Seek First God’s Kingdom

Are you a disciple of Jesus Christ ?

Many people today have the same heart attitude as the people who followed Jesus around for the fish and the loaves.

Can you imagine seeing Messiah in person and watching him perform miracles but having your main objective to be provision for yourself?

John records this in his account in John 6.

Jesus points out that many followed him because of the miracles which brought them provision.

Now Jesus obviously wanted to bless the people with their needs met but what he was trying to point out to them was that they prioritized material provision over spiritual things.

How many of us have done exactly that? We have bills to pay and all kinds of material needs that causes our anxiety level to go on over drive. All we can think about is our needs. Even our prayers are dominated with them.

Jesus gently instructed those people that it was not his will for them to labour for food which perishes. Nor is it his will for us today to labour for our material needs.

Why would Jesus use the term labour or toil? That’s because it implies pursuing hard after!! Bent on achieving our goals of material necessities to the detriment of our spiritual necessities.

Notice that Jesus used the same term of labour also in our pursuit of the spiritual things of his kingdom.

” Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

Jesus gave us that same instruction when he said “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all the things you need will be given into you.”

The Holy Spirit through the word is pointing out a spiritual principle.

Seeking God first and prioritizing his kingdom in our lives will bring us to a place of maturity in the Lord so that when we ask for our maternal needs we will have such confidence in his ability that we can just lay the need at the feet of Jesus and rest in him without worry or anxiety.

Faith and confidence in God brings results to prayer and so we don’t have to toil obsessively over our material needs.

Anxiety, depression, doubt and all that garbage goes out the window the more we grow in our relationships with Jesus.

John records that some people even got into a boat and rowed out to sea looking for Jesus so that they could get fed. That’s alot of work to get a sandwich!

John also records that people even got into a boat in a storm no less to search for Jesus and what did he say to them after all their hard toil? The same thing he said to the last bunch of people looking to be fed.

“I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

Realizing that Jesus was not too pleased with them the people then asked, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”

What was his reply?

“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

So we can see that Jesus prioritized faith in him; who he was, his word and his Kingdom above meeting their material needs.

The people could not wrap their heads.around that because it didn’t make sense to their natural minds. They wanted a sign that Jesus was the Messiah by having him give them some bread from heaven. Well, that’s a step up but still its bread.

Again Jesus reiterates the same message in a different way. Moses fed you manna from heaven that’s true but then Jesus points once more to himself as being the true bread that came down from heaven and he tells the people to seek after him which is the true bread.

There are several different nuggets of truth Jesus is talking about in John chapter 6 but I am honing in on one in particular and that is that Jesus prioritizes our spiritual condition over our material condition.

While Jesus does want to meet our material needs he does not want us to strive and toil about them. He wants us to put our spiritual necessities above our natural necessities. If we do this then all our needs will be met as a bonus.

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The Salt Of The Earth!

Why Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt?

I think the Lord was trying to make a statement like, “I have now cleansed the land.”

Repentance will often lead to tears of sorrow. The salt in our tears are heart cleansing so after a good heart wrenching cry of repentance the soul is cleansed by God.

Our tears also have a physical effect on our body. Scientific studies have shown that tears help the body recover from stress by excreting excess proteins and the cortisol hormone which can be damaging to the body in excess. Emotional tears also release endorphins responsible for reducing pain and improving mood.

Salt cleanses from disease. Our bodies have a perfect balance of salt and water. If we don’t have enough salt in our system then disease may rear it’s ugly head. It’s the same with sin. Sin is a deadly disease. Not only can it kill physically but it can kill spiritually.

That is why the Lord calls his church to be the salt of the earth. As long as God’s people are here there is healing and salvation. But what happens if the salt looses its saltiness? Sin creeps into society and the world becomes perverted. Only salt purifies and preserves.

The ungodly can trod all over the world when there is an unsalty church and that is why we are exhorted by the Lord to be like salt. Be life preserving. Bring the salt to a sin infected world. Bring to others the cleansing of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Be the salt of the earth.

Faithful is He Who Has Promised!

Sometimes as Christians we can find ourselves stuck in situations that we really don’t like ! I know from personal experience that making a big fuss over it usually does not help to change the situation and in fact may even make things worse.

It is not necessary either to let yourself be a sitting duck . You don’t have to just suck it up if circumstance is causing you grief. There is nothing more dis-empowering than feeling there is no way out.

How long have you prayed for your situation to change and it hasn’t? Getting frustrated and ready to throw in the towel? Well, there is good news that you might need to hear.

None of us are guaranteed a continual life of milk and honey in this life. Jesus made it quite clear in his word that in this world we will have tribulation. However, the Lord did promise that as he overcame trials in this world so can we.

Going to the cross was a very difficult circumstance for the Lord. Jesus had to yield to unpleasantness and a lot of hardship but he endured, scriptures tell us, for the joy that lay ahead.

I am sure that Jesus really had to put his trust in the Father to bring him through his circumstance even though he felt forsaken and alone for a time. It couldn’t have been easy facing that kind of situation.

Being left in a forsaken place can cause the human mind to freak out a bit but the truth of the matter is that God is with us in our circumstance even though it doesn’t feel like it to us sometimes. When trouble comes our first inclination is to start to be afraid and maybe even feel angry.

God knows that we are only human but never should we stay in that kind of mindset. It will only end up hurting us in the end. Bitterness and anger can cause a whole heap more trouble for us than our actual problem both from a physical and spiritual perspective.

There is some really good news however, which we should keep in mind when we find ourselves in terrible circumstance. God says in his word that he will always be with us even in trouble and he has promised to never forsake us. That means he is going to walk us through our unpleasant circumstance ! Just like God the Father walked Jesus through his difficulties so he will do the same for us.

We have to wait though, be patient, never give up and keep on praying. This is the scriptural key to victory! Never giving up! Keep standing in faith! Keep praying and trusting until the victory comes! Just as Jesus was risen from the dead by the power of God so too shall we experience victory. That is if we don’t give up and if we hold on to our faith.

God had promised to make a way out of the wilderness and he always delivers on his promise. Remember that God cannot lie. It’s as impossible for God to say a fib as it is for the moon to fall out of the sky and land in your plate. He cannot lie. It’s a spiritual reality. So, knowing that God is very trustworthy we can keep trusting in him until the darkness flees and we see the light!

Never do we have to succumb to fear, defeat or depression because we know that all things are working together for our good. ALL is ALL!

Now there is nothing written in stone that our prayers will be answered exactly as we want them to be because well, God is God after all. If there is one thing that I have learned it is that I don’t know what is best for me. Left to my own devices I’d be chasing after rabbit trails indefinitely. So, it’s best that I just trust the Lord to work it all out and he will. For faithful is he that has promised!

You too can be assured that the Lord will bring you through every circumstance. He may or may not change the place you are in but one thing you can count on is that he will change you. After all his priority is what’s best for your eternal weight of glory and in the grand scheme of things that’s what matters.

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Wrong Choices Can Work Out for our Good !

Bad choices have bad outcomes !

All we have to do is look at the lives of David, Jacob, Joseph and others in scripture to see that bad choices have bad out comes.

While we can always find forgiveness in Jesus from our sin but he does not erase the consequences we experience for our wrong choices.

David was called to be a ruler but he found out through temptation that he had sin in his heart. Lust, greed, and a sense of privilege.

After David sinned he suffered from his bad choices. He lost a child and ended up in many battles that might not have occurred had he been obedient to God.

Joseph was prideful and boastful. He ended up making enemies because he had a fat head. Where did that get him? In the clink! He had to be humbled in order to find out that he wasn’t such a big shot.

Jacob was a big fibber and could decieve and manipulate others. Those choices of his because of the sin in his heart ended up having him working for a bigger deciever and manipulator than himself !

Do you see a pattern here? Yeah you are right! You reap what you sow !

Spiritual principles are the same as natural principles. You throw a ball in the air and it can land right back down on your head!

There is a reason that Jesus told people he healed, “Go and sin no more lest a worst thing happen to you.”

Our sin will always end up with dire consequences. Wrong choices which usually come from a wrong heart attitude will always work out for our good IF we love God and are called according to his purpose.

When we make wrong choices the Lord reveals to us our heart attitudes that need changing by the consequences of our wrong choices. Want to know what the sin is in your heart ? Just take a look at what you reaped from those wrong choices.

When we see our sin for what it is, we can confess our sins and ask for forgiveness and restoration. BUT if we refuse to look at our sin and keep going in the same direction we will find ourselves in a continual pattern of repeated wrong choices with repeated consequential events.

Sin not dealt with just becomes a cycle of bad attitude, bad choices and bad outcomes.

Now for the dreaded word! REPENTANCE. It is not enough to see our sin and confess our sin. Unless we repent we will perish the Bible tells us.

Repeatedly sinning because of undealt with heart attitudes will have dire consequences for us. We must put our hearts on the altar and have the Lord slay the dragon which rules in our flesh.

Once we acknowledge our sin we can then ask the Lord to help us not to continue in that sin. God gives us power to say no to temptation if we call on him to help us and he can even change our stony heart and make it soft and pliable by his Holy Spirit.

Life is a learning process and it is up to us to yield to the Lord in surrender so that he can make us what he wants us to be. That’s why scriptures tell us that ALL THINGS are working together for our good!

Even our wrong choices can end up revealing to us our heart condition so that we can repent and be changed from one degree of God’s glory into another.

Jeremiah 17:9-10
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

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