Start Here

Getting Ready to Run - cottonbro studios ( by cottonbro studios

Thought for the Week

I believe in the power of words to change people’s lives. Jesus’ words, more than anyone else’s, have changed the way I think, speak and live. For example, after referring to the constant worries that hover over people who neither know nor trust God, Jesus tells his followers to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). I pray these words at the start and close of every day. From them I’ve learned:

  • Seek first means “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’ 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 that 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…
  • Power of WordsAll 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…

Start here!

*Hell may not be a separate “place,” by the way, but a fractured reality. One imposed not by God, but by those who reject the very Source of love, joy, peace, and truth.


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Start Here

  1. Beautiful blog. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Amen, and Happy Monday. Here’s to another week of getting up after we fall down. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When we seek His kingdom first, things that others are running after will be running after us. ☺

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jeff says:

    Great words. I also like your idea on “hell.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I would like to understand more about hell being a fractured reality. Have you written about this is the past?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mitchteemley says:

    Hi Dana, sorry, I haven’t written anything specifically devoted to the subject, just isolated comments like the one above. But I have thought about it. Quite a bit. My conjecture is based on various biblical passages: 1) that God’s word is the source of everything we have and are (Deuteronomy 8:3, Acts 17:28), and is the lamp/light by which those who know him see (Psalm 119:105); 2) that God is the source of all real love (Greek “agape” – 1 John 4:7-8), from which lesser human love is but a temporal fragment; 3) and that to know him is to have eternal life (John 17:3), from which (like agape love) all lesser life is but a temporal fragment.
    In other words, heaven is the presence of God, from whom all life, love and reality derive. Therefore, the rejection of God’s Spirit (Matthew 12:31), of his living presence, is to choose “outer darkness” (Matthew 22:13), a state devoid of light, love and any meaningful sense of reality, to choose “a fractured reality.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I liked your interpretation of Matthew 6:33. Thank you, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like you Mitch reading the word of God and spending time in his presense has changed the way I think, conduct myself and live. In fact the more I get to know the Lord Jesus the more I want to spend more time with Him. Very good scripture that you blogged today, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pam Webb says:

    A fractured reality—gives one pause.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful thoughts, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

  12. revruss1220 says:

    I love it! Thanks for these important thoughts, Mitch. I especially appreciated your definition of hell. When pondering those realities I like to think of heaven as “eternal communion with God,” and hell as, “eternal separation from God.” In that sense, I can’t imagine too many things worse.

    Liked by 1 person

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