Declare and Defend (7)
“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6.33
The defining priority
God is true. All who deny God, reject His Word, scorn His salvation, and prefer to follow their own path in life are living the lie with which Satan tempted Eve to reject God’s Word: “You will not surely die.”
God is true. His Son Jesus Christ is the truth Who sets us free to live in the righteousness, peace, and joy of the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God—that realm of influence where Jesus exerts Himself in and through His people—is the arena within which the truth of God flourishes for freedom and eternal life. And all who know Jesus Christ and believe in Him for eternal life have been translated into that Kingdom, where the truth of God sets us free from the lies of sin, wrong-belief, despair, and death.
Seeking the Kingdom of God must be the defining priority for all who know the truth that is in Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of God is Jesus Christ, breaking into human experience, by His Word and Spirit, through His Church, for the purpose of filling all things with Himself (Eph. 4.8-10). 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 is evident in a wide variety of ways.
The progress of the Kingdom has been visible in different places and times depending on the extent to which God’s people have been faithful in their calling to follow Christ and seek His Kingdom as their defining priority. 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 arrest the progress of the Kingdom by promoting the lie that God is not true, we are our own masters, and life is nothing more than what we make of it.
What we seek
What we seek, and what we call others to join us in seeking, is the progress of the Kingdom unto increasing revival, renewal, and awakening in our generation and beyond. This we do in our own lives, among the people we know, with the resources and opportunities God provides, in all the roles and responsibilities we fulfill each day. For each of us, our lives are a grace field where God intends to spread His goodness and make His glory known (2 Cor. 4.15; 1 Cor. 10.31; Hab. 2.14). As the Kingdom of God increases in and through us, the goodness of the Lord comes to light in the land of the living, and people begin to see in Jesus a more viable alternative than what they are living.
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, faithfulness in obeying Him, the daily manifestation of His glory in all their everyday activities, and ready proclamation of His truth.
In homes and churches where men and women experience daily revival, families become forges of holiness, 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 work by every means to equip and stimulate church members for revival and for lives of mission.
As King Jesus advances His reign through and from revived individuals and renewed churches, it 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.
The prophets Isaiah and Micah saw that in the last days—the days in which we live—the people of God would carry His Word into every area of life, where people would see the hope that is in them, hear the Good News of God’s Kingdom, and stream up to His Church to learn more about Him (cf. Is. 2.1-4; Mic. 4.1-5). The glorious light of the truth would expose the darkness of lies, and multitudes would come to repentance and a desire to know the Lord.
Knowing that God is true, and that He is sovereign over all things, our desire must be to seek and advance His rule of truth into all the niches, nooks, and crannies of our lives and times, in the confident belief that, as we do, people who are trapped in lies will see the light of truth and begin to seek the Lord.
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 area of our lives, in all our relationships, roles, and responsibilities. We have no higher priority and no more important calling. Jesus has given us His Kingdom, and though we must pursue through many trials and difficulties, we are assured that its increase is inevitable until the day that He returns to bring us wholly and eternally into His everlasting realm (Dan. 7.18-25; Acts 14.21, 22; Is. 9.6, 7).
Today is the favorable time! Now is the day of salvation! Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in everything you do! Speak the truth in love! Bear witness to Jesus! Make disciples! These are our marching orders!
Let every Christian become firmly anchored in God’s Word and resolve through prayer, daily conversations, using available media, and getting involved in places and activities where God’s grace may flow through them, to break the spiral of silence about Christ and His Kingdom and make our case boldly, consistently, and with sincere Christian love. Until living, declaring, and defending the truth of God becomes the calling and pursuit of every believer, we will continue to languish and betray the hope of the Gospel, and our weary world will founder and sink in a raging sea of lies.
Let God be true and every man a liar. And let Him be true in you and every aspect of your life.
1. How do you experience the reality of the Kingdom of God?
2. What do you do each day to seek the Kingdom and righteousness of God?
3. What opportunities will you have today to declare and defend the truth that is in Jesus?
Next steps – Preparation: Outline your next steps for making the most of conversation, publication, and participation to make the case for Jesus and the Kingdom of God. How will you prepare each day? What can you do to be more alert for opportunities to seek and advance the Kingdom?
T. M. Moore
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