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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 14 : Seek God's Kingdom | Day 92

Seek the Right Kingdom!

There is no doubt about the importance of this next command. Jesus made it clear that keeping it should take first priority among all of the things we seek after.

Command Fourteen: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

During His earthly ministry, Jesus talked about two kingdoms. One was the future kingdom in which He will reign over all the earth. It seems that whenever the disciples began talking about this kingdom, it led to arguments. They wanted to know which one of them would be the greatest in this kingdom. (See Matthew 18:1.)

Later, the mother of James and John privately asked Jesus if her sons could sit on either side of Him in His kingdom. This request caused indignation among the other disciples. (See Matthew 20:20-21, 24.)

It is significant that the same spirit of debate and controversy occurs even today as various Christian groups try to figure out what will happen in Christ's future kingdom. Some have caused much division in the Body of Christ because of their vehement stands on future events.

The other kingdom Jesus spoke about was the kingdom of God that is within us. (See Luke 17:21.) Entrance into this kingdom requires an attitude of humility that was missing from the disciples' focus on Christ's future kingdom. When the disciples argued about who should be greatest, Jesus put a child in their midst 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” (Matthew 18:3-4).

The present kingdom of God is within us. Seeking it involves giving Christ complete jurisdiction over our hearts and lives.

After the mother of James and John attempted to advance her sons, Jesus stated, “... Whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister...” (Matthew 20:26-28).

The first prerequisite for entering God's present kingdom is humbly acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords and putting our faith in Him for salvation. This is foundational for developing the qualities of the kingdom in our hearts. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ... Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:3, 5).

Let's avoid arguing over future events and instead focus on seeking God's present kingdom by allowing Him to rule over all the areas of our lives.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard