Seek FIRST

God has had this verse on repeat for me since 2018 began: Matthew 6:33. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (If this Psalty song immediately starts playing in your mind — please let me know so we can reminisce on a common childhood!! 🙂 )

I am sure that all of us have responsibilities and expectations and schedules and other needs that rest on our shoulders, especially as we face a new year. There is much that God has for us, paths that He intends us to walk in, plans that He’s already made for us. Our To Do lists are filling up (or maybe it’s just mine?), and it’s only the second week of the year!

Every new year that God gives me, I realize how much more I need HIM. I need Jesus more than I need a strategic plan, an organizational system, or answers to my questions. Before this particular verse in Matthew in the middle of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, our Savior speaks on not worrying about the greatest needs of our life, like food and clothing. What are the greatest needs of your life? Stop and consider that question. If I dig deep enough, I realize that I don’t just need physical provisions. I need God’s grace. I need the eyes of Jesus to see people the way He does and a heart of compassion to respond the way He would. I need His presence in my daily life. I need supernatural wisdom. I NEED JESUS. And, Jesus tells us in vs. 32 that He already knows what we need.

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So, seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness—in other words, make your life’s pursuit to KNOW Jesus. The word “seek” means specifically to worship, or to desire, endeavor, require. And “first” is an adverb to the seeking, meaning first in time, place, order or importance. Isn’t that beautiful? Jesus tells us before any other movement in our lives, we must worship Him first, desire Him most, endeavor after Him, require Him at the forefront, ahead of any other priority. And then, when we seek God first—His Kingdom and His righteousness—all the things we need most will be provided to us. God’s provision literally means to add, again, give more, increase, proceed further. God never goes half way, and His desire is to multiply His grace and joy in our lives and be our Almighty God.

HE is what we need, and when we seek Him first, HE will be more than enough.

Thankful: God’s grace is sufficient

But (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.

– 2 Corinthians 12:10

Today, I am incredibly grateful that God’s grace is sufficient for me.

I am a broken person, often trying in my own power to tape the cracks of my life together. I struggle under the weight of others’ expectations. I get involved in situations that I don’t belong, and press change faster than it’s ready to unfold. I want everyone to be happy and to like me, and try desperately to cover the hurt when people aren’t and don’t. I battle pride and laziness daily. I yell. Loneliness sometimes gets the best of me.

I am weak.

Yet, God calls to my heart, whispers to my soul, “My grace is enough for you.”

My sin can’t outrun grace. It is impossible to heap my shortcomings and failures, inabilities, hurts, strongholds and frustrations higher than the mountain of God’s merciful kindness and extravagant grace. Each and every time my weakness overwhelms me, God’s grace gently covers. The ways in which I fail are vast, but God’s redemption stretches as far as the east is to the west.

I don’t need grace and. I need grace. It is sufficient. It is enough.

When I struggle, God shows up. His power is manifested in my weakness. God’s grace allows me to get up and begin again. It prompts me to praise and express adoration for my Savior, who never gives up on me.

I may not measure up, but God’s grace will always be enough.