Seek first things first

“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 6:31-33)

Man seeking God

Photo by: ©iStockphoto/Fadyukhin

We have already talked before about our treasure, the things that are really important to us. And also about handling money. And in my previous post, I shared about the recent scandals in Brazil involving leaders that are being accused of using their churches financial resources for their own benefit.

Looking at the accusations, and the way that those leaders react, it’s the complete opposite of what Jesus has told us to do in the verses of Matthew 6:31-33. According to those verses, they’re behaving like pagans, not like God’s children.

But Jesus is emphatic in those verses: we must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. That should be our goal in life.

When we think about seeking first the kingdom of God, we might think that it is OK to seek other things second, third, and so on, right? We might feel allowed to have a rank of importance, as long as seeking God is the first one.

Well, if you read what Jesus says in verse 31, you see that He begins with “do not worry”. So we aren’t supposed to build a rank of important things we want to seek. We must seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and that’s it.

Nothing else should be added to our priority list of things to pursue. Because Jesus says that all the things that we usually put on our priority list will be given to us by the Father.

In verse 32 Jesus says that God knows that we need those things (food, clothes, etc). So He doesn’t mean for us to ignore our needs. But He is saying that if God loves us and He knows what we need, there is no reason that He wouldn’t give them to us.

Note that ‘not worrying’ doesn’t mean that you don’t need to plan your finances. Or that you shouldn’t study. Or that you should improve your skills. Or that you shouldn’t do your best at everything you do.

It means you shouldn’t worry. You shouldn’t feel insecure about them, or lose time wondering if you will get them. God will provide, He promised! As long as you do your part:

  • seek His kingdom – seek the reign of God that Jesus brings;
  • seek His righteousness – live your life showing the righteous character that God requires.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25,26)


  1. One of the challenges we face in our present-day society and the expectations is that our insurance [health, car, house, etc.] are requirements and often must be automatically withdrawn.  Utilities, phone/cable/computer connections, and others need to be automatically or paid right on time or things will disappear.  Giving to church and other organizations can be a hope and a plan, but rarely can be the “first” payments when so much else hits.  I’m grateful that the Lord has been kind and flexible.  He definitely prods Dave and I to make sure the budget moves forward… one of my main household jobs … and to give, and give, and give more.  And to trust, and trust, and trust Him more.  That’s life.  And I’m grateful and, even though I tend to be a worrier, I’m trying to always focus on Him and His love.  Nothing else counts.

    • I think that’s the point, Joanne, we need to learn. Not worrying seems so unnatural, right? But looking at it through God’s eyes, that’s how it was always supposed to be…
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Jo!

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