Bible Society of South Africa

The kingdom first – 6 September 2022

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

33Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.

Matthew 6:33GNBOpen in Bible reader

In the two verses preceding our verse for the day, Jesus made it very clear that we should not worry about the material things, like food and clothing, as this is how non-believers look at life. To be frank, and as we all know, this is not very easy. We all worry about many things. It is human to worry about the high rate of unemployment in our country, the possible loss of your job and the war in Ukraine that disrupts the lives of so many people, and pushes up the price of everything, especially that of fuel. Then, there is rising inflation, load shedding and so much more to worry about. Older people are often worried about their pensions and medical provisions.

Listening to what Jesus said about such worries, your faith can feel very inadequate and small, and you become afraid of falling far short of what Jesus expects from you. If you add other things that can cause you to worry even more, like a child who does not do well at school, a brother or sister who does not believe in God, serious illness and many other problems, this feeling of inadequate faith becomes much worse.

Did Jesus really mean that we could and should go through life without a moments worry? I do not think so. What Jesus wants to do, is to help us understand that there are two ways that we can look at life.

The first is a way of life that is completely dedicated to yourself and that is why Jesus called it the way of unbelievers. It is a lifestyle where everything is focused on your pursuit of worldly possessions and pleasures. With food and drink, Jesus surely did not only mean literally that, but all material things and thoughts.

The second way of life is in total contrast to the above. It is a life that is dedicated to seeking the kingdom of God. It is a way of life that wants to be under the rule of God, instead of the rule of the materialistic world.

Prayer: My prayer today is that God would help me to be content with what I have, but dissatisfied with how far I am on the road to the kingdom. Help me to keep on seeking your kingdom every day, so that it would become more visible in my life. Amen

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