Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God - What does it mean?

The Tongue 2

By John Foll, written on 3/12/2017 and 3/18/2017 – 3/19/2017.
© Copyright John Foll 2017 


“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV.

What did Jesus really mean when He said this? 

There is more to this text than is commonly understood. We want to go deeper into this statement by Jesus and give our own personal testimony regarding it, to help increase your faith in God!

Now back to what Jesus said before our central text here: 

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” Matthew 6:25-32 NASB. 

Jesus is talking about two classes of people here: those of faith and the Gentiles. The Gentiles seek first after what they shall eat, drink and be clothed with, making this the most important thing – these are all those who don’t know Jesus or His Father. ‘The Gentiles’ that Jesus is referring to here includes those who are baptized as Christian, who are not of faith or do not fully believe that God loves them and will take care of them. If Jesus is your master, you will truly believe that God loves you and will take care of you, and you will seek first after His kingdom and His righteousness.

Jesus told us not to be like the Gentiles, who worry about how they are going to be clothed, or have food to eat, etc., because they don’t believe in the Mighty Helper for their daily needs.
 
Which class are you? Are you a Gentile or are you a child of faith? That depends on whether you know that God loves you or not, or whether you know that He will take care of you or not. Do you have faith that God loves you and will take care of you? Then seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all the things that you need in this life will be added unto you. Doubt it not. Jesus tells us here that the birds, lilies, and grass are fed, arrayed in their “clothing” and taken care of by our Heavenly Father. Does He not love you more than them? Why then do you not believe that He will take care of you, you of little faith? Why do you worry about how you shall live? Why do you worry about having a job? Will you still be able to afford food? What will you do when something that you need and depend on breaks, if you cannot afford to fix or replace it? Do as Jesus commanded you: Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” Matthew 6:25 KJV. Just take Him at His word!

But now we want to take this deeper: 

What does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness? This is the key to everything good in this life and the life to come. Simply put, this is to seek after God and all His righteousness as Jesus clearly stated here. God revealed this same truth to His servant Jeremiah: “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 KJV. When you seek for God with all your heart, and then desire to obey Him in everything that He has commanded you in the Holy Bible, then you will be seeking after Him first and His righteousness! When you are tired of sinning and being unrighteous, you can pray to God that He will give you His righteousness, and He will give you the Holy Spirit to help you be righteous! Then you will be truly seeking the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness for yourself. Jesus also states this same truth in a different manner when He said:Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV. Jesus’ yoke is much easier than that yoke of bondage to sin, suffering and death! It is easier, because He will make you happy! It is easier, because this yoke is based on your desire to love and serve Him, not by force or addiction or slavery like your life is before you give your heart totally to Him. Jesus will never force you, that is why His yoke is lighter, because it is based only on your choice of daily giving your heart to Him and willingly serving Him, and because He will take all of your burdens and slavery of sin away from you, if you let Him! This will make you very happy if you will just give your heart to Him all-the-way! This is another way of stating how you can seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. Dear reader, lay all of your cares and burdens on Jesus, and take His yoke upon you, and then He will help you to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness.

A passage with overlapping or similar meaning to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-33 is this passage that Moses wrote of God to the Israelites: “And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” Deuteronomy 8:3 NASB. Jesus used this quote when the devil tempted Him in the wilderness to turn the stones into bread: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, ‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ But He [Jesus] answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:1-4 KJV. If you will desire to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God in His Holy Bible, and ask for His help to do this, you will then be living by every word that proceeds from His mouth, and will then be seeking His Kingdom first and seeking after His righteousness.

But let’s take this even deeper:

What does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness? The clue was given earlier. When you yield yourself completely to God because you love Him, you will then be given the precious Holy Spirit. And since ‘God is love’, 1 John 4:8, a very strong desire will be placed in your heart to help others in whatever way you can, because you know that God loves them too, just like He loves you! And you will long, just ache to tell them how much He loves them!

Note: 1 John 4:8 does not say that God has love, but it says that ‘God is love’! I.e. God is the source of Love!

So again, what does it really mean to seek first the kingdom of God? It means that you will greatly desire to do everything in your power to build up God’s kingdom, by telling others how much He loves them or by showing it to them, by helping them, and by living a life that brings honor and glory to God! If you are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, you will lay everything on the altar to Him and give everything to Him, and beg Him to send you into His vineyard (Luke 10:2) and give you the gifts that you need to serve Him with. John 14:12-15. Then you will be Jesus’ disciple and will bear much fruit, and this will glorify God! John 15:8. Why is God glorified when you bear much fruit for Him? Because God is love, 1 John 4:8, and loves everyone, and greatly longs to save them! God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Ezekiel 33:11; 18:23. Also “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV. Never forget that God loves you and everyone else in the world, and wants all men and women to come to repentance, so that they perish not! If you really love Him, you will long to help build up His kingdom, which is the fuller deeper meaning of ‘seeking first the Kingdom of God’. You will feel your great need of His help and how inadequate you are without Him, and how much you need the spiritual gifts that you need to serve Him with, asking Him for these things in Jesus’ name, so that you can bring honor and glory to Him.

What will God give you if you truly seek His Kingdom first and all of His righteousness, and tell others how much He loves them? I.e. What will God give you if you seek to build up His kingdom? Jesus plainly stated that God would give you all of the things that the Gentiles and every human being seek after: food, clothing, shelter, in short all of the things you need to live, survive and thrive. If instead of seeking first after what the Gentiles seek after (who don’t know God or trust in Him), and seek after His kingdom and His righteousness, He will give you everything that you need. If you will stop living your life by just the way you earn your living, and if you stop putting your faith in your ability to take care of your needs and your family’s needs by your job, and fully live by all of the words in God’s Holy Bible, trusting in Him to supply all of your needs, then you will be putting His kingdom first and seeking after His righteousness! When you place all on the altar because of your love for Him, and seek to bring others to Him, telling and showing them how much He loves them, then you will be living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and will be truly seeking first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness. Then you can fully claim Jesus’ promise here, and believe that God will give you all the things you need in this life, that the Gentiles earnestly seek after! Because God knows that you need these things and cares for you!

* Note: We are not saying here that if you don't seek first after the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, or haven't fully yielded to Him that He will not still try to take care of you, because God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. Jesus said, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44-45 KJV. But it is much better to believe that God love's you and will take care of you, so that you can make your way safely to Heaven, and have the confidence you need when you pray to claim His rich promises for you! The purpose of this article is to increase your faith in God, and to help you learn fully how much He loves you, and have the wonderful peace and assurance of your own salvation!

My Testimony:
I know personally that what was stated in this article is true. I was telling this idea to a little group at Church that the fuller meaning of ‘seeking first the kingdom of God’ is really seeking first the kingdom of God, not just for yourself, but for others. I.e. you are seeking to build up God’s kingdom. I was saying that as a group that we could claim this promise for ourselves, since we were working towards and making plans on how to help others in our community get to know God and help them with their health, etc. I have been working towards this goal with this little group for a while now that I am a part of, and I also greatly desired to build up God’s Kingdom for my own writing and speaking ministry that I asked God to give me, that He is giving me. I am boasting in the Lord, which is permitted according to 1 Corinthians 1:31, because I would be nothing without Him – He is my strength and shield and mighty helper! (I got this idea that it is permitted to boast in the Lord from either A. T. Jones or E. J. Waggoner.) Now I had been looking for a job for many months, and was getting very discouraged from time-to-time, and believed that I needed to express my faith that since we were working to help others get to know God, that we met the qualifications for this promise of Jesus in Matthew 6:25-36. I believe I told them about my job interview and asked them to pray for me, and that I believed that the conditions for this promise were met; that they could claim this promise for their needs too. I had interviewed for a job on this same day by phone before this meeting, but I didn’t know the results of it then. The next day I was told by the recruiting company for this job, that I had interviewed strongly and that the company was thinking of extending an offer to me, but I was to wait until the following Tuesday (the next week). That next week I was given the offer of employment and accepted it. So I believe that God heard my prayer and granted my request, because I was willing to confess the promises of His love for us and promises to help us and the conditions, and that we had met them. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Romans 10:9 KJV. So we need to confess with our mouth that our Lord Jesus greatly loves us and wants to take care of us: we need to confess with our mouth the promises that God has given us and their conditions, so that others might have faith in God too! God will help you, if you will seek after His kingdom first and all of His righteousness, and seek to help others know how much He loves them.

So how can you stop worrying about how you will be clothed, have food to eat and how you will live? How can you believe that God will take care of you? How can you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness? 

You need an anchor, to anchor your soul to your mighty helper, God! That anchor is your faith in Him, if you know that He loves you. Do you really know that He loves you? Have you experienced this personally for yourself? Has He revealed to you that He loves you? God will do all of this for you and more, if you will just get to know Him and learn to give your heart completely to Him! God will give you this anchor if you will just ask Him to! Be like Jesus’ disciples who said unto the Lord: ‘Increase our faith.’ Luke 17:5 KJV. How do you get this faith? By yielding your heart to God all the way and receiving the Holy Spirit, because it is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23. What do you have to lose? Why not give your heart completely to God today? But you may say ‘I am a sinner, no good or evil.’ But what does Jesus say? “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:13 KJV. Answer: Jesus says that God will give you the Holy Spirit, if you will but ask! Is it really just that simple to get faith? Yes it is! Why then is it that not every Christian has enough faith and why is it that they get caught up into doubt? Answer: Because they have not asked or continue to ask every day for the precious Holy Spirit or because they have not fully yielded themselves to God. Maybe they don’t really know how much God loves them or maybe they don’t really care yet? Yes, we believe that this must be the case! If they really knew how much He loved them, and what He did for them when He gave His only Son to die on the cross for their sins, John 3:16-17, and the wonderful gift He provided for them in the gift of the Holy Spirit, as stated in Acts 2:33 and in other places such as John 14:16, and returned their love and affection to Him, then they would have the assurance of their salvation, and have the Holy Spirit for themselves, and have all the faith that they need to believe God and appropriate all of His promises in the Bible and thus get the victory. So the key to having faith is getting to know God and yielding yourself to Him! He will then give you everything that you need to love, obey and serve Him with! And then you will be truly seeking first the kingdom of God and all of His righteousness, and all of the things you need will be added unto you! Amen.

#Seek #First #Kingdom #God #Righteousness #Food #Clothing #Faith #Birds #Heart #Search #Holy #Spirit #Yoke #Bread #Live #Mouth #Perish #Repentance #Promise

By D. T. Bourdeau.


We should not indulge in foolish talking and jesting, which, as Paul says, are not convenient, but should rather give thanks. Eph. v, 4. Again he says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Chap. iv, 29; Col. iv, 6.

A good remedy for foolish talking and jesting is, giving thanks to the Lord. Foolish talking, jesting and joking are generally indulged in, when the mind is cheerful and feels well; and cheerfulness is good if it is rightly used. If any one has reason to be cheerful it is the Christian; and how appropriate it is to thank the Lord when we feel well. To do this, would keep our minds on the Lord and prevent us from talking foolishly. Says James, "Is any merry? let him sing psalms." James v, 13. Singing psalms and giving thanks unto the Lord, and speaking with grace, and in a manner to edify, would be more profitable and would leave a greater and more lasting satisfaction than to engage in a vain, empty, filthy and foolish conversation. Many have had to weep over foolish and trifling expressions; but no rational person was ever known to weep over a pure, elevating, graceful and instructive conversation.

The tongue should be employed in exalting and defending the truth, and in giving a reason of our hope.
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In doing this in a proper manner, we can be a blessing to ourselves and to others. "A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth." Prov. xii, 14. Again, "The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life." Chap. x, 11. It invigorates, refreshes and gladdens the hearts of many. "A wholesome tongue (or the healing of the tongue, margin) is a tree of life;" and "the lips of the wise disperse knowledge and feed many." Prov. xv, 4, 7; x, 21.

But the tongue should use knowledge aright. Prov. xv, 2. To use knowledge aright, we must speak right words at the right time, in the right manner, with the right spirit and actuated by right motives.
"The tongue of the just is as choice silver." Prov. x, 20. Its words are choice words. They are well chosen. Among the many things that could be said on different occasions, we must speak the proper things, -- the things that are needed and that can be understood and appreciated; the things that will glorify God and do others good. Those who speak promiscuously, and say all they know on every occasion, cannot be said to use knowledge aright, and must injure and be a disgrace to any honorable cause in which they may engage. In this way the cause of truth has often been brought into disrepute by its professed friend.

"A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it till afterward." "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit (or a cool spirit, margin)." Prov. xxix, 11; xvii, 27. He is swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. James i, 19. "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that
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refraineth his lips is wise." Prov. x, 19. See also chap. xxix, 20; Eccl. v, 1-7.

Said Christ on a certain occasion, "I have yet many things to say unto you; but ye cannot bear them now." Jno. xvi, 12. We are so weak and our minds are so limited, that we cannot bear the whole truth at once. We must first learn and practice the alphabet of truth, and then we are prepared to understand and learn more truth and more difficult portions of truth. And we should learn from our own weakness and experience and from the dealings of the Lord with us, how we ought to deal out knowledge to others. To deal out difficult portions of truth at first, and present too many new ideas at once, would clog and confuse the minds of our hearers, and perhaps make them conclude that we have a confused mass of ideas, and give them an unfavorable opinion of the truths we advocate.

"A word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Prov. xxv, 11. It often operates like a good medicine administered at the right time and in a proper manner. A physician who would be successful in his line of business, must first consider the physical condition of his patients and the nature of their diseases, and then he is prepared to administer unto them the proper kind of medicine. So he who would be successful in doctoring sin-sick souls, should first consider the moral condition of his patients and the nature of their moral diseases, and then he can tell what portions of truths are adapted to their respective cases, and at what time and in what manner they should be presented. And wise and successful is the person that can give to each a portion of truth in due season.
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Some are not prepared to bear the same portions of truth that others can. Some can receive at one time and under certain circumstances, what they cannot receive at a different time and under different circumstances. Some need to be cheered and encouraged; others need to be checked. Some cases and circumstances call for sharp (yet meek) rebukes; others for moderate rebukes. Some cases call for open reproofs; others for secret reproofs. But every truth and every case should be handled with love.

There is a time to speak and a time to keep silence. "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding." Prov. xvii, 28. There are many seasons when we ought to keep silence; and in many instances by speaking when we ought not to speak, we use knowledge wrong.

We use knowledge wrong when we say much about the truth, and yet obey not the truth. It would be wiser to talk less and live better. Those who have much to say about the truth, but whose lives do not agree with their profession, may be compared to a farmer who extols the qualities of a certain apple-tree in his orchard, and immediately presents a basket of miserable apples to those that hear him. If his hearers are not acquainted with him or with the tree he extols, they will say, The tree is bad and his taste is perverted; or he knows the tree is bad and wishes to deceive us. Many, not having an understanding of the truth because they have not examined it, will judge of the truth by the fruit that those bear who profess it; and if the fruit is bad, they will conclude that the profession or theory is also bad. True, this is not a logical conclusion. But we see how necessary
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it is for those who talk the truth to live out the truth.

Knowledge is used wrong when the truth is constantly urged upon others, as though all success depended on much urging. In this way, many are wearied and disgusted, and made to feel that too much of one thing is good for nothing. Let us remember that God has something to do in enforcing the truth, that we cannot do. We should give God a chance to work by his Spirit and good angels, and should not get in the way and retard the progress of truth by overacting and going beyond the limits assigned unto us. If a clear presentation of truth, backed up by a consistent life and the spirit of truth, will not convince the honest, and lead them to action, what will?

Knowledge is used wrong when the truth is used as a club, and to get the ascendancy over others. By this course, honest souls are driven away from the truth and oppose it, who would otherwise ponder and receive it. We must not feel like a certain class whom David represents as saying, "With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own; who is lord over us?" Ps. xii, 4. It is not those who whip and drive souls who are accounted wise. The wisest of mean says, "He that winneth souls is wise."

Knowledge is used wrong when the truth is spoken from selfish motives, to get wordly gain, or to receive the praise of men, etc. Those who speak the truth from such motives, and with such objects in view, may prosper with those who love smooth things, as long as they keep in a popular channel, and dwell upon truths that are generally acknowledged, and that have no special cross connected with them; but let them leave this popular channel, and speak the whole truth, with the
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glory of God and the good of souls in view, whether men will hear or whether they will forbear, and many will lose their worldly support and the praise and honor of men, to receive the salary of those who have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God; viz., persecution, reproach, want, privation, the honor and praise that come from God, with the promise of eternal life in the world to come. Doubtless if all who now profess to preach the truth were shut up to this salary, not a few would leave off preaching to adopt some other avocation.

Those who have an undue anxiety to fill the place of teachers while they overlook the necessary qualifications to teach the truth, would do well to consider the following injunction of James. "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation," or judgment, margin. James iii, 1. Mr. Whiting's translation reads as follows: "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that as such we must receive greater condemnation."

"The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth knowledge to his lips." Prov. xvi, 23. If we are careful to think before speaking, and with reference to speaking, we shall have more knowledge and know how to use it. We shall know when to keep silence, and when, what and how to speak, and will keep our souls from troubles. "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from troubles." Prov. xxi, 23. "He that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile." 1 Pet. iii, 10.

Dear reader, if so much depends on the right use of the tongue, let us see to it that we weigh our words.
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Let us keep our mouths as with a bridle, and take heed to our ways that we sin not with our tongues.

By D. T. Bourdeau, from his book: “Sanctification - SANCTIFICATION OR, LIVING HOLINESS”, 1864, p. 67 - 73.

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thess. v, 23.

Blog Article edited by John Foll.

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