Kingdom Text – Matthew 6:33

Matthew 6:25-34 – “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The word seek means to “do what is necessary to receive the desire end.”  When your puppy runs away, what does your seeking of him look like?  You drive around town, put up signs, call your neighbors and check in with your town’s animal control office.  You do what you need to do so that you can get the puppy.

What about the seeking first of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?  What does this look like?  Contextually we see that we shouldn’t be seeking the things that the people of this age are seeking after.  So does that mean we don’t have jobs or clothing or food and jut wait for God to drop something down from heaven?  It seems clear that God is willing to take care of these issue that we would normally be seeking after if we instead make our seeking objectives His Kingdom and His righteousness.  This verse is quoted often (many times mis-quoted as “seek God first” or “seek first God” but Jesus’ Kingdom focus here seems pretty clear) but what exactly is he commanding his disciples to do?

  • What does it look like to seek the Kingdom of God?
  • What does it look like to seek God’s righteousness?
  • What does it mean to seek these things first?
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14 responses to this post.

  1. Seeking the Kingdom of God means putting God first and all those other desires second. Don’t chase after temporary things that never satisfy. Chase God and he will take care of the rest.

    How do you chase God? Not just anyway you want but through righteousness. When you want to be with God you have to realize that holiness is a requirement. We do our best for him and he supplies the rest.

    Reply

  2. Posted by JohnO on May 22, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Matt I agree that God is part of our desires, but God does not equal his Kingdom

    Reply

  3. Posted by Dustin on May 22, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    I think that seeking first the eschatological kingdom means:

    believing in it,

    understanding it,

    holding fast to its hope,

    living in light of it,

    telling about it to others

    On a side note, I dont think you can seek first the kingdom if you are seeking “heaven” in any way, shape, or form.

    Dustin

    Reply

  4. Posted by Steve on May 23, 2007 at 4:24 am

    I expect that “seeking the kingdom” includes living by the kingdom-principles which Jesus announced at the beginning of His ministry, both in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4:18-19) and in His preaching of the kingdom in the sermon on the mount (Matt 5-7).

    These kingdom principles include:

    1. Concern for the poor
    2. Healing for the brokenhearted
    3. Liberty to those in bondage
    4. Enabling people to see clearly
    5. Justice, especially for those to whom it has been denied

    Living by kingdom principles means respecting people, being compassionate, working for justice, and setting right those things which are wrong. It means being grace-centred (and therefore gracious), forgiving, inclusive and loving (especially to the unloved and unlovely).

    Of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    Reply

  5. If “to seek” after something means to do what is necessary to attain the desired end, what does it look like to seek first the Kingdom of God? His righteousness?

    Matt, interesting reply – what do you think one needs to do to attain the Kingdom? What does it look like?

    Reply

  6. Posted by Adele on May 30, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Seeking God first. Is to get to know Him, through spending more and more time with Him. The bonus is that the things that will be added are actually fringe benefits from seeking Him. In seeking Him we become more like Him and would have a better understanding of the things of His kingdom

    Reply

  7. Adele, thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Did you notice that you changed Jesus’ words of “seeking first the Kingdom” to “seeking God first?”

    What is the Kingdom of God?

    Reply

  8. As Steve pointed out, seeking first the Kingdom includes living according to the Kingdom priciples that Jesus laid out (in addition to preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom). That’s why we seek the Kingdom AND His Righteousness. The righteousness of God as defined in Jesus’ teachings is not something we can attain on our own, so we must gain a new heart. We do that by first receiving the seed (the Word of the Kingdom) and then being transformed by the power of his words dwelling in us. This is the “practice” for being co-rulers with him in righeousness. We are “kings in training.”

    Reply

  9. Posted by Thokozani on April 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    In order for one to find a kingdom, one must find a king.Kingdom can be looked at as king-domain or the place ruled by a king. In other words it is “the governing influence of a king over his territory impacting it with his will , purpose and his intent, Producing in it a citizenry of people that express His culture and reflect His nature” We do not love our neighbour only because He said so in his word, but its also how things are in His kingdom, thats what we do, its in our nature as the citizens of heaven. Seeking God’s kingdom may mean spending the rest of your life studying it, persuing it, making means to understand it and applying it. One must be born in God’s kingdom in order for one to be a citezen in it. “Unless you are born again” you cannot be in the kingdom of God.

    Reply

  10. Thokanzi, and how would define the Kingdom of God?

    Reply

  11. Posted by raovkvr on May 17, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Still it under reading with goodfaith.
    Thanks God! for your’s spirituval blessedness.

    Reply

  12. Posted by raovkvr on May 17, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    as we are in the worldly kingdom, having people, place, government and sovereignty– etc features.
    while living in this type of kingdom, which is a mix of all spirits, we should love to seek the God’s kingdom through Jesus –as He said ” I am the way, truth, and live.” No one can know & reach the father’ kingdom- except through me.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Erik Thomson on September 8, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I think Thokanzi hits it on the head when he says that it is all about the King. Should we think of the Kingdom (noun) of God or the kingdom (adjective)of God? I think it is the latter, we are to seek the establishment of the ways of the King, the kingdom of the King, in our lives and in others, as a first priority (rather than establishing our own little kingdom where our own ways are central, which is what Matt 6:19-24 are all about). We are to seek the establishment of the righteousness of God (rather than our own righteousness, Matt 6:1-4, 5-15, 16-18). Matt 6:33 is polemic against the Jews of the time who were busy establishing both of these things – their own righteousness in the eyes of men, through almsgiving, prayer and fasting, and their own personal “kingdoms” through storing up wealth. Neither of these were of much use “they have received their reward in full” and “moths and rust destroy” and neither dealt with the problem of anxiety.

    Reply

  14. Posted by Makeleta Fatai on November 23, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    I think seek first the kingdom and his righteousness we must accept Jesus first in 2 our life than the kingdom will be ours we have to be born again . Jesus is standing at da door knocking if we open our heart to him he will come in his kingdom is open for you.

    Reply

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