THE PRIORITY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD – PART TWO
Friends, we’ve come back to conclude our discussion on the Priority of the Kingdom of God. Let me read just one verse; and that is:
Matthew 6:33 where Jesus says:
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
We pray, Father, that You will open our eyes; that we may behold, that we may see the wonderful things You have for us in Your Word today…in Jesus Name. Amen!
The Priority of the Kingdom of God.
And last time we spent much of our time to explain the terms relevant to this topic.
Priority: priority means treating something as more important than others; priority means something of prime concern: first concern. No wonder seek first the Kingdom of God. Something most important – that’s priority.
And we also tried to explain the term, Kingdom of God. And we said, it is the rule or the reign or the exertion of the power, the sovereignty of God over people, over the Earth. The Kingdom of God is the same thing as the Kingdom of Heaven. And the Kingdom of God is present. Since Jesus came...He came to introduce the Kingdom of God. He came to introduce the rule of God, the power of God, the authority of God: on Earth. And so Jesus said to the Jews, if I cast out demons by the Power of God, I’m exerting the Power: the authority of God over demons. Then the kingdom of God is in your midst. It is here. And as many as received Jesus Christ have experienced the Kingdom of God in their lives.
But the Kingdom of God is yet to come when God will dominate all the kingdoms of this Earth; when His authority, when His dominion will be over the whole Earth. That is yet in the future.
Now the priority of the Kingdom of God.
What is the priority of the Kingdom of God? And that is our concern for the rest of our time today. The imperative of seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…It’s a command. That is why I used the term imperative.
To seek means to look for, to search, to pursue, to strive to for, to endeavor to obtain: to seek. God who made us knows us full well. He knows that human nature covets first place for self: I, me, myself and mine. That’s human nature. This is what explains the corruption that is headline news in Nigeria today. It may comfort you a little to know that this problem is universal and timeless.
Louis the 14th of France once said, "L'Éta c'est moi" (I am the State). And he behaved as though he owned the state. Isn’t it the way some people behave in our nation today? They own the state. The wealth of the state they own: "L'Éta c'est moi." That is the selfishness in man. Jesus says, My Kingdom or the Kingdom of God is of top priority. It’s first. Seek first! Jesus Himself who commands us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness practiced what He commanded. I see His example in His precept and His practice – His teaching and His practice.
So for the rest of the time I will take us to Matthew 13 where Jesus gave series of short parables; and each one of them…He said, the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven is like…Those parables have to do with the Kingdom of Heaven.
So let’s look at the precepts or the teachings of Jesus on the Kingdom of God.
The parables of the Kingdom of God.
31Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is like the mustard seed. What is He teaching there? You should seek the Kingdom of God first, because though it starts imperceptively in a person’s life, it has the unimaginable potential of making the kingdoms of this world the Kingdom of God. Secondly, the same Matthew 13:33:
33Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
Seek the Kingdom of God first because of its transforming power. When it comes in contact with anybody it transforms and makes all things new. If any man be in Christ he is a new creation; old things are passed away, and all things are become new. The Kingdom of God makes bad men and bad women good, somebody said.
Thirdly, in Matthew 13:44:
44“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Seek first the Kingdom of God because it deserves to be searched for conscientiously, sacrificing all you may consider dear to you: your ambitions, your habits, your treasured ways of life – so that you may possess it. It is that important.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, 46who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like the previous one. Seek first the Kingdom of God because it is the loveliest thing in the whole world, in spite of the cost. There may be other lovely things in life; but the Kingdom of God surpasses them all in loveliness.
And finally, Matthew 13:47-50
47“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
This is a very important warning. Seek first the Kingdom of God because there is a mixed multitude in it; but they will be separated at the end of time, when the accounts of all men and women are settled, and bad and good are sent to their respective destinations by God, the Judge of the Kingdom.
Friend, where do you stand in this regard? There is a multitude, mixed multitude in the Kingdom today; but God will separate those who are His; the pretenders at the end of time.
What of the practice of Jesus? This is what He taught about the Kingdom: His practice. The life that Jesus lived teaches a powerful lesson on seeking first the Kingdom of God.
- Jesus gave up everything in Heaven for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Though in the form of God; He did not consider it robbery to be equal with God. But He emptied Himself and took on the form of a man in form of servant, a bondservant and died the death of a sinner. He gave up everything in heaven because of the Kingdom.
- He gave up everything on Earth for the sake of the Kingdom. That’s why He said, the Son of Man does not even have a place to lay down His head.
In the light of the priority of the Kingdom of God, as demonstrated by the life of Jesus Christ, let me conclude with a hymn that says,
I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou might'st ransomed be
And quickened from the dead.
I gave My life for thee;
What hast thou given for Me?
Friend, that’s what the Lord is asking.
The priority of the Kingdom of God. Are you seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness? Please do. He has promised you all other things. He will add them.
Father, thank You. Thank You for Your promises. You will always fulfill Your Words. For as many as will seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness, You will add these other things that the Heathens occupy themselves twenty-four-seven with. I know You will. May it be so for all my friends in radioland who are receiving this message with their whole heart…in Jesus Name. Amen!