But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33 KJV)
Before we can effectively seek first the kingdom of God, we should first understand what Jesus meant by seeking first the kingdom. Let us review the three keywords in this commandment: seek, first, and kingdom.
We seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness as the object of our search. It is tempting to assume the “kingdom of God” and “His righteousness” are two distinct entities because of the coordinating conjunction “and.” However, Paul tells us the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost(Rom. 14:17). In brief, the kingdom of God in this verse represents the totality of God’s interests in your life and the world around you.
The word “seek” is the Greek verb zeteo which means “to try to get or reach something one desires.” At least three distinct ideas embodied in this word are critical to understanding Jesus’ command. They are desire, searching, and effort. First, there is a desire in our hearts to see it done, then we look for every opportunity around us and put in the effort or resources required to see it happen. Seeking implies God’s kingdom is our genuine interest.
The command is to seek first His kingdom. “First”, in this verse, does not mean first in time; e.g., you seek the kingdom first, and then you can seek other things afterward. Instead, it means preeminence and priority; the kingdom is of the utmost importance to you. Similarly, “first” does not imply seeking only or becoming a full-time minister. Rather, as described above, God’s kingdom should be your passion in life, your utmost and most pressing priority every day, everywhere, and in everything about you.
Watch Deshen Live Bible Study on this subject: What it Means to Seek First the Kingdom of God
What does it mean to seek first God’s kingdom?
Apply the Word
Are you seeking first God’s kingdom? How can we know this? Reflect on how you spend your time, talents, money, resources—they are a mirror of our true interests in life, despite what we might think or say. Resolve to seek first God’s kingdom this year.
Ask the Father for grace to seek His kingdom earnestly in your life and world.