I am seeking His kingdom

Seeking, Worrying and Money

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:24-25, 27, 33 NIV

What can I add to Jesus’ beautiful, soul-piercing words?  I find myself at a loss, perhaps because these verses are so convicting to me.

Worry is a familiar enemy of mine, one that feels like a friend.  And I often … far too often … worry about the stuff Jesus lists in these verses.  And, at least for me, worry masquerades as “repsonsbile parenthood.” I sit and ponder how my husband and I can provide better for our kids or about which situation would make life easier.  But isn’t spending tons of mental energy on those questions just worry in disguise?

Jesus clearly tells me here that I should not be seeking a more comfortable life.  I should instead spend my time thinking about, striving for, the things that advance his Kingdom.  And sometimes, perhaps even often, seeking God’s kingdom first makes life more uncomfortable. Less ideal.

And yet, he tells me to do it – to seek His Kingdom before I seek my own comfort, before I seek the things money can buy me.  And he promises that he’ll provide for my physical needs if I’ll just stop focusing on them.

Jen and I started this week with the end of the passage I chose for today.  And I’ve been dwelling on it ever since.  Jesus tied “seeking his Kingdom,” which sounds so lofty and spiritual, to two very common-place, tangible “don’ts.” Don’t worry.  Don’t seek money. Period.

And I need to remember that.  How about you?

I am seeking His kingdom

I am Seeking His Kingdom: A Joint Post

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33, NASB

 From Jen

The Magic Kingdom is a blast. We took our two older children a couple of years ago, stayed in one of Disney’s resorts, and were treated to one of the most memorable, fun weeks we’ve had so far. It was an expensive trip–we saved for a couple of years to be able to go, but we loved it, and the girls did too. It was totally worth it.

 Jesus often taught about His Kingdom. In Matthew 13 we find several parables to give us a picture of what that Kingdom is like. One that stands out to me is that of the buried treasure. What did the man who discovered that secret do? He sold everything so that he could buy that land, secure that treasure.

 Jesus is saying, “Seek me, my Kingdom, like that.”

 Let nothing be more valuable. Forsake everything else to lay claim to my Kingdom. It’s that important, that precious. And it will be more than worth it.

 It’s hard to imagine pursuing something with that kind of devoted passion–especially when we can’t see the object of our quest. Except, well, our girls had never been to the magic kingdom before that trip, and yet they knew, without seeing it, that it would be worth the wait and worthy of their unquenchable enthusiasm. Maybe I need the same child-like delight. Because Jesus clearly promised that His kingdom would be worthy of every imaginable sacrifice–and then some.

From Susan

I grew up just down the highway from the Magic Kingdom.  My parents took me to Disney World every year of my childhood.  In junior high, I marched with my band down Main Street right in front of Alice in Wonderland on her giant mushroom. In high school, many of my classmates worked at the Magic Kingdom.  Not me.  I worked at Sea World. So, I went to Disney on their free tickets, and they came to see Shamu on mine. I am a Floridian, of those who do Disney World without a map.

Even so, the Magic Kingdom has never lost its magic for me.  If I had met Jen’s daughters before they left Nebraska for their vacation, I would have told them, “Oh yes.  The Magic Kingdom is definitely worth the wait, the savings, and the sacrifice.  Take it from me.  I lived there.”

Which is Jesus’ position in Matthew 13.  He tells us all those parables because He knows the wonder of His own kingdom.  He’s lived there. And he’s trying to convince those of us who have not yet left Nebraska (or Texas, or Florida, or West Africa or Vietnam) that it’s worth it.

“Sell everything you have to obtain My kingdom?  Absolutely worth the price.  Give up earthly pleasure and position to get there?  Yes, ma’am.  You won’t be disappointed.  You may not have seen it yet, but I have.” 

And more than not needing a map to His Kingdom, Jesus is the map.

“Lord,” Thomas said, “We don’t’ know where You’re going.  How can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:5-6 HCSB