Note: Third is a series
When they’re an integral part of our views-and-values, we need not worry about anything.
Purpose. Pursuit. Priorities.
As Jesus finished this portion of His “Mission Manifesto” (“Sermon on the Mount”) in Matthew 6:19-34, which deals with our treasures, divided loyalties and worry, He gave a succinct summary statement on how to have true peace-of-mind:
“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness—and all these things shall be added unto you” (v.33).
He’d already exhorted them (and us) to have Heavenly treasures instead of earthly ones, which ultimately succumb to rust, rot and robbers (vv.19-21). He also warned against trying to serve “two masters—God and the world” (v.24)—because it’s impossible to do. As Joshua said, we must “choose today whom we’ll serve” (Josh. 24:15).
Next, He pointed to the fowl of the air and the flowers of the field, telling how they do not worry about this-or-that because the Heavenly Father takes care of them (vv.25-29). Then, He asked, “If God takes care of them, will He not also take care of you? Truly, He knows you have need of clothes, consumption and countenance” (vv.30-32).
Then He gave them/us the “Secret of True Serenity of Soul” (v.33), which clearly sets forth the “Three P’s of His Peace Pod.”
First, we must have the right Purpose: “The Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.”
Anytime we hear the word “kingdom” we usually think of a king, a fortified castle with moat and bridge, knights in shining armor, etc. However, Jesus wasn’t thinking of anything like that when He spoke those words. He was talking about His “inner Reign” in one’s life, where the heart is His Throne and each believer His servant.
Thus, it is both an invisible and visible Kingdom. When He reigns as Lord (Master) in one’s heart/life, there’ll be a change in the way we think, talk and act. Others will quickly notice Whose “Army” we’re in. And, when we get together with other believers—wherever they are in the world—we see His visible Kingdom at its best as we love others the way He has loved us.
That’s why we must have the right Pursuit: “Seek.”
This is not a casual or occasional seeking; it is a whole-hearted, passionate one. Because of what Christ has done for us, we cannot afford to give Him half-hearted or lukewarm devotion. Truly, “knowing Him and the Power of His Resurrection” (Philippians 3:10) must be our “Magnificent Obsession” in life if we are to know His “incomparable Peace” (John 14:27; Phil. 4:7).
But, none of this can happen without the right Priorities: “First.”
Simply put, we can never have true “Serenity of Soul” if we only give Him the crumbs or leftovers of our lives. God gave His Best to us when He sent Jesus to this earth; why, then, should we not also give Him the best that we have in terms of our time, talents, tithes, etc?
Yes, dear Reader, when we quit chasing rainbows or “grabbing for all the gusto we can get” and sell out to the Heavenly Father, we’ll understand what Jesus meant when He talked about “clarity or singleness of vision” (vv.22-23). Until then, everything is distorted and our loyalties are divided.
How wonderful it is when we’ve “settled it in our hearts” (Luke 21:14; I Peter 5:10) where our real Treasure is. No longer will we be passionately pursuing the world’s fool gold and sacrificing the important on the altar of the urgent. Instead, we’ll be focused upon the real Prize, which is “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:14).
Here’s hoping you’ll take some time this week to examine where your real passions and priorities lie. See if they’re aligned with God’s eternal Purpose; if not, do not rest until they are. Then, passionately pursue that Purpose, which involves “loving Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength” (Matthew 22:37). That way you’ll not settle for less than His Best and will have no regrets when your time here on earth is over. God bless you.
(NOTE: If you’d like to contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled “Morning Manna,” you can write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org).