Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
When Jesus began his work as “God with us” ushering in the Kingdom of God on Earth and demonstrating that he was the long awaited Messiah by bringing good news to the poor, justice to the oppressed, comfort for the broken hearted and distressed, healing the infirmed and bringing freedom to those in bondage (Luke 4; Isaiah 61), he noticed something disturbing–there wasn’t a great deal of difference between his own people, the People of God, and the pagans, who didn’t know God at all. They were both scratching, clawing, running after and worrying about material things: what they would, eat, drink, wear, etc. etc. etc.
Jesus encouraged his followers by reminding them that they are more important to God than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, both of which he feeds and clothes. These nonhuman members of God’s creation don’t worry and they want for nothing. Neither should his followers, Jesus concludes for them. In this famous message recorded by Matthew in chapter 6, Jesus basically says this: You can run after the material things you need and want and be just like the pagans who disregard and are far from their Creator, or you can choose to not worry about material things at all, leaving their provision entirely up to your Creator, run after his kingdom instead, focusing on doing what’s good and right in your world, and end up getting all those things you need thrown in as a perk just for being a Kingdom player! Sounds like a pretty darn good deal to me! What do you think?
Here’s the deal–we can’t have it both ways. We can’t seek the things of this world and the things of God both. Our hearts will always be drawn away from God if we pursue the lust of our eyes and our flesh. Jesus put it this way, “No one can serve two masters.” (Matthew 6:24) However, if we let him teach us His wayside let his ways define us and learn to love and pursue the good work of restoration God is doing in our world (Isaiah 61), and doing the good work we were created for (Ephesians 2:10), God, as our living Heavenly Father, seems to delight in giving us what we need.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
and these things will be given to you as well.”