“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:25).
This passage is a good one for us to dwell on in current times. Crises, both personal and widespread, have a way of getting us to worry about ourselves, like what we will eat, what we will drink, or what we will do when this or that happens.
However, Jesus tells us not to worry about such things, but instead to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. In contrast, to all the whats we worry about, Jesus tells us to seek his kingdom and righteousness. What does Jesus mean by this?
Actually, the better question may be: who does Jesus mean by this? Let’s explore this in Matthew 18:1-5, when Jesus gives one of the clearest representations of the way of God’s kingdom and righteousness:
When we welcome those who are lowly, those who are vulnerable, those who are struggling, that’s when we are seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness. Seeking his kingdom and righteousness means pursuing God’s direction in every aspect of our lives and focusing on serving those who God is calling us to serve, not worrying about what is going on in our lives. God’s kingdom is all about reorienting ourselves to his work and purpose and is expressed when we focus on others and their needs instead of ourselves and our needs. When we focus on who is in front of us and how we can serve them, we often find the clarity, confidence, and courage to do whatever it takes to help one another, even in times of great difficulty. Even better, we begin to stop worrying about ourselves, and let the Father in heaven care for us instead.
- Who do you believe God is calling you to serve, especially those who are vulnerable? Be specific about naming names (family members, coworkers) or people groups (e.g. the homeless, the hungry).
- What is one thing you could this week to serve that person or those people well?
- How do you plan to live that out? Be specific in how you expect to carry out your service.
Think of the worries in your life, no matter what they are. Write them down on a piece of paper or in a journal.
SPEAK OUT LOUD AND KEEP IN MIND
Read back each worry out loud. After you say each worry, say, “God, you say you care for all my needs. I entrust this worry to your care.” When you are finished with all the worries, say, “God, please help keep me focused on your kingdom and righteousness this week, welcoming the needs of those who are vulnerable above my own.”