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 seeks me

So (Jesus) left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”

– John 4:3-7

Today I am thankful that God seeks me.

On Jesus’s travels from Judea to Galilee, Scripture says “He had to go through Samaria on the way.” Most Jews would have gone the long way to avoid the Samaritan people, who they found contemptible. Instead, Jesus was filled with compassion, and set out to meet a woman who desperately needed love and freedom only God could give her.

Jesus came a long way to meet this woman. He made sure He and the disciples arrived at a well at just the right time. Scripture says Jesus was tired and weary, but He was ready to transform lives. Jesus intentionally sought this particular woman out, a woman who was suffering under the weight of the town’s rejection and gossip, beneath the burden of her many sins. He asked her for a drink, even though He intended to give her living water.

God had it all arranged. From before time, God had pictured this moment, set in motion every detail, and loved this forsaken Samaritan and all those the story of her experience with Jesus would impact.

God seeks us, too. He places circumstances in our path that will ultimately lead us to encounter His grace. He wants to meet with us, talk with us, and change us.

So often, we think that WE are the ones coming to God or returning to Him, when HE has been seeking us and pursuing us all along. It was God who created us. Jesus stepped out of Heaven and set aside His glory for us.

As Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” His cross demonstrates the lengths God went to do just that.