But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be
given to you as well (Mt.6:33).
What this life holds for us may not be nearly as
important as what we hold for this life. Perhaps we see the span of seventy or eighty
years to encompass the time we will live on this earth. Within that time we see the
possibilities of families built, children raised and grandchildren coming home for summer
visits. We may look at the years to come and hope they will be rich and full of blessing.
We might even say, as many have, "I look forward to Jesus coming again--I would just
like to do a few things in this life first."
The accomplishments of this life can indeed bring us great joy and feeling of
satisfaction. That is, after all, one of our primary goals in this life. For much of what
we do is done for a moment's satisfaction--a time when we can look back and have a sense
of "it was worth it after all." And while it is true that we attach a great deal
of that sort of satisfaction to those "things" we would like to do before Jesus
comes again, they will fade in comparison to the coming of his kingdom.
But as it is, His kingdom seems to be one that is often vague and difficult for us to
perceive. Is it a place we will someday go to, or is it a place wherein we can now dwell?
Is it a lifestyle, a loyalty to God that makes us seem as though we do not belong on this
world? What we can perhaps derive from this is that it is a following closely to the path
of Christ--the path of righteousness. It is a place wherein our ambitions are like anyone
else's who lives in His kingdom--and those ambitions are for His kingdom and not our own.
We may ask, "But doesn't God want us to have these things on earth?" To that we
must answer, God wants us to have many things that are truly good and truly pleasing and
truly by His design for us. Yet He does not want us to seek those things. For even as a
parent will give good things to their children, so God also gives good things. But now,
that is good as defined by the parent, or in this case, God. What we think is good and
what He knows is good may be two different things, but He knows the best good.
By seeking first His kingdom we will desire that Jesus returns when is appropriate for the
fulfilling of His purposes--not as a convenience to ours. For though these things are good
and though they are things we have been given a natural desire toward, they are not to
take precedence over the kingdom of God. And as we seek Him and make His kingdom first in
our lives, we can rest assured that our needs will be met--and that those things that
bring us joy will do much more than satisfy us for a moment--they will stay with us for an
eternity in that they were granted to us out of the Grace of God by seeking Him first.