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Seek & Trust God

If you take care of God's business, God will take care of your business.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

More than 100 years ago, Charles Haddon Spurgeon began a sermon on Matthew 6:33 by simply saying:


“There is just as much need for this utterance today as when it first fell from our Savior's lips.”


Indeed, these words fell from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago.

Yet, these words are just as relevant as today's breaking news.


Hebrews 3:13 says:


“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”


The world is so bad. Sin is so great. And we are so weak that we need to be exhorted to do right every day.


There is one exhortation we need every day—Matthew 6:33.


Of course, this verse, in context, is a part of the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus recorded in Matthew 5-7. In this section of the sermon, Jesus teaches his followers simply to live without worry.


Matthew 6:25


“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”


The word there—"anxious”—simply refers to care or concern. Depending on the context, it can refer to “legitimate concern or to sinful anxiety.”


Interestingly, legitimate concerns have a way of becoming sinful anxieties.


Be anxious is to have a divided mind. One thought pulls in one direction, another thought pulls in the other direction. Hope pulls you one way…and fear pulls you another way. You wish for the best and expect the worst at the same time.


In fact, our English word “worry” is derived from a German word that means to “choke or to strangle.”  And in the real sense, that's what worry is—it is internal strangulation at the ruthless hands of uncertain circumstances.


Here, however, Jesus says to all who will follow him, “Do not be anxious. Do not worry.” In fact, the command here is forbidding something that is already taking place. Literally, Jesus says here: “Stop worrying. Stop worrying.”


In the 1980s, the first lady, Nancy Reagan, launched a campaign to keep kids off of drugs called “Just Say No.” It was a noble endeavor. Yet, as we look back, it was largely a failure. Why? Because It is hard to say no if you don't have something better to say “yes” to.


Anxiety is an addiction of the heart that we just can't break “cold turkey” and say “no” to. So, in Matthew 6:33, Jesus gives us a remedy for worry, an antidote for anxiety. What to say yes to as we say no to worry.

This verse is the key statement in this prohibition against worry. This verse, in a real sense, is the golden verse of the Sermon on the Mount. This verse is the open secret to a blessed life, death, and eternity.


The summary of what Jesus is saying is: Put God first.


Why should you put God first? You should put God first because God put you first.


1 John 4:19: We love because he first loved us.”


That's why we're still here. It's the reason why you were saved. It's the reason why we are still alive. God put us first.


In Romans 8:29, Jesus is called “the firstborn among many brethren.” The only reason you and I are children of God is because God sent his only begotten Son first. In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul calls Jesus “the firstfruits from among the dead.”


The “first fruits” was the first and finest of the harvest. It was advertisement. The first fruits, in a real sense, was a way of saying that: “If you think this is good, just wait, the best is yet to come.”


God in Christ put us first. And I want to challenge you as you read this, dear reader, to put God first.


Ask yourself: Do you put God first?


There are two clauses in this little verse, and I believe they give us two answers to that question.


Simply, to put God first, you must 1. Seek God; and 2. Trust God.


There are three types of people.


#1.  There are those who do not seek God. They don't know what real happiness is.


#2 - There are those who seek God, but not first. They are the most miserable of people and don't know why, when in reality, there's a civil war going on in their hearts.

#3 - There are those who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And they are the happiest people in the world.


Do you want to be truly happy? Puritan Thomas a Kempis gave the formula: “Seek God, not happiness.”




I grew up with this verse in the King James Bible that says: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God.”


Indeed, you cannot seek God for someone else. No one else can seek God for you. It's an individual and intimate matter. You must seek God for yourself.


In his early years, Jonathan Edwards—the great pastor-theologian of early America—wrote a series of resolutions to govern his life. The opening ones are most memorable:


#1 – “I will live for God.

#2 - If no one else does, I still will.”


This is the first and foremost and fundamental principle for seeking God. There must be a personal resolve that is determined to seek God no matter what others say or do.


Remember in John 6 how Jesus miraculously fed a crowd and tried to force him to be king? Well, that worked until he began to preach about the cost of discipleship and, then, they all scattered away!  And he was left with the 12 he started. Peter answered in John 6:68-69:


“Lord, where would we go? You have the words of eternal life and we have come to know and believe that you are the Holy One of God.”


Friends, this is why I'm sticking with Jesus! Not because he always does what I want him to do the way I want him to do it when I want him to do it. I'm sticking with Jesus because there's no better alternative. If you walk away from Jesus, where do you go? You must seek God personally!




The grammar here is in an emphasis that denotes habitual activity or continual action. That we should keep seeking first the kingdom of God. The unsaved and the unbeliever may seek the benefits of God—but they do not seek God.


Romans 3:10-11:


“There is none righteous, no not one. No one understands. No one seeks after God.”


The good news is if we are not seeking God, God is seeking us. This is the mission statement of the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 19:10:


“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost”


This is why Jesus came from heaven down to seek sinners and not to punish them – but to save them.


In fact, if you are reading this, friend, and you have not trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, I plead with you today, surrender. Turn yourself in. Throw yourself on the mercy of God. Trust the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ that is alone mighty to save from the wrath of God that is sure to come.


But we are reminded here that salvation is not just an event. It's the beginning of a life-long process of continuously and perpetually seeking God.


Hundreds of years ago in the Benedictine monasteries of medieval Europe, a new convert would be given a habit of simple cloth to note his new spiritual journey. However, his “street clothes”—you know, the clothes he came there with—were not discarded. They were left in the closet. Why? So that every morning he woke up, he would have to make a decision to continue in his new journey or to go back to his old ways. And then the monk would say, “Every morning, God, by his mercy, wakes us up.”


Likewise, we must make a fresh determination to seek God and not chase sin.




Wouldn’t be way cool if this weekend a friend of yours…


Showed up at your house unannounced,…

Kocked on the door,…

Aand when you open it, he is with a with a big warm pan, explaining:


“Sorry, I dropped by unannounced. But my wife just finished this cake and it smelled so good. So I rushed in the car to bring it and I asked her to make me another one. I wanted you to have this cake. I was thinking about you. Yes, don’t worry, I brought a fork just in case you want to share some. But this is for you!


It would not be cool if that same friend showed up at your house, you opened the door, and they got a little saucer with tin foil on it and said, “My wife just cooked this cake and it was smelling so good. I ate a piece and kept eating until I ate it all. But before I ate the last slice, I thought about you. And I Brought you this little piece before it's all gone.”


In a greater, deeper, and higher way, I contend that God deserves the cake, not just the crumbs.


You're to seek God ultimately. This is why Jesus says, “Seek first the kingdom of God.”


And here “first” is not first in series or order or process.


It is first in priority. Jesus is not merely saying, “Put God first, your family second, your education third, etc. No, he is saying, “God is to be the most important thing in your life.”


That is not to suggest that you should have no concern for the other areas of your life and the things that matter to you. It is the same that your commitment to God should shape, guide, and govern every other area of your life. Y


You're to seek God first in your family,  education, and whatever ministry God gives you.


In Luke 9:59-60, Jesus bid a young man to follow him. And he said, “Sure, Lord, I'll follow you, but first, let me go bury my father.” Jesus told them, “Let the dead bury their own dead. You go proclaim the kingdom.”


Jesus wasn’t in any way suggesting he should be disrespectful to his parents. Rather, Jesus’  issue is the word “first.”


That passage is to remind us that the Lord will not take next in your life. He desires first place. He deserves first place. He demands first place in your life.


Beware uf you think you're:


--too young to seek God,

--too proud to seek God,

--too busy to seek God,

--too happy or tired to seek God,

--too successful to seek God, or

--too proud to seek God


…it may be too late to seek God one day.


Isaiah 55:6-7


“Seek the Lord while he may be found. Call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return to the Lord and he will have compassion on him and to our God and he will abundantly pardon”.




This verse is not a call to sinless perfection. It is a call to sincere devotion. And sincere devotion simply means that you seek God on His terms, not yours.


What are God's terms?


Jesus says: But seek first the kingdom of God.”


The kingdom of God is not geographic territory—it's sovereign authority.


In Matthew 6:10, Jesus teaches us to pray,  “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”


To be a citizen of God's kingdom is to be submissive to God's will and then seek his righteousness.. To be righteous is to be right with God.


Matthew 5:6, Jesus said:


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be fully satisfied.”


At this point, I believe it's true. It's not books that change our lives. It's often sentences. In this book, he's God, and we're not. Ray Pritchard, simply says, “What you seek, you find.”


sI constantly wrestle with that sentence. “What you seek, you find.”


Do you know what that means? It means right now you are as close to God as you want to be. If the promises of God stand true, that if you hunger and thirst for righteousness, you will be satisfied. It means if you are not closer to God,  you don't really want to be.


Your prayer life is as strong as you want it to be.

Your walk with God is as strong as you want it to be.


Because if you are seeking his righteousness—hungering and thirsting for it—he will satisfy it every time. In fact, Jeremiah 29:23, the Lord says:


“You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with your whole heart.”




I love the little prayer song, “Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.”


But the truth is, if I really want to be a Christian, it won't just be in my heart, it'll be obvious in the way I live.


In fact, there are three independent external objective indicators of my devotion to God:


#1 - My time

#2 - My money,

#3 - And my relationships.


#1 - Seek God first in your time. Beginning every day, in prayer, reading, and meditating on his word. Begin every week by being marked present in corporate worship on the Lord's Day.


There was an old man who was blind, barely could hear, and never missed church. And when somebody asked him, “Why do you come every Sunday?” he simply answered, “I just want everybody to know what side I'm on.” Hallelujah! Put God first in your time.


#2 - Put God first in your money. Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honor the Lord with your possessions, with the first fruits of all of your increase. Your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with wine.”


#3 - Seek God first in your relationships. 1 Corinthians 15:33 makes it clear: “Bad company corrupts good character.”  I'll give you a simple way to spot a person who is seeking God: The one who is seeking God usually hangs out with others who are seeking God. Seek him first in your relationship, or as Jesus says: “A new commandment I give you: that you love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. And by this will all men know that you are my disciples. You love one another.”


The verse begins with a divine command: “but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”


And it ends with a divine promise: “And all these things will be added to you.”


We, as God’s people, live on promises, not explanations. You can live on a promise for a long time if you trust the One who made the promise.


This is God's guarantee. If you put God first, he’ll take care of everything else.


That's God's affirmative action program. That's God's bailout program. That's God's faith-based initiative. That's God's Social Security system. That's God's stimulus package.


“Just put me first, and I'll take care of everything else.”


It's a matter of faith and it's a matter of focus.


Two questions:




Matthew 6:31: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear?’ He gives two reasons why in verse 32, for the Gentiles seek after all these things—the nations, the heathens, the pagans, the world, the unbelievers.


Seek after these things.


Sinful anxiety is functional atheism. People that don't have a God on their side have to worry about what tomorrow's going to bring. Matthew 6:32 says:


Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”


Every need in your life is a part of the compassionate omniscience of God. In fact, Matthew 6:8 says that the Father in heaven knows what you need even before you ask. In fact, ask is important here. in a real sense, to trust God. Ask is to pray instead of worrying.


If you are really seeking God, prayer will be your first response, not your last resort.


Philippians chapter 4:6-7:


be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.”


A young missionary had a long assignment in a distant land. A friend, somewhat wealthy, accompanied him to the ship. And as they departed, the wealthy friend handed the missionary a sealed envelope. He said, “What is this?” He said, “Just don't worry about it. For now, if you get on your journey and have a need that arises that cannot be met, open up the envelope then.” Twelve years later, the missionary returned from his assignment and, again, his wealthy friend was there to greet him at the ship. And after they embraced, the missionary reached into his satchel and pulled out the envelope and handed it to his friend still unsealed. The man said, “I never had a need that the Lord did meet.” Amen!


Where is your faith?




Someone has said: “You never find happiness by looking for it. You stumble over it on the pathway to duty.”


In a real sense, this is what Jesus is saying here. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added”— literally, placed alongside of you.


You'll never get your needs met by focusing on your needs. But if you seek God first, by the time you look up, he will provide what you need.


Remember in 1 Kings 3 how Solomon was given a blank check by God? “Ask me for whatever you want,” God told him. Solomon did not ask for fame, wealth, power. He asked for wisdom and understanding heart to do God's will as he led God's people. God gave him all the other stuff he didn't even ask for.


Indeed, if you put God first, he'll take care of everything else. No, this is not a promise of prosperity. It is a promise that God will meet your needs. God will meet your needs.


I was shocked reading some commentators almost apologizing for this verse. Some were suggesting that it is a reference to mutual generosity. God will meet your needs by somebody stepping in and providing for you among the fellowship of believers.


Sure, God blesses us to make us a blessing, but this is not a promise of mere mutual generosity. It's a promise of divine generosity. God will meet your need.


If you seek God, you can trust God.

If you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, then all these other things will be added to you.


Or if I could say it the way I like to say it: If you take care of God's business, God will take care of your business.


Stillman Martin was an itinerant evangelist. His wife, Savilla, would travel as he preached and she would play and sing often before he preached. At one point, they spent an extended period at a small Bible college to help them formulate a hymnal to use in their chapel services. During their time there, Stillman had a preaching engagement some far distance away.


But when he woke up that morning, his wife was sick and he determined not to go. She insisted that he go. And they debated back and forth. And their young son overheard the parents debate and stuck his nose in grown folks' business. The young boy said, “Daddy, if it is God's will for you to preach today, don't you think he'll take care of mama while you are away?


Chastised by his son's question, he did go preach. And while he was away, God did take care of his wife. Her strength was restored. She cleaned up the house. She prepared a dinner for his return. And over the course of these hours, words started to formulate in her mind on the basis of her son's question. Stillman finally arrived home. She was eager to show him the words she had written. And he was so moved by them that he immediately set them to music. And, more than a hundred years later, the church still sings,


“Be not dismayed, whatever be tied. God will take care of you. Beneath his wings of love abide. God will take care of you. Through days of toil, when heart does fail, God will take care of you. When dangers fierce, your path a sail, God will take care of you. Whatever may be your test, God will take care of you. Lean, weary one, upon his breast. God will take care of you.”


Remember what David says in Psalm 37:25: “I have never seen the righteous forsaken by the Lord, and I've never seen his seed begging bread.”


If your priority is to seek God above all else, you can have faith in God for everything else.