From My Journal
Whether writing or reading this edition from my journal is worth contemplating:
In Matthew 6:33 we read, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
I like the way the New Living Translation puts it: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
The first question that comes to my mind is what is the Kingdom of God? He will rule and reign on earth someday, but that is obviously not happening right now. It seems to me it is talking about His rule, His will, His pleasure in and through our lives “right now.” We are to make living under his rule and reign our priority, along with living righteously, living out the truth of His Word. That is to be our focus, our priority, not the stuff of this world.
Even our basic needs are not priority one, food, drink, clothing, etc. Our King, our Lord, is to be Priority One. He will take care of our needs—not all our wants, but our needs. Of course, He may choose to give us some of our wants as well, but that’s His prerogative. Ours is the pursuit of His will and pleasure.
How? Through the power of His indwelling Spirit. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) What a God!
In giving further thought to our writing and reading, consider the following:
A number of years ago I was visiting in the home of a godly retired couple. They went to bed early and I stayed up and looked around for something to read. I picked up a book my friend’s wife had been reading earlier in the evening. The content was shocking!
A committed Christian gave me the manuscript of his latest work to critic. The language used was despicable. His explanation was that you had to accommodate the world if you wanted to sell your work.
So, does seeking first the kingdom of God, living out the truth of His Word, apply to our reading and writing? Of course it does! Our problem is that we tend to compartmentalize our lives. We put our “spiritual” lives in one box and our “in this world” lives in another.
I find another illustration of this dichotomy on my Facebook page. I have several Facebook friends who post powerful statements about commitment to Christ, the beauty of the Gospel, the power of prayer, and on the other hand, post items using the “F” word and the “S” word, and others signifying approval of immoral behavior.
We who have put our faith in Christ are to be in the world but not of the world. Christ said in Matthew 5:13-14 that we are to be salt and light. We are not simply to “blend in.” We are to “stand out”! Consider the following:
I John 2:15-17 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
James 4:4-5 – Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
John 17:14-18 – I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
We need to destroy the “boxes” and live every area of life for His pleasure. Perfection? We will not reach that until we get to glory. However, we can live consistent Christian lives through the power of His indwelling Spirit. And if we are to be salt and light it is essential that we do so. No excuses! Just “Lord help me!” “Lord, teach me!” Lord, grow me!” “Lord, mold me in Your image!”
Our writing and reading should glorify Him. I look forward to your feedback.
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