Jesus genuinely cared about people. No one could accuse him of not caring. He never asked the crowds for their money. He was never self-serving. He was not political. He did speak as someone who had authority, but that is the only thing he could be accused of.
The answer to everything – our lives, our struggles, our questions – can be found in Jesus’ words that he has given to us. So for a few minutes, tune out the noise from the media and our world, from everything we see and hear around us, and just listen to what Jesus has to say. As I continue on this journey of reading through Jesus’ words in the New Testament, I come to the next passage in his Sermon on the Mount. This sermon has so much great advice, and I feel like this next passage is one that is talking to us in a personal way.
“Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be provided to you.”
That is a strong statement. There is a lot of bickering going on around us – who is right and who is wrong, boycotting the state of Indiana, giving unbelievable amounts of money to a pizza restaurant in protest while others on our streets go hungry, and the list goes on and on. We will never all agree, and most of these actions are fruitless. If we cared as much about the welfare of others, despite our differences, we would have a better testimony about Jesus and a better world. Seek God first, starting with ourselves, and our own families, and those who need our help. Then the rest will fall into place. And God will provide.
Matthew 6:16-34 ~ Seek first the kingdom of God
“Whenever you fast, don’t be sad-faced like the hypocrites. For they make theirfaces unattractive so their fasting is obvious to people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward! But when you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, so that you don’t show your fasting to people but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that darkness!
No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.
This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?Can any of you add a single cubit to his heightby worrying?And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaterseagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubleof its own.”
Sue McCusker is a writer, Bible teacher, and web developer who loves to share the stories of life, hope, and faith she sees around her every day. She has written for Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, and teaches the story of God in women's Bible study.