We should strive then for the kingdom of heaven...the kingdom which the saints and the righteous strive for. It is a bright flower in its great purity, it is an open sea in its great beauty, it is a heaven full of candles in its true brilliance, it is the eye’s delight in its great loveliness and pleasantness...
- Anonymous, An Old Irish Homily, Irish, 9th century
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
- Matthew 6.33
Seeking the Kingdom of God is to be the defining priority of our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. Not just first in order, but first at all times, in every situation.
Unless, that is, Jesus was wrong, or we know better than He on such matters.
But what does that mean, “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”? How do we seek the Kingdom of God? And why?
We seek the Kingdom for the sheer beauty of it, the mystery and wonder of its brilliance, scope, power, and majesty; the holiness of its King and other occupants; the glory of living under the rule of King Jesus, knowing the joy of His pleasure in all we do. The Kingdom is the great delight of the eye of the heart (Eph. 1.15-23), and when we take the time to consider it – in prayer and meditation – we know this is true.
The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, and we will please God and profit our neighbors if we devote our lives to seek that beautiful realm every day, in all we do (Rom. 14.17, 18).
But how do we seek it?
First, contemplate the King. Come before Him often, meditate on His exalted beauty and glory (Pss. 2, 45, 47, 93, 110; Rev. 1). Talk with Him often and listen as He speaks by His Spirit from His Word. Wait in silence as you sink into His Presence and are brought into His peace and joy. Rest there in the pure pleasure of knowing Him.
Then take up the study of His Law. In His Law you’ll discover how His great beauty, majesty, goodness, justice, and love come to expression in everyday situations. By His Law the King advances His Kingdom in love for God and men (Matt. 5.17-19). The Law of God is holy and righteous and good (Rom. 7.12). We have nothing to fear or regret, and everything to gain by learning and keeping the Law of God.
We cannot seek the Kingdom without following in the way of the King, which is the way of the Law (1 Jn. 2.1-6).
Third, yield to the Spirit as He encourages, convicts, teaches, empowers, and brings forth fruit in you (Ps. 139.23, 24; Jn. 16.8-11). As the Spirit opens the Law and Word of God for you, He exposes you to the brilliance of God’s glory, transforms you into the image of Jesus Christ, and makes you more a citizen and ambassador of God’s beautiful Kingdom (2 Cor. 3.12-18).
Finally, proclaim the Kingdom. The Good News is that the Kingdom has come; we have been appointed its heralds. What could be more exciting to discuss than the progress of God’s beautiful Kingdom in and through our lives?
Your experience of the Kingdom will only be as real as your joy and pride in it – which will be determined by your consistency in seeking, meditating on, and proclaiming it.
It’s a beautiful Kingdom, really. Let’s seek it wholeheartedly.
1. What is your present practice of seeking the Kingdom of God?
2. How can you improve on that?
Psalm 145.13-17 (Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll not Want)
Your Kingdom evermore shall be; You reign forever, Lord!
Your works You do so faithfully, according to Your Word.
The failing You uphold and the oppressed Your rescue, Lord!
The eyes of all look up to You to meet our needs each day.
Open Your hand, provide the things we need, O Lord, we pray!
Kindness and righteousness You do, O Lord, in every way!
Help me day by day to seek Your Kingdom, O Lord, so that I…
Get to know the Kingdom!
We can’t seek or enjoy what we don’t know. Our book, The Kingdom Turn, is a guide to understanding, seeking, and advancing the rule of King Jesus on earth as it is in heaven. Order your free copy by clicking here.
Please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe. Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
T. M. Moore, Principal
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Davies, p. 368.