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.

Journey to the Manger: John the Baptist

Me and the kids after our Get Ready relay race!

Me and the kids after our Get Ready relay race!

We dipped our toes in the water today meeting John the Baptist on our Journey to the Manger.

John is the miracle baby of Zechariah and Elizabeth, a child of prophecy and promise. The Holy Spirit was upon him before he was born, shaping him to become the one who would prepare the world for the Messiah. His calling was evident in his first encounter with Jesus, when he started dancing in Elizabeth’s womb as Mary, pregnant with the Son of God, greeted her cousin.

John the Baptist

John the Baptist

Jesus would later call his cousin John the greatest man ever born. John became a powerful preacher, crying out for the people to repent and turn back to God. When he went out into the wilderness, the crowds followed him. Under conviction, many confessed their sins and were baptized. John said, “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord.” (John 1:23) He wanted everyone to be ready for the coming of Christ!

As Jesus began His ministry and encountered John once again, John proclaimed, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the One I told you about.” (John 1:29-30) John pointed people to Jesus.

Today, we competed in a “Get Ready” relay race. One-by-one, we tried to get dressed with a pile of mismatched clothes as fast as we could, then awkwardly run around the living room three times, take them off and finally high-five the next person for them to begin. We could barely make it around the room we were laughing so hard! This game was hard (hilarious) work!

Jackson and Lauren laughed so hard when they saw how silly they looked during our relay!

Jackson and Lauren laughed so hard when they saw how silly they looked during our relay!

This Christmas, we ought to listen to John the Baptist. We need to set aside our agendas and attitudes, and turn our lives over to Christ. God longs to wash our hearts clean, renew our purpose and surround us with peace. As we celebrate the season, we then can anticipate Jesus’s presence and proclaim His coming!

Let’s get ready for Jesus!