Living With Kingdom Priorities: Placing God Ahead of Me
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
These awesome words are uttered by none other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, as He indeed taught us how to live in His Kingdom. It is in this great sermon that others have called the Constitution of the Church, that Jesus shares with us how New Testament believers are to conduct themselves in God’s Kingdom as juxtaposed to those who lived under the law. In fact, He was introducing us to the essence of Kingdom living.
The very thought of experiencing citizenry in the Kingdom of God is in itself exciting. For me, it renders thoughts of freshness, adventure, and a myriad of new experiences. The manner in which Jesus presents it in Matthew’s Gospel was revolutionary in the context of His day. It surely shocked the staid ears of the religious sect while offering relief and a brand new perspective to the oppressed masses who were doubly laden down with Roman occupation and religious legalists who pushed shadows that had no true substance or fulfillment. Jesus who Himself was the fulfillment of all things that the Old Testament asserted, would now point all of His would-be followers to a new and dynamic way of living.
The very phraseology of Christ is exciting! Phrases such as, “Ye have heard it said by them of old time,” and “But I say unto you,” and “A new commandment I give unto you,” are all filled with the promise of a positive change. How awesome it must have been and even now to hear Jesus speak of new and better ways of living that lead to fulfillment in His Kingdom. The comfort of which Isaiah spoke in Chapter 40:1 of His writings were now being fulfilled. Jesus was and is telling all who will listen that if you follow His prescription for living in the Kingdom—heartache, drudgery, and even boredom will come to an end and your life will be complete. There can be no fulfillment in the Kingdom if God is not the number one priority in your life. As we embrace “Living With Kingdom Priorities” as our theme over the next year or so, may your foremost endeavor be to put Him first. If you do, everything else will work out just fine!
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr.