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(GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT)
SCRIPTURE - Matt. 6 - 33 DECEMBER, 2000
But, seek ye first, the kingdom of God, and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
SUBJECT - GET YOUR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT!!!!
The above scripture is the solution to all of the problems that man could ever face, in his life. It encompasses all of the needs and desires that all of us have, and lets us know that in order to obtain them, there are certain prerequisites,(priorities) we have to follow.
Recently, this nation had an election for president, along with other general elections for varying state, county, and local offices. All of the people contending for these offices, were saying, that if they get elected, they would do certain things for the area that they were elected to represent, which is good.
However, while there are things that all of us would like to see improved, both in our own lives, as well as our communities, we need to realize one thing, and that is, we will only achieve these things, if we are willing to commit ourselves to the ways that God says are right.
From the time we are born, until the time we die, we are steadily seeking things, to fulfill our lives, desires, and wants. All it takes for us to support someone, or believe in some thing, is for it to give us hope, that if we will just commit ourselves to them, or it, we will have a chance to realize our fulfillment.
But, God is saying that if we will just seek Him, and commit ourselves to Him, and His ways, that all of our needs will be met.
In the verses immediately above our subject verse, starting at verse 25, Jesus is outlining the basic needs that we all have, and that is food, and clothing. He goes in to detail about how the Father, feeds all the birds, and other animals, and that man, who is made in the image of God, is far more important to Him than the animals, should not worry about how he is going to eat, because the Father will surely feed him.
He then goes on to talk about how the Father provides all the flowers with bright and colorful clothing, [raiment], and they don't even have to work. He let's us know that God will provide clothing for us, as well.
He then tells us, that we have no need to worry about these things.
Now, if He stopped right there, then we could say, 'well, all I have to do is wait on Him to give me what I need. And that is what many of us end up doing, waiting on God to give us something, figuring He is just going to give it to us, just like that. But, there is the matter of the subject verse, which outlines the prerequisites
for God to do what He says.
Jesus said, 'Seek first', meaning, the first things, first. Not second or third, but first. We have a tendency of always putting God, and the things that He says, in the back, and our desires, first. And, that is where we mess up. The law of reciprocity (reaping what you sow) [Gal. 6:7-8]
, comes in to play.
If you want God, to honor His promises to you, then you need to honor Him, by following His word. In one aspect, we are no better than the animals, and flowers
in that He provides for their basic needs, without them doing anything to please Him. He does that, because they have no will of their own, in which to make choices about what they do. Man, on the other hand, is different. We have a choice. We can choose to do what God says, or reject it.
The majority of us, tend to treat God, as if He is a spare tire in our car. As long as our lives are going well, on the four wheels, of humanistic thinking, we don't even give Him, a thought. He is just something that is extra support, to be kept in place, if something happens to our support system. When a tire goes flat, then immediately, all of our focus is on that spare tire. It has become the main focus of our life, because without it, we can't keep on going, as we want to. Well, if you are going to treat Him like that, then what do you expect Him to do???
Let me ask you this. What if God put you, and your life on the back burner, until something went wrong for Him, and He had to call on you to get moving again??? How long do you think you would have to wait?? Try eternity. God, doesn't need us, we need Him.
In the over all scheme of things, there are three ways to obtain what we desire. There is the right way. There is the wrong way. Then, there is God's way. Most of us, choose one of the first two.
The reason for this, is that when taught what is right and wrong, as children, we were given guidelines on principles taken from the bible, but were led to believe that they were man's idea. Therefore, they became subjective to what man decided was right and wrong, That meant, they could change on any whim of mankind.
The bible says 'There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof, is the way of death.' [Prov. 14:12,16:25].
There are certain things that we experience in life, where we know what is right and wrong. And we , at least most of us refrain from doing wrong, as long as something doesn't happen, where
doing right, won't help. Then we have an excuse to do what we think is right, though it is wrong, under normal circumstances.
Someone asked me one day, about stealing. He said, the bible says 'thou shalt not steal', but, what happens when you have a family, and your money runs out, and you can't get any food, and they are starving?? You could go and steal something then, can't you, and God wouldn't be mad, right.' Now, in his mind, the choice to do wrong, would be justified, under these circumstances. And it might seem that way to you. However, God means what He says, and that means not stealing, under any circumstance. Stealing, under this circumstance, though many say would be justified, could get you killed. That surely is a way that seems right, but could lead to death.
The same thing could be said for those that gamble, use drugs, commit fornication, and adultery, or even, out of vengeance, kill someone. All, may seem justified under certain circumstances, but God says, not with Him. [Isa. 55:8]
People, will do just about anything in order to achieve their goals. They even get sick, worrying about how to make them a reality. In extreme cases, wars have erupted from this.[Jam 4:1-3]
All of these problems, have a solution that is so simple that it is unbelievable. It only requires, seeking God. And the thing is, just by seeking Him, He will add the things you need, and desire, to you..
There is a story about Solomon, where God, gave him an open door to blessing, when He asked him, 'what do you want from me??[1 Ki. 3:5 - 10].
Man, Solomon could have asked for riches and power, and women, and who knows what else. But, no. He passed all of that, and asked for, wisdom??? What good is that??? It won't feed you. It won't make you rich. It won't heal you, if you are sick. Maybe 'yes', maybe 'no.' That is what he asked for, but look what God did for Him, for seeking His righteousness. Verses [11 - 14]
, say God, added on to him all the things that any person would have asked for, first. That is the way God does things.
When I mentioned at the beginning of this message, politicians, promising to do things for you, remember this, they can only do for you, what God allows them to do. Without Him, the politician, you and I, can do absolutely nothing.
If we could just learn about what God has in store for those of us, who will dare to abandon what we feel is right and wrong, and commit ourselves to do what is right in the sight of God, how much better off we would be.
He says, "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.' [Isa 1:19].
This is the prerequisite, that must be followed, in order to receive God's best for you and your family's lives.
The term 'eat', carries with it, two meanings. The first means to consume, as in 'eating food.' That means that food will always be available to those that walk uprightly before God. No one starving in your family. God will make sure of it.
Now, as if that is not enough, it also carries with it the meaning of 'use up'. This means that whatever the land has, in the way of riches, and goods, will be yours as well.
All the minerals, trees herbs and such, will be yours.
Trees, which can be used to build houses, and other things, such as being used for fuel to keep people warm. They can be used by you, or sold to others for money. The various herbs of the field, from which many things are produced, such as medicine, for healing, and various seasonings for food, and other various things that can help you to prosper physically and financially. Oil to power industry and the like. Grains and such for making bread and cereal, and thousands of other things for eating. Minerals and precious stones like diamonds, pearls, gold and the like. An over abundance of things, all set aside for you by the Father, just waiting for you to get in line to receive them.
Think about it. Here you are worrying about how you are going to make ends meet, when God has already got everything you need, waiting for you, but you are out there acting a fool, and getting sick, worrying. No wonder you are all stressed out. Working two or more jobs, to pay those credit card bills you have, because you were just trying to provide a good life for your family.
Many times, the things we have, are good, but they have come with unnecessary strings attached.
Having a nice house, a nice car, and other things that make life comfortable, can be a curse, if they were obtained by means, other than the way God says they should be gotten.
The bible says, 'The borrower, is servant to the lender.
That means, obtaining things by credit, is putting yourself, and your family, under a form of slavery. This is a major string that is attached to many of the things you have, now. Because of it, many of you, can't even retire from your jobs, to enjoy what you have, because your pension money, and social security, aren't enough to pay the bills. It can be seen as a type of begging. This goes against what David said, when he penned the phrase, 'I was young, and now I am old, and I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or His seed, begging bread. [Ps. 37:25].
Quite a difference in what you have now, versus what God says He has for you, isn't it???
He wants to have you in the position of being able to lend to others, and having people working for you. Take a look at [Deuteronomy 28 verses 1 - 14].
Doing things your way, has landed you in the opposite position, to what God says is your blessing.
Your way, or His way, which will it be??? As for me and my house, we will do it, God's way!!! There is a light at the end of that long dark tunnel that you are in. If you will just seek God, and His ways, He will turn all of that around, just for YOU!!!
NEXT MONTH'S MESSAGE - THE RELIGION OF POLITICS!