What We Must Do (14)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6.33
Our highest priority
The apostle Paul explained to the assembled philosophers in Athens that God had so appointed the nations of the world, and their boundaries, that they would seek Him, and together become one Kingdom under the heavens, rather than man under the sun. Solomon’s advice to his son, Rehoboam, was intended to help him seek a kingdom which would know the blessings of God, rather than His chastening.
And in the field of the world, where God goes forth each day to sow good Kingdom seed, our calling is to seek His Kingdom – His rule – over every aspect of our lives.
Seeking the Kingdom of God must be the highest priority for every believer in Jesus Christ. If it’s not yours, it’s because you do not understand the Kingdom, or you do not believe it is as important, as glorious, or as powerful and transforming as the Scriptures teach.
The Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ, breaking into human experience by His Word and Spirit, through His Church. It is a spiritual domain, which King Jesus is advancing by His Word and Spirit, in and through the people of God, by and for the glory of God. Where the Kingdom of God is increasing, the goodness of the Lord – His righteousness, peace, and joy – is evident in a wide variety of ways.
The progress of the Kingdom has been more or less visible in different places and times, depending on the extent to which God’s people are faithful in their calling to seek it. In our day, in our country, among the followers of Jesus Christ, the presence of the Kingdom is increasingly marginalized, as churches proclaim a weak and truncated gospel of “near Christianity” rather than the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus and the Apostles.
Meanwhile, Satan, the father of lies, never ceases working to stall the progress of the Kingdom by promoting the lie that we are our own masters and that God is not the loving, redeeming, and sovereign King of all.
What we seek
What we seek, and what we call others to join us in seeking through the resources, networks, and the opportunities God provides, by all the means of His grace, is the progress of the Kingdom unto increasing revival, renewal, and awakening in our generation and beyond.
Where Jesus is advancing His Kingdom, individual believers experience the grace and truth of God leading to daily revival of soul and body, for growth in the Lord, the manifestation of His glory, and the proclamation of His truth. Revived people understand the times and how much our world needs the rule of King Jesus, so they give themselves to living and proclaiming this Good News by every means, all the time.
In homes and churches where men and women experience daily revival, families become forges of selflessness, charity, responsibility, industry, creativity, and civility. Such families, and others like them, impact their churches for renewal in every aspect of ecclesiastical life and ministry. Renewed churches find their worship services increasingly enriched by the sense of God’s presence and power. They take seriously the mandate to make disciples, and they work by every means to equip and stimulate church members for revival and for lives of mission.
As King Jesus advances His reign in and through revived individuals and renewed churches, the reality of the Kingdom begins to impact every aspect of life in community, culture, and society. The potential for turning the world upside-down for righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit begins to be very real. As this occurs it will be evident to all that our Kingdom-seeking has begun to bring about awakening in the world.
We do not expect to eradicate the Lord’s field of all tares. Rather, we labor to sow good Kingdom seed wherever we can, as often as we can, and to tend that seed to maturity and fruitfulness in myriads of ways.
The overarching mandate
It is thus the highest calling and overarching mandate of the citizens of the Kingdom of God to pray for and seek the coming and progress of that Kingdom in every aspect of our lives – all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities.
Today is the favorable time! Now is the day of salvation! Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness – these are our marching orders! We understand the times, so that we know what we’re up against. And we know what we must do as Kingdom citizens and ambassadors in those times. Let us get on with the work.
Let every Christian resolve, through prayer, daily conversations, using the media, and getting involved, to break the spiral of silence about the Christian worldview and make our case boldly, consistently, and with sincere Christian love. Until living, declaring, and defending the Christian worldview becomes the calling and pursuit of every believer, we will continue to languish, and to betray the hope of the Gospel. But if we determine to do what we must do in seeking the Kingdom, God Himself will meet us, and begin making all things new.
1. Does it make sense to think that, if we experienced the Kingdom more really, we might declare and defend it more consistently and convincingly? Why or why not? What does that involve?
2. What would you say are the greatest hindrances to believers in seeking and experiencing the power of the Kingdom of God?
3. Explain revival, renewal, and awakening, and how these terms relate to one another, and to seeking the Kingdom of God.
Next steps – Transformation, Conversation: Outline your next steps for making the most of conversation, publication, and participation to make the case for the Christian worldview and the Kingdom of God. Draw up a plan with a clear “to do” list. Commit your plan to the Lord in prayer. Share your plan with a Christian friend, and ask your friend to join you and to pray for you.
T. M. Moore
Our Mission Partners Outreach can help you begin sharing the Good News of Christ and His Kingdom with the people in your Personal Mission Field. The training and materials are free, and the program is available in two formats, and can be used in your Bible study group or Sunday school class. Watch this brief video (click here), and download the informational flyer to learn more.
Are you living as fully as you might the presence, promise, and power of Christ’s Kingdom? Our book, The Kingdom Turn, can help to enlarge your vision and experience of living under the Kingship of Jesus in this day of salvation. Order your copy by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.