But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for
the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto
the day is the evil thereof. MAT 6:33-34.
There is a solemnity in this text that we will never see until we understand what
brought about the fall of man. The text is teaching us to seek first the kingdom of
heaven. We must understand that in the Garden of Eden, when the Lord created man in the
image of God, it was to reflect His perfect image. The purpose of His creation was for man
to reflect God's image of righteousness and true holiness. When God put Adam on probation,
it was to see if Adam would truly submit to the authority of the Word of God. Adam had
nothing to gain except that he should become as God. Satan's cunning device was to tell
man that he should decide what is right and wrong; that is how Satan worked rebellion in
the heart of man against the authority of God.
The Lord Jesus points out in our text that we should seek first the kingdom of God,
i.e., seek first to be restored under the kingship of God and His righteousness. He is
teaching us the first and second tables of the law of love. This is teaching the
importance of loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and loving our neighbour as
ourselves. The Lord Jesus has said, "On these two commandments hang all the law and
the prophets." MAT 22:40. All of the gospel and all of the law hang upon these two
tables of the law.
The first table of the law teaches our need to seek the kingdom of God; to come under
His kingship, to come into subjection to Him as King. It is to honor Him with all our
heart, our soul, and our mind so His will becomes our will. "...to seek...his
righteousness" points us to the second table of the law.
We must understand that in this life the Lord puts you and me on probation as He did
with the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus had to go through His passion first before He received
His reward. You and I will have times when we will say that by all human reasoning, in
these circumstances, we just cannot obey the Lord.
Notice the example of Abraham. When the Lord told Abraham to offer up his son, Abraham
could have reasoned that he could not do that. Abraham could have reasoned thus: In Isaac
is the Messiah, and if I put him on the altar, salvation will be gone. Do you see the
price Abraham had to pay to obey? He had to believe that God was able to replace whatever
We may not say that we will lose this or that so we just cannot obey the Lord in this
instance. The Lord puts us on trial, and He puts us in those very circumstances to see if
we are willing to pay the price. We are on probation the same as the Lord put Adam on
probation. In fact, He put His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on probation. Is it not
logical that we are also on probation, and we will be tried? Our first and highest
priority must be to do the will of God, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and
The lesson Jesus is teaching is that our hearts are not to be set on the future in this
world, but on the things of eternity. "Therefore...seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Notice how we
go back to V:30 and V:31 to see the connecting words, "Wherefore" and
Why should we seek the kingdom of God first? The Lord wants to see if our priorities
are straight. Are we able to put everything on the altar regardless of what we might gain
by disobeying? If we can, we are proving we are willing to obey, sacrificing everything,
even if it is a matter of putting our "Isaac" on the altar. Are we willing to
obey? If we are willing, it shows that our first priority is to seek the kingdom of God.
When we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all the necessities of life will
be added unto us. He is telling us not to be anxious about nor to unduly labor for
material things. We are to put our priorities straight, seeking the kingdom of God first
as our highest priority.
The word seek here is a different word than the word seek in the previous
verse, "(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)." In the previous
sermon I explained that the original Greek word was epizeteo meaning to crave with
an intensified demand or to search after. It meant to seek with much eagerness, with
sweat, or with much stress.
The word seek in "But seek ye first the kingdom of God," is a
different word. The Greek word which was translated as seek in our text is zeteo
which means "to seek, to desire to worship." It is a hungering, desiring,
seeking; it is not laboring in a sweating way. It is a matter of a hungering, desiring,
worshiping spirit; it is to seek with a desire to worship.
Jesus is not teaching against lawfully labouring for our food, shelter and clothing,
but He is dealing with the attitude of the heart, i.e., anxiety! What is our motive? What
is the conversation of our heart? It is wrong when our priorities get mixed up, and we
seek these things first. The things of time and sense must not hold first place in our
heart; we must first seek His kingdom and His righteousness. In other words, our desire
will be to obey the Lord; we will want to enter His kingdom, whatever the price may be in
temporal things. We do not put a price on obedience. That is what Adam and Eve did; they
disobeyed because they thought they could gain by disobedience.
What comes into question is the authority of God's Word. The Lord will put you and me
on trial throughout this life. Will the authority of God hold first place, ahead of any
other privilege or any other thing we can gain by disobeying His Word? Where is our top
priority? Now we are put on probation. He will bring circumstances into our lives to see
if we can, like Abraham, put our "Isaac" on the altar to establish that the
authority of His Word comes first in our lives.
The word first in our text comes from the Greek word proton which means
"first in order or importance, first or chiefest of all, holding the highest place in
all our affections." The Lord is saying the first place in the priority of our
affections must be the will of God. There is much misunderstanding about what is meant by,
"seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness." Some people believe
it means that one must pray for this, this, and this. That is not what the Lord is telling
us here. When He is speaking of His kingdom, He is talking about our coming under His
reign, setting our priorities straight so the authority of His Word occupies the first
place in our lives. He is putting us on probation.
The word first is setting the place of where our treasure is, where our
priorities are, and what holds first place in our lives. Jesus said in MAT 6:21, "For
where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Is our heart centered upon
our bank deposit book which speaks of temporal savings, or is it centered upon the Great
Book which speaks of eternal savings? The Lord is looking at our heart. PRO 23:26 says,
"My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways." The Lord
wants a heart religion. He wants to see that from our heart we are able to have the
authority of His Word in first place regardless of the sacrifice, even to putting our
"Isaac" on the altar.
The Lord wants our heart. Whatever takes first place in our life is our god; it becomes
the place of our trust. Jesus is teaching the same single eye concept as He taught just
prior to this verse in MAT 6:22. We cannot serve two masters; where our treasure is our
heart will be, and now He comes to the conclusion of the matter with "seek ye first
the kingdom of God, and his righteousness."
God's purpose in our creation was to reflect His image, i.e., "to represent His
character of righteousness and true holiness." When the Lord works grace in the heart
it is a re-creation. The Spirit's work of re-creation is to re-create in us that
reflection of the image of God. See EPH 4:23-24, "And be renewed in the spirit of
your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and
The new man is the re-creation and the renewing of the spirit of the mind. Notice that
this is again speaking of what the Lord Jesus has said, "On these two commandments
[righteousness and true holiness] hang all the law and the prophets." MAT 22:40. The
gospel is all about restoring the image of God in man; as a new man, we will reflect that
Our text says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and
all these things shall be added unto you." It is very important to notice our Saviour
did not say, "Seek heaven first," i.e., to escape the consequences of your sin,
but He said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness."
Many people think the kingdom of God is heaven. That is not what He means in our text;
if Jesus meant heaven, he would have said heaven. To understand the gospel, we must
understand what it means to enter His service under His Kingship; that must be our first
The Greek word which was translated as kingdom in our text is basileia
which means, "To rule--to reign, i.e., to walk under the rule or reign of a
sovereign--a king." So, what does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God? It means
to walk under His reign, to come under the service of the Lord. Our text really says we
are to seek the authority of His Word as our first priority and observe it at all costs.
We may not put a price on it. That is the trial the Lord brings us through.
When Abraham put Isaac on the altar, he did not put a price on obedience. He obeyed.
What did the Lord say? "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing
unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not
withheld thy son, thine only son from me," GEN 22:11-12.
To fear God means to have a holy reverence for His will. That was Abraham's trial; that
is what the Lord Jesus is speaking about here. Do you fear the Lord? How are you going to
prove it. He will put us to a test where we will find we have a sacrifice to make in order
to obey. That is putting our "Isaac" on the altar.
When Jesus' disciples were striving among themselves about who should be the greatest,
as we see in MAT 18:3-4, Jesus told them their priorities were mixed up. He told them they
needed to become converted and get their priorities straitened out or they could not enter
into His service.
Our first and highest priority is to seek to come into the service of the King and walk
under His sovereign reign. Our walk of life will reveal whose kingdom we serve. The Lord
Jesus is telling us if we don't get our priorities straightened out, we cannot walk under
His reign. Why? We cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve ourselves and serve Christ.
MAT 18:3-4 says, "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and
become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom
of heaven." Until we give up all in total submission to His will, we cannot enter
into His service. We cannot serve the Lord and serve mammon. We cannot serve the Lord and
serve self. Jesus is telling us to seek first His kingdom, to let that be our highest
priority and greatest desire. It is to do what is pleasing to the Lord, to do the will of
God, and to come under His kingship.
The word ekzeteo in the Greek was translated as seek in HEB 11:6, but the
meaning is much richer, and much more intensified than in our text. The word seek
in our text comes from the Greek word zeteo which means "to seek, to desire to
worship," but the word ekzeteo as used in HEB 11:6 is more intensified.
"But without faith [the obedience of faith] it is impossible to please him: for he
that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him." Even though this use of seek has a much richer and
deeper meaning than that used in our text, it comes to the same conclusion. Here the word
"seek" means, "To search out, to investigate, to crave after, to demand, to
worship, to require, to seek after carefully or diligently." This richer meaning is
more than just desiring something.
The Lord is saying that faith is composed of believing two things: One, that He is God,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Take a good look at this
reward which Adam lost through disobedience, but which Jesus obtained for His church by
His perfect obedience. It is so important that we understand what the Lord is teaching us
in these verses. Remember what He did with Adam. He put the reward of eternal life in
front of Adam, but He put him on probation. Would Adam pass his probation for the reward?
When the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world, He was on probation. Through the
obedience of faith He entered into death, and "...who for the joy that was set before
him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the
throne of God," HEB 12:2. In other words, He endured the probation period through the
obedience of faith to obtain the reward. "And being found in fashion as a man, he
humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross," PHI
It was through this obedience of faith which was so well pleasing unto the Father that
the Father was moved to grant His Son the reward as we see in the next verses! "Wherefore
God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and
things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father," PHI 2:9-11. The Lord is telling us that if we do not
walk in the obedience of faith, He will not give us the reward after the probation; it is
impossible to please our heavenly Father without the obedience of faith.
Through this obedience of faith we "...search out, investigate, crave after,
demand, worship, and/or require to seek after carefully or diligently," to enter the
kingdom of God, i.e., "to walk under the rule or reign of Christ as your Sovereign
and King." To "diligently seek" in such a way is to strive with all our
might, our substance, and our heart and soul to find out and do the will of God, to seek
to do that which is pleasing to God.
This seeking, i.e., hungering and thirsting after serving the Lord and His
righteousness, is the fruit of being "...renewed in the spirit of your mind [it is
the fruit of God's grace in the heart]...put[ting] on the new man, which after God is
created in righteousness and true holiness," EPH 4 23-24. This hungering and
thirsting is the fruit of being renewed.
By nature we are born under the power of sin, and have no desire after the knowledge of
His ways. We see this in ROM 3:10-12, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no,
not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are
all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth
good, no, not one." Our text tells us to seek first the kingdom of God, yet the
Scriptures say that by nature there are none who seek after God, i.e., until there is that
renewing of the mind by putting on the new man of the heart.
The heart of the old man of sin, man by nature, is well described in the verses that
follow: "Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit;
the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way
of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God [reverence for His will] before
their eyes," ROM 3:13-18. The Lord is telling us that this is the old man of sin by
nature; this is the consequence of the fall. There is no fear of God, i.e., there is no
reverence for the will of God in the heart of man by nature.
In our text Jesus is talking about the work of regeneration, the new nature, which
enables us to become a God-fearing people who will seek first the will of God. It becomes
our hungering, craving desire to do that which is for the glory of God, to fulfill the
purpose of our creation, and reflect the image of God in righteousness and true holiness.
The will of our heavenly Father becomes the uppermost, first desire of our heart.
Jesus' admonition in our text is to search out our priorities. They can get so mixed
up. What is it that holds first place in our hearts? Who is on the throne? Who do we
serve? This is the all important question which shall separate the sheep from the goats in
the last day. MAL 3:16-18 says, "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to
another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written
before him for them that feared the LORD [for them who reverenced His holy will, who
sought to walk under the reign and rule of Christ as their Sovereign and King.], and that
thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I
make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that
serveth God and him that serveth him not."
Why should we seek to enter the kingdom? Why should we seek to walk under the service
of Him who is our King? It is because in the day of judgment He will sort out those who
served Him, those whose desire was to seek the kingdom of God, and those who did not.
Certainly we cannot merit anything by serving the Lord, but our text teaches there is a
reward in this life as well as an eternal reward for serving the Lord. "But seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness [Now here is the reward]; and all these
things shall be added unto you." What things? They are all the things the Gentiles
seek and strive for with the sweat of their brow. The Lord is telling us not to worry
about those things. Just walk under His banner, and He will provide them; we do not need
to strive for material things. There is the reward in this life. Also, there is an eternal
reward on the day of judgment when those who served Him are separated from those who did
not serve Him. This is the reward for the obedience of faith spoken of in HEB 11:6,
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
We must understand there is a difference between a reward and a merit. We are not able
to merit anything, but the Lord is so pleased with righteousness, and one who has a heart
tender for His will, that He gives a reward. It is an undeserved blessing, something to
which we have no right or title. The Psalmist spoke of this reward in PSA 58:10-11,
"The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in
the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the
righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth." He has a reward for walking
in the fear of the Lord.
Moses gave up all the treasures of Egypt through the obedience of faith to serve the
Lord. Moses was in the house of Pharaoh as the son of Pharaoh's daughter which put him in
line to possibly inherit the throne. He gave it all up to serve the Lord. Why? The
reproach of Christ was far greater wealth than all the riches of Egypt because Moses had
"...respect unto the recompence of the reward." He saw that the reward the Lord
promised was greater by far than all the treasures of Egypt. He did it for the reward, and
that is what you and I must understand; there is a reward! The Lord rewards those who
diligently seek Him.
Let's examine this truth found in HEB 11:24-26, "By faith Moses, when he was come
to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer
affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season [Now
notice this]; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt:
for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward."
We must understand here that we do not earn anything. The Lord wants us to become
reconciled to His will, to fear Him, and to have a holy reverence for Him. He wants us to
be able to give up, at any cost, everything in this life that comes against His Word. He
wants us to put our "Isaac" on the altar. For what reason? The angels spoke from
heaven to Abraham, "...for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not
withheld thy son, thine only son from me," GEN 22:12. He wants us to stand the test
so we may gain the reward.
Our text not only admonishes us to "seek ye first the kingdom of God [but also],
and his righteousness." This means to seek to serve the Lord's will not only under
the first table of the law of love, but also under the second table of the law of love.
I have very carefully searched the Greek to confirm, unquestionably, that my words echo
what Christ was saying. The word righteousness as used in our text, "seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," comes from the Greek word dikaiosune,
which means, "equity of character or act," i.e., according to the second table
of the law of love, preferring our neighbour before ourselves. ROM 13:9-10 says, "For
this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou
shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment,
it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the
So we are to seek first, ahead of ourselves, equity to our neighbour. We are to set our
neighbour ahead of ourselves. That is seeking God's righteousness "first." It is
seeking equity of character and act.
The Lord is wroth with sin. He is so wroth with sin that He put His own Son in the
Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross to take away the penalty of sin rather than let one
sin go unpunished. However, let us not get the wrong picture of God, He is glorified with
righteousness. Why? It is the habitation of His throne! Therefore, He promises a great
reward for those who walk in the obedience of faith serving Him under the second table of
the law as well as under the first. The reward is for those who reverence His will,
honoring God and reverencing Him through righteousness or in the way of equity of
character and actions to our neighbour. Don't forget righteousness is also walking under
the authority of God because He has commanded it.
See how the Lord is glorified with righteousness; the promise set forth in our text,
"...and all these things shall be added unto you," is the great reward for those
who walk in the obedience of faith. ISA 33:14-17 says, "The sinners in Zion are
afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the
devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" Now see V:15,
"He that walketh righteously [with reverence for the second table of the law of love;
he that is honest in character and act to his fellow man.], and speaketh uprightly; he
that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes,
that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing
evil." In every instance that refers to our right character towards our fellow man,
walking in righteousness.
See the blessed reward in V:16-17, "He shall dwell on high: his place of defence
shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. Thine
eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far
What does it mean that he "Shall see the king in his beauty"? It means that
he is walking in the footsteps of the King; he is walking under the reign, the rule, and
the sovereignty of the King. He will enjoy the presence of the King, and he will see the
King in His beauty. Why? He is seeking first the kingdom of God. What a priceless reward
for walking under His reign! This is so precious.
The reward was the object of Jesus' faith when He was obedient unto death, enduring the
cross, despising the shame, and so became the Author and Finisher of our faith. In HEB
12:2 we read, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the
joy [for the reward] that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and
is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Without faith it is impossible
to please God. What is faith? It is to believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder. Do
we realize that our faith must look to the reward as our objective.
As set forth before, Jesus' reward of obedience was described so beautifully in PHI
2:8-11. He "...humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the
cross." The Father was so pleased with such humble obedience of faith that He
"...also hath highly exalted him..." with all honour and authority.
This reward for Christ's obedience, i.e., His reverence for His Father's will, is set
before us as an exhortation unto obedience, with the full realization of our need to look
unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher of that faith. When Christ was in the Garden of
Gethsemane He prayed, "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done," LUK 22:42. He had a holy reverence for
the will of the Father, and for this reverence He received His reward. PHI 2:8- 11 is an
exhortation which realizes that we must look unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our
faith. We are not able to do it within ourselves. We are exhorted to seek first His will
to walk under His Kingship.
Now see the verse which follows the blessed declaration of Christ's exaltation as the
reward for His obedience. PHI 2:12- 16, says, "Wherefore [see that connecting word],
my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my
absence, work out your own salvation with fear [with a holy reverence for the will
of God] and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his
good pleasure. [He recognizes we are not able to do this in our own strength, but Christ
looks at our heart. Is it our utmost desire to do these things?] Do all things without
murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without
rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in
the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I
have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain."
All of this comes back to the central pivot point of entering the kingdom of God. It is
what we must seek first; if we missed this central theme, we have missed everything. We
will not have a second chance after this life. God's reward is unspeakable to those who
diligently seek to do His will. Serving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Sovereign and King
under the second table of the law of love is the fruit of seeking to serve Him under the
first table of that law of love. When we truly desire to serve God with our heart, our
soul, and our mind, the fruit of such desire is serving Him under the second table of the
The Lord is greatly pleased with a right attitude toward our neighbour as the fruit of
entering the kingdom. Walking under the service of the King brings us to want to do what
is right to our neighbour. We can see this in ISA 58:6-11; watch to see how pleased He is
when we seek first His righteousness, i.e., we seek first equity of character towards our
fellow man. "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of
wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break
every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that
are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou
hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning,
and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee;
the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. [The Lord is so pleased when we do these
things; now, see the reward.] Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt
cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the
putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the
hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul [The Lord is so pleased when we seek first His
righteousness! Then we see how richly He rewards for such service under the second table
of the law.]; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat
thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose
waters fail not."
The reward is unspeakable. We are to look to that reward if we are to walk by faith. We
must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him diligently.
It is noteworthy how the Lord revealed His reward for those who reverence the second
table of the law of love ahead of the first table. In ISA 58:13-14 we are told of the
reward for serving Him by reverencing His will for His honor and His glory under the first
table of the law. "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy
pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable;
and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor
speaking thine own words [Now see the reward]: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the
LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with
the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." You see,
there is a reward, and we must learn to understand that concept. If we understand the
obedience of faith, we come into His service, and the reward is so much greater than any
sacrifice we might make.
Faith is believing, not only that God is, but that He is a rewarder of those who
diligently seek to walk according to both tables of the law of love under the rule or
reign of Christ as their Sovereign and King. We must understand that if He says we must
seek first to enter the kingdom of God, He is saying we must seek first to serve the Lord.
Put your priorities straight; whatever is His will, the authority of His Word stands above
every other authority.
Do you know what is wrong in modern Christian society today? They gainsay the Word of
God. If they don't like what the Lord says, they alter it. Women are in the pulpit because
in the new movement, women want to be equal with men. This choice is not spoken of in
God's Word. We put human reasoning ahead of the Word of God. Just the other day I saw a
piece in the local paper where they were trying to decide whether or not to ordain women
into the ministry. They decided not to do it because they could not find any place in
Scripture which authorized it. They concluded the Scripture was silent in the matter.
The Scripture is not silent. 1TI 3:1-5 teaches that in order to be a bishop one must be
the husband of one wife. What woman can be the husband of one wife? In order to be a
pastor, i.e., a bishop or overseerer of the flock of God, he must have "... his
children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his
own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)" The
Scriptures clearly speak of the office of a pastor, a bishop, or a deacon as the office of
the male gender.
The Bible tells us in 1TI 2:12-14, "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to
usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." We
also read in 1CO 14:33-35, "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as
in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not
permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith
the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is
a shame for women to speak in the church."
Any person who tries to pervert God's Word to say a woman can be ordained into the
ministry is bartering the authority of God's Word for human reasoning. There is a movement
for women to have equal rights, but the Lord has placed a clear distinction between men's
and women's roles in the church. Are we willing to make the sacrifice to submit to the
authority of the Word of God for the reward He offers?
The ministry of a women is clearly set forth in TIT 2:3-5 as a ministry of example.
"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false
accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young
women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste,
keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not
Faith is believing, i.e., coming under the authority of the Word of God. I hear
occasionally a pastor who cites this old father or this doctor or theologian as an
authority. Do you know what they are doing? God's Word tells us in MAT 28:18-20 that all
authority was given to Christ. Do we need to quote an authority other than Christ? Is
there anyone with a higher authority than Christ? The Lord is jealous of this. We should
not quote a human being from the pulpit. If we want to quote an authority, we must quote
the Lord Jesus Christ for there is none higher. If what He says is not sufficient, how do
we add to it by quoting another authority? "And Jesus came and spake unto them,
saying, All power [all authority as it is in the Greek] is given unto me in heaven and in
earth," MAT 28:18. People lose sight of this. When we submit ourselves to the
kingship of Christ, then we understand the authority of that King, and we will not barter,
under any circumstances or for any price, the authority of the Word of God.
Unbelief says, "Give me all the necessities of life and I'll believe;" Jesus
says, "believe and I'll give you all the necessities of this life." Our text
says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these
things shall be added unto you." We are not to be anxious about the necessities of
life like the Gentiles. We do not need to add anxiety to our labors. We must "...seek
ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," and then we will have all the
necessities of this life which He will provide.
Unbelief will not be able to submit to the fact that tomorrow we must go out and gather
the manna God will provide. They want it right there in front of them, enough to last a
lifetime. If they don't get it, they must get burrowed into the things of this life like
the Gentiles and strive with might and main. There is a difference between that and faith.
By faith we are able to give over everything into His hand, walking under the authority of
the King, and trusting that He will provide.
That doesn't mean that we sit back and do not need to make a lawful effort to provide.
We must lawfully labor, but it must not take first place. "Seek first..." in
other words, our priorities must be straight.
We must see the perfect harmony these things have with the preceding verses because
Jesus started the admonition of our text with the connecting word "Therefore."
When we see "Therefore," we must see the connection with what He said before
this statement. MAT 6:31-33 says, "Therefore...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and
his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." We must fix our
hearts and minds on the preparatory language of preceding verses.
Let's look at MAT 5:20, "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall
exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the
kingdom of heaven." The scribes and Pharisees were self-centered; they had no thought
or love for their fellow man. Righteousness is the second table of the law. Do you see the
connection between this and our text "...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness"? In other words, it is that right character, the right attitude
towards our fellow man that must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees or we will not
enter the kingdom. That means you cannot enter into the service of the Lord otherwise.
You cannot serve two masters; you can't serve self and serve the Lord. Remember the
connecting word "Therefore" in our text as we read MAT 6:24, "No man can
serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will
hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." We cannot
have it that our heart is so buried in the things of this earth and serve the Lord. So He
is admonishing us to get our priorities straight by seeking first the kingdom of God and
His righteousness. He is not saying that we should not seek our food, or do not labor for
an honest living, but get those priorities straight. We can't serve two masters. It is
impossible to serve self and serve God. You must serve your fellow man doing everything in
your power to put your fellow man before yourself.
Our text says, "Therefore...seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." If you understand the
elements referred to in "Therefore," you will understand how one must seek first
the kingdom of God by seeking to come under His reign and rule as a Sovereign and observe
the authority with which He speaks. The rebellion of our heart must be broken so we can
walk under His kingship, His righteousness, and the second table of the law. Why? Because
"On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets," MAT 22:40.
What is the gospel for? The gospel is to save His people from their sins. The purpose
of the gospel is so we might be restored with the new man of the heart after righteousness
and true holiness, that we might reflect the character of God as Christ is formed in us.
Our text says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all
these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the
morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil
thereof," MAT 6:33-34. As we walk in His footsteps, we begin again to reflect His
image. It is not with perfection, but God looks upon our heart. He looks upon the thoughts
and intents and desires of the heart to know if it is our desire to reflect that perfect
image of God. Amen.