was loud and clear. That money wouldn’t last forever, but the lesson He gently placed in my husband’s pocket that day would. God had everything in control. I just needed to keep seeking Him, His righteousness, and He would take care of where our meals and clothing would come from. We never missed a meal that year. We lived very simply, but we had everything that we needed.

Even if I did not have a year of experiences like that to look back on, Scripture holds enough promises to last a lifetime, and then some. I need to remember this week to keep my focus on the inside not the outside, on the eternal instead of the temporal, on Him rather than all these other things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God,

and his righteousness;

and all these things shall be added unto you.

~Matthew 6:33~

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