I believe in the power of story to speak truth into people’s lives (including my own), hence the name of this blog site. I also believe in the power of words to change how I think and live—and no words have changed me as much as those of the Bible.
This is the first of an intended series of posts about verses that have done just that.
It’s seems appropriate to begin with the verse I pray at the start of every day, Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Some thoughts:
- Seek first is Jesus way of saying, “Start here.” Why? Because if we get the order right, everything else will follow. And that order begins with who is in control.
- The kingdom of God is Jesus’s term for anywhere God’s rule is uncontested—heaven for those who love him, hell for those who don’t.* For me, seeking his kingdom means letting him reign over every aspect of my life, and doing all I can to further his reign in the world around me.
- His righteousness. The very meaning of this phrase explains how “all these things will be added unto” us. To seek his righteousness means to set things right, to restore them to their proper position. Think of the vertical beam of a cross. If you set it upright, then…
- All these things, the horizontal beam (our needs, hopes, relationships) will assume their correct positions, as well. The original Greek reads closer to “added” than given, because this is not a reward for good behavior, it’s the result of things being in their proper order (seeking first his kingdom).
Again and again, Jesus tells us that our world is in chaos because we are trying to follow a different order than the one established by its Creator. If you snap a picture with your phone, and then aim it, you will not get the picture you desired, because you didn’t follow the order it was designed for. That’s why Jesus admonishes us to…
*Hell may not be a separate “place,” by the way, but a fractured reality. One imposed not by God, but by those who reject him and all he is (love, peace, truth).