The Good News - Home

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

by David A. DePra

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all

these things shall be added unto you. (Matt. 6:33)

     When we use the word "seek" we are referring to a person's

goals and motivation for living. I do not "seek" something unless I

want to come into possession of it.

     Additionally, the moment I say I must "seek" something, I am

admitting I don't have it -- at least not in it's fullness. I don't seek

something I already possess.

     "Seeking" also requires EFFORT. There is nothing about the

word "seek" which carries the notion of sitting back and waiting

until a thing comes to us. No. "Seeking" is not a passive stance.

To "seek" means to search, overcome obstacles, and do what I

need to do to FIND it.

     So when Jesus tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God," He

is telling us that the kingdom must be the PRIORITY in our living.

Seeking of it must be the REASON we live. We must be willing to

put forth any effort necessary to continue seeking the kingdom.

The Kingdom of God

     Now of course the question is: What is the kingdom of God?

Jesus spoke continually of His kingdom. But what is it for us today?

     The disciples continually misinterpreted Jesus' teaching on the

kingdom. They thought He was talking about a natural kingdom,

soon to be set-up by Him in Jerusalem. But Jesus almost never

talked about that kind of kingdom. He spoke of a kingdom for right

NOW -- in the hearts and lives of people.

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom

of God should come, he answered them and said, "The kingdom of

God does not come in a way that can be observed with the eyes.

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! For, behold, the

kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21)

     This is the KIND of kingdom Jesus always talked about. It was

not a physical kingdom He was about to set-up in Jerusalem. It was

a spiritual kingdom He would usher in through His death and


     Now, we MUST get this straight. Many Christians repeat the error

of the disciples. We think that Jesus is talking about a physical

kingdom. Only instead of one which would be set-up two-thousand

years ago, we think it is one He will set -up when He comes back

to earth. But the kingdom which will come to earth via the Second

Coming will be the physical aspect of the REAL kingdom: The

kingdom of God in the hearts and lives of men.

     Not only does Jesus' teaching on the kingdom make this clear,

but the term "kingdom" leads us in that direction as well. The word

is "basileia," and means "sovereignty, royal power, dominion." But

note that the term does not really speak of WHAT that power or

dominion rules over. No. This word for kingdom stands for the

sovereignty, royal power, and dominion ITSELF.

     To put it plainly, the "kingdom of God" is not the PLACE over

which God reigns. Rather, it is God's reign itself. It is God's reign

over any place or person. The "kingdom of God" is the SPHERE

of God's rule. That which is within that sphere can be said to be IN

the kingdom.

     This makes many things clear. It means that when Jesus says,

"The kingdom of God is within you," He means that in each human

being there is potential for coming under the Lordship of Jesus

Christ. His REIGN can be in you -- if you surrender to God.

     Likewise, when Jesus says, "Seek you first the kingdom of God,"

it means that we are to seek the reign and rule of God! Over what?

Over us! And everything else, for that matter. Jesus is really saying

nothing more then that we should seek the WILL of God in us,

through us, and around us.

     The kingdom of God is the realm of God -- the sphere of God's

reign. It is not some far-off, millennial kingdom. It is not merely

heaven above. Neither is it the church. The kingdom of God is

the reign and rule of God, period. And it is coming right now in those

who will SEEK it, and having found it, continue to yield to it.

     We enter the kingdom through the new birth. But as we shall see,

that only how we get IN. Once in, we must continue to allow the

reign and rule of God to invade all of us -- like a liberating army

invades occupied territory. This we call "Christian growth." This we

call, "being set free by the Truth." We are never done seeking HIS

kingdom and HIS righteousness.

Thy Kingdom Come

     When Jesus gave His disciples "The Lord's Prayer," He told

them to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is

in heaven." This prayer is a seeking of the kingdom of God. It is

asking God to bring His kingdom here in the same way that it is in


     Do we realize what we are praying when we pray this prayer?

Ask: How does God's kingdom operate, and how does His will

function in heaven? Completely and without opposition. So when

we pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth AS IT IS

IN heaven," we are asking Him to bring this to pass here as well.

We are asking God to take over -- to bring HIS rule and HIS will to

pass, completely and without opposition on this earth.

     Now here's the point: Where do we think He is going to start?

You got it: With US. If the kingdom of God, above all else, is a

kingdom within US, then that is where God is going to start. He is

going to want to bring US under His will and purpose.

     These Truths are not vague concepts. They are not merely

clever sayings or religious jargon. They are REAL and livable.

If you want God's kingdom to come, and for His will to be done, then

God says, "I want to start with YOU." There is simply no other way

God works. He wants people. He wants you and I.


     Both John the Baptist and Jesus began their ministry by

preaching, "Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand." Note that

the REASON given for repenting is this: The kingdom of God is

at hand."

     What is it about the kingdom that makes repentance necessary?

     We see the answer when we realize that the issue here is rulership

and ownership. The kingdom of God, we have seen, is God's

reign and rule over people. But the sin of man is SELF-rule. It is

SELF-ownership. Exactly the opposite. Thus, we really have TWO

kingdoms. God is saying, "Forsake the kingdom of self-rule. Come

under MY reign and rule."

     Paul told the Colossians:

Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be

partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who has delivered

us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the

kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His

blood, even the forgiveness of sins. (Col. 1:12-14)

     Here we see the TWO kingdoms: The kingdom of LIGHT, or of

God, and the kingdom of darkness. Through Christ, we are

translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God.

This translation cannot happen without repentance. Why?

Because of WHAT I must repent OF.

     Most Christians think we must repent of sins BEFORE God will

save us. This is not true. We must repent of THE sin. What is THE

sin? THE sin of self-rule. Once we repent and turn from self-rule,

then we are under God's rule. Then we see that all sin has been

dealt with by the Blood of Jesus Christ.

     What we are saying here is that there is only ONE sin we must

repent of in order to come to Christ: The sin of refusing to come to

Christ. THAT is the sin of unbelief, which at it's root, is self-rule. But

once I do repent of unbelief, then what happens? I am believing. I

embrace everything Jesus Christ has done for me. This makes His

death my death, and His resurrection my resurrection. I am born

again into the kingdom of God.

     Note that we must first COME to Christ. But we cannot do that

until we repent of the sin of refusing to come to Christ. It is so

simple that a child can understand it. Indeed, that is why Jesus said,

"You must become as little children to enter the kingdom of God."

     Now someone is bound to ask, "This does not make any sense

to me. I still think we have to repent of all of our sins before we can

come to Christ. Otherwise, we are coming without repenting. How

can this be right? In that case, we have not forsaken sin."

     Such questions betray a complete misunderstanding of the

Redemption. If I repent of unbelief, and come to Christ, the REASON

I'm doing that is because I want His Blood to atone for ALL my sins.     

     Repentance IS a forsaking of sin. It is nothing else. Thus, it is not

possible to repent and come to Christ, and still want to sin. If I still

want to sin, I am NOT coming to Him! I'm playing a religious game.

     We are talking here about a REAL repentance -- not the religious

ones which so many people are told about. Real repentance unto

salvation is NOT a matter of me repenting of one sin at a time, until I

get them all confessed -- and then presenting myself to Christ for

salvation. No. Christ came to take away my sin. He does not tell

me to confess them away BEFORE I can come to Him. Instead,

     Jesus tells me to repent of one sin: The sin of refusing to come to

Him. And if I do, I will do what? I will come to Him! And I'll find that

there is full forgiveness and redemption through His finished work.

I'll find that the Lamb of God DID take away all of the sin of the world,

including all MY sin.

     What about confession? You will find that if you repent of unbelief

and come to Christ by faith that the OUTCOME of coming to Him will

be much confession of sin. But your confession is not BEFORE

salvation. It is BECAUSE OF salvation. Your confession is NOT

so you can repent. It is the outcome of your repentance. Your

confession is not to get God to forgive you. It is because you have

seen He HAS forgiven you. Repent of not coming to Christ and

come to Him. Your sins will fall like dominoes.

The Kingdom is Coming

     Repentance and conversion always speak of change -- or moral

change. They speak of my motivation for living. To "repent" before

God means to forsake being my own boss, and to come under the

the reign and rule of God Himself. Because of Jesus Christ, this will

result in salvation through His redemptive work.

     Of course what we are seeing here is that entry into the kingdom

of God is salvation. Sure. I must repent and embrace Jesus Christ

as Savior, and as my Lord, to come under His rule and provision.

Thus, entry into the kingdom, and salvation, are the same thing.

     There are NO unsaved people in the kingdom of God. None.

There is no one in the kingdom of God who has not embraced

Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. How can we be sure? Because

the WAY you enter the kingdom is by being saved. Because the

WAY you enter the kingdom is by embracing Jesus. He IS the Way.

He is the ONLY name given under heaven by which we can be


     Jesus told Nicodemus, "Except a man be born again, he cannot

see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) We must become a new

creature in Jesus Christ -- through His death and resurrection in

order to see the kingdom; enter the kingdom of God. So here we

see further verification that salvation births us into the kingdom of


     There is, however, something else about the announcement of

the kingdom by John the Baptist, and by Jesus, which is often

overlooked. They do not speak of the kingdom as a static thing.

They don't picture God as one who is sitting in heaven, waiting

for us to join His kingdom. No. Jesus speaks of the kingdom as

INVADING this earth. He says to pray, "Thy kingdom COME." He

says, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is AT HAND!"

     Note the sense of urgency wrapped up in this message. God is

saying,"The kingdom of God is NOW at hand. It is NOW coming.

It is NOW invading. Therefore REPENT."

     The point is, the kingdom is coming RIGHT NOW whether we like

it or not. God is going to have His will and His kingdom. NOTHING

will stand against it.

     We see HOW the kingdom is coming in several places in the


For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But

But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they

that are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He shall

have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he

shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He

must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last

enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (I Cor. 15:22-26)

Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put

all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.

But now we see not yet all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:8)

A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a

kingdom, and to return.....And it came to pass, that when he was

returned, having received the kingdom.....(Luke 19:12, 15)

     The Biblical revelation is that Jesus has already won the

kingdom. He has been given ALL power and authority. But it also

reveals that He has gone to heaven for a time. Why? To bring all

things "under His feet." In other words, to INVADE the territory He

has been given, and to bring His reign and rule into all those areas

He has conquered.

     In Luke 19, Jesus pictures himself as a ruler who goes far off to

obtain a kingdom. He is pictured as one who OWNS the territory,

but whose citizens are not yet brought into subjection. During the

time He is gone, He does obtain the kingdom. It is a picture of a

King who has conquered a territory, but who now must spend time

invading that territory in order to bring into subjection those who live

in it.

     Most of the parable is about the servants left behind giving an

account of what they achieved for Him during His absence. But the

point here is this: Jesus is RIGHT NOW obtaining that kingdom.

Not in the sense of winning it. No. That is finished. But in the sense

of taking practical possession of it. In the sense of reigning and

ruling in the hearts of people.

     This is the job of the Holy Spirit, and those who will be used for

this purpose, during this age. Jesus is, right now, INVADING this

planet, and all who live here. He is putting all things under His feet.

That is why He says, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."

The invasion is coming to a rapid conclusion. And at it's final

conclusion, guess what? Jesus is coming in His kingdom.

Obedience and Surrender

     The kingdom of God is a term which God uses to describe our

relationship with Him, once we are saved. Through salvation in

Christ, we enter the kingdom, and therefore come under the reign

and rule of God Himself. That is good news, for those who repent

desire this very thing.

     But if you haven't noticed it yet, all of this leads us to a conclusion

that is sometimes lost to Christians. That conclusion is this: There

is no such thing as salvation, and no such thing as a new birth,

without coming under the RULE and LORDSHIP of Jesus Christ.

There can't be. For being born again into the kingdom of God -- by

definition -- IS being born into the realm where subjection to Christ

is the norm. That is what the kingdom of God IS!

     Sometimes we speak of Christians who accept Jesus as

Savior, but do not embrace Him as Lord of their lives. But as far

as the Bible goes, there really aren't any such folks. It is all or

nothing. You become saved by embracing Jesus as both Savior

AND Lord. That is what it MEANS to enter the kingdom through the

new birth. To ignore Jesus as Lord of your life afterwards brings

a serious question upon your conversion to begin with.

     We need to get this straight: The way in which we enter the

kingdom is by repenting of our rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord.

We enter because we WANT Him as both our Lord and Savior.

So how could we possibly be IN the kingdom, yet not obey Him AS

Lord? We cannot have it both ways.

     Jesus said, "Why do you call Me Lord, Lord, yet not do what I

tell you?" (Luke 6:46) The point is this: If someone IS your Lord,

you obey them. That is what the term MEANS. Thus, if you don't

obey them, they are NOT your Lord. And it doesn't matter how

much you call them "Lord." Your relationship with them is not found

in words. It is found in motivation and in deeds.

     Christians obey God. It is not an option. But I don't mean this in

the sense of having to obey rules to become a Christian, or in the

sense of having to obey rules to remain a Christian. No. Christians

obey God because it is their nature to obey God. That is what the

new nature is: Dependent and obedient.

     Think of it: To become a Christian I must repent of self-rule and

embrace Jesus Christ. What do I think this means, that I have

simply adopted a new religion? No. I have been born again. And

by definition, this means I want to obey God. If I am in the kingdom

of God, I got there by wanting to come under God's reign and rule.

Christians want to obey God. And despite all of our failures and

our stumbling, we continue to want to obey God. John said it


If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is

not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to have

forgiven our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we

say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not

in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.

But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus

Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not

for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (I Jn. 1:8-2:2)

     Part of what it means to come under the reign and rule of God is

to come under the Blood. This means that yes, we strive to obey

God. But when we do sin, we obey Him by continuing to walk in

the Light of His finished work in Christ. We walk in the forgiveness

of our sins. That is also what is means to be in His kingdom.

Inviting God In

     The kingdom of God is at hand. It is at hand RIGHT NOW. And

God is not asking our permission for His kingdom to come. It is

going to invade this earth whether we like it or not.

     But we do need to understand something. We nevertheless do

have a choice. Our choice is not whether the kingdom will come.

No. It IS coming. Rather, our choice is whether we will be in it.

     Depending on whether we turn to God, either the kingdom of God

will invade and possess us, or the kingdom of God will have to push

us out of the way. It is one or the other. For the kingdom is coming,

and God is going to have His will.

     You see, God will not force you to come under His reign and rule.

But if we would simply open our eyes, we would see why: God has

come to save and liberate. He is our salvation. Indeed, instead of

waiting for God to invade and conquer, we should be running out

to Him for help. Thus, the idea of God forcing us to worship Him is

nonsense. It is like saying that the Allies of WWII forced those in

the concentration camps to be free. There was no "forcing." These

people were slaves, knew it, and wanted to be liberated.

     At the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, He announced this as

the purpose of His ministry:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to

preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the

brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and

recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18-19)

     This is what happens when the kingdom of God takes over. It

heals, delivers, and sets people free. Thus, God is not the One

who benefits from His kingdom. WE benefit, if we would only wake

up and surrender.

     God can do anything He wants, when He wants to do it. But God

has limited Himself to do only that which we invite Him to do. This

does not mean that God won't do plenty to get us to the place where

we know to invite Him, and then do invite Him. But the point is, God

is not going to barge into our lives and force Himself on us. He

desires a voluntary fellowship.

     When we pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth

as it is in heaven," we ARE inviting God. Notice what we are saying:

Lord, bring your kingdom into MY life -- into MY earth." The words,

"Thy will be done" are nothing more than our desire for God, once

His kingdom comes, to execute His reign and sovereignty.

     Here is the question: Do we view the invasion of God's kingdom

as an INTRUSION upon our lives? Or do we view it for what it really

is: A LIBERATION? There is one thing which determines how I

view it: My willingness to surrender. He that continues to want his

own way and own life WILL view the kingdom as an intrusion. But

those who want God's will shall welcome His kingdom with open


Seek Ye First

     Jesus talked about life in practical terms. And He spoke of a

God who works through practical circumstances. When Jesus

spoke of "seeking the kingdom," He did not say, "Seek ye ONLY

the kingdom of God, and pretend you don't need to eat." No. He

acknowledged those needs. He said, "Seek ye FIRST His

kingdom, and His righteousness --- AND -- all these other things

you need will be added unto you."

     Jesus was stating a principle. He was saying, "If you seek first

the kingdom of God, you will find it. But the kingdom carries with it

everything else in the will of God which you need to live. With the

"package" of the kingdom comes "all these things."

     Now, what ARE "all these things?" They are the issues of basic

need and provision about which Jesus had just spoken:

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.

You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you,

Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,

nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than

meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for

they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your

heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field,

how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say to

you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of

these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which

today is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more

clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore, take not thought, saying,

What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall

we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for

your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

     Jesus is likening the kingdom of God to a system of ecology. In

nature, God has built in certain provision. Birds eat because of the

way nature functions. The grass grows as a part of a system which

God has created. In effect, it is NATURAL for things to work this

way. Because the birds and grass are a part of this "kingdom" of

nature which God created, they are provided for.

     Jesus is telling us that the kingdom of God works in a similar way.

If you are born into His kingdom, and seek FIRST His expanding

kingdom, and His righteousness, then "all these things" will be part

of what you get! God's provision for you and I will be there as the

natural outcome of our seeking His kingdom.

Why? Why does it work this way?

     When you SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God -- the reign and rule

of God -- you are inviting God INTO a situation. Into YOU. And what

God brings is EVERYTHING that is in His will. But what is "in His

will" is not merely what HE WANTS. It is also what YOU NEED.

In short, ask God to do His will, and you get everything included in

His will.

     What we see here is that God does not come in His kingdom to

merely get us to be in subjection to Him -- like He needs that to

feel good about Himself. No. God wants to bring His kingdom into

our lives so that WE might benefit.

     Again we see the idea of an invading army which seeks to

liberate those who are enslaved. God is coming to bring to pass

HIS WILL on this earth. If we open ourselves to Him, we get His

will. We get liberty, Truth, salvation, and provision. God brings it


     If we are in the kingdom of God, we are in a spiritual realm. God

reigns and rules, and provides. Thus, as a natural outcome of

being in God's kingdom, we will be provided for. If the birds of the

air are provided for, so are those who live in God's kingdom.

Jesus is so certain about the fact of God's provision, that He tells

us that we are silly -- of little faith -- if we do not realize it. In fact, He

is saying that God is so faithful in this that we can afford to NOT take

anxious thought about these things.

     The world would tell us that we are fools not to worry. The world

would tell us that we are fools to trust God. But Jesus says that we

are fools TO worry, and fools NOT to trust God. Such is the clash

between the two systems for our living: God and mammon.

Two Ways

     Jesus is laying things out pure and simple. He is telling us that

there are TWO ways to live. We can live either serving God, or we

can live serving "mammon." But He is making it just as clear that

we cannot do both. We cannot serve God AND mammon.

     "Mammon" is not just money. It is a spiritual system. It is the

system of man without God, working his way through this life on his

own terms. In effect, to "serve mammon" means to live for myself.

Again -- self-rule. I live for myself; for this life. That is what I SEEK.

It is my motivation for living.

     "Serving mammon" is the opposite of serving God. But notice

that once we talk about "serving" we are talking about a KINGDOM.

In effect, people in the kingdom of God serve God. Every one else

serves mammon -- for they are in the kingdom of darkness.

     Now the conclusion Jesus draws from all of this is striking. He

is saying that we must seek the kingdom of God FIRST. But if we

don't seek the kingdom of God FIRST, then by definition, we are

seeking something else first, aren't we?

     Yet notice what THAT means: What we seek is what we serve.

Thus if we are seeking something else first, then we are SERVING

it. We are serving mammon.

     The bottom line is this: To seek first the kingdom means to

serve God. To seek the kingdom less than first is to serve

mammon. Where our treasure is -- where the thing we value is --

there will be our heart; our motivation to serve.

     God wants us to seek first His kingdom and righteousness. He

wants us to seek first HIS will in all things. We do this by prayer,

obedience, and overcoming. But underlying it is where our heart

is. Do we value God enough to seek FIRST His kingdom and

His righteousness, inviting Him into all that we encounter?

All These Things Will Be Added

     Jesus said that IF we "seek first the kingdom of God," that "all

these things would be added unto us." There is no provision here

for God "adding all these things" if we do NOT seek the kingdom,

and seek it first. But some of us don't get it. We still think that we

can "seek first all these things, and the kingdom will be added unto


     Have you ever fallen into that trap? You seek first the things of

this world. THIS LIFE -- including basic needs -- become the

reason you are living. And -- oh, yes -- then you try to "add on"

the kingdom. In fact, you might do such a good job "adding on the

kingdom" that you even give God credit for adding it on.

     But He WON'T add it on. In fact, He won't even add on "all these

things." Jesus said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these

things will be added." It doesn't work any other way than the way He

said it. It cannot. If it did, it would violate the Truth.

     Many people who are very successful in this world err in this way.

It's not that their success is wrong. It is NOT wrong to make money

or to have property. Possessions are not wrong. But when the

things we own begin to possess us, we are in danger.

     When possessions begin to possess us, then it is a sure sign

that we have sought them first. That is WHY they have this power

over us. Possessions have much less possibility to possess us

if we continually seek first the kingdom. That is because if we ARE

continually seeking the reign of God over us, then possessions

cannot reign over us. We will maintain a right relationship to money

and possessions because our relationship with "all these things"

will be governed by our relationship with God Himself.

     Here we see a key: If we seek FIRST the kingdom, and continue

doing so -- then nothing else can gain FIRST place in our hearts.

God is then free to ADD them to us. But if we seek first "all these

things," then God is not free to ADD them to us. Why? Because He

is not our king! WE are our own king. Thus, what we have is only

that which we have obtained through our own efforts.

     Don't make the mistake of thinking that the only people prone to

this trap are those who have much. Those who have little are just

as prone. For while they may not possess much, they can

nevertheless SEEK to possess much. And this "seeking" of money

and possessions -- even if they never find it -- takes priority over

the seeking of the kingdom, just as surely as if they had been

successful in obtaining.

     If we read the words of Jesus, we cannot avoid the conclusion.

He is promising us everything we need and more. But there IS a

condition: We must receive what we need on God's terms. We

must seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness. Things will

not work any other way.

Serving Mammon

     Many people serve mammon. And make no question, if you

serve mammon, you might have much. Mammon is a very good

master as far as this world goes. If mammon wasn't a master

which could provide much, then people would not be so easily

tempted to serve it.

     Jesus did not say, "If you serve mammon, you won't have very

much. But if you serve God, you will." No. What He did say is

that there are two ways in this world. One is to serve mammon, and

the other is to serve God. If you serve mammon, you may do well.

But it is all temporal. It is outside of My kingdom. But if you serve

God, you will be given all that you need. And you will be in my

kingdom forever.

     The bottom line is really who we trust. You cannot serve

mammon and trust God. You cannot serve God and trust mammon.

We might think we can ride the fence for awhile. But according to

Jesus we WILL -- note that -- we WILL end up on one side of the

fence or the other. There is NO in-between. We CANNOT serve

God and mammon.

     All of us need to decide which kingdom we seek. God's kingdom

is here and is expanding. Will we surrender to Him? Or will we

continue to try to get Him to join OUR kingdom and program for


Do We Dare?

     In the teaching of Jesus, there is always a challenge to us. It is

a challenge to simply believe God. Do we dare to throw caution to

the wind and trust God?

     Now, I am not talking about refusing to take responsibility for life.

We must manage our money, have jobs, and LIVE. But I am talking

about doing what Jesus said to do: Seek first the kingdom. Serve

God, not Mammon.

     What this means, in a practical sense, is that I must believe and

obey God even if it looks like it will cost me much. It means that I am

going to face situations wherein I must choose to either live for this

life, or for the next. It means that, at some point, I am going to have

to choose to obey Jesus, or not obey Him. I cannot do both. I

cannot serve God and mammon.

     Talk about choices. For example, Jesus said, "Take no anxious

thought......" This reminds us of the many times when He says, "Fear

not....." Do we realize that this is a command? There is no hint in

these words that God is going to cause us to "fear not," or that God

will make sure we "take no anxious thought." God is NOT going to

come upon us and make it impossible for us to fear or be anxious.

Rather, He says, "When everything around you says to fear, I am

telling YOU to fear not."

     Jesus isn't in the habit of telling us to do things which we cannot

do. If He says "fear not," then we are able to "fear not." How does

one "fear not?" By laying hold of the fear and casting it out. By

deliberately refusing to entertain fear. In effect, I refuse to think in

the way fear leads me to think.

     You see, you and I have been deceived. We have been taught

by the enemy of our souls that we have to fear. If we FEEL fearful,

we think we are trapped and cannot get out. This is a lie. We do not

have to fear or be anxious. We can absolutely refuse to go down

that road. We can absolutely decide what we will think and what we

will believe. We can "fear not."

     Now, this does not mean that fear is ever going to go away or

make us feel fearful. No. What it does mean is that DESPITE the

fact that feeling and thoughts of fear may arise -- due to my

temperament or due to circumstances -- that I can choose to say

NO. I can refuse to entertain fear.

     All fear -- in one way or another -- goes back to somewhere I am

entertaining lies about God. Sure. The only reason a Christian

fears is because he is considering the possibility that God may not

be faithful to him. The more we entertain the possibility, the more

fearful we become.

     Thus, the solution to fear is to speak the Truth about God in our

hearts, and to believe. Practically, this also means that we refuse

all that contradicts the Truth. At first, this may require a deliberate

effort to control our thinking. But in time, it will become natural.

     One of the keys here is NOT to try to fight fear -- in the sense of

turning in upon it and trying to make it go away. No. It isn't going

to go away. And the more you try to make it go away, the stronger

it gets, for you are focused on it. The key is to focus on the Truth.

Set the Truth up as your standard, and refuse all that falls short of it.

Treat fear as you would any obvious lie: Refuse to believe it.

Treat it as a lie of the enemy which, while it may make you feel bad,

cannot move you from the Truth.

     Fear is never of God. God is perfect love, and perfect love casts

OUT fear. Thus, if God casts out fear, fear is never FROM Him.

Resist the Devil by submitting to God by faith. The Devil won't

follow you in there! He will flee from you.

     YOU and I must do this. God will not do it for you. But God will

reveal to you and I the Truth which will expose these things for what

they are. We must put it into practice by obedience.

     To "seek first the kingdom" means more than agreeing to the

words of Jesus as a concept. It measn actually allowing that

kingdom to invade US. And then, as a subject of His kingdom, it

means obeying, believing, and living.

Be Ready

     When Jesus spoke of His Coming in His kingdom, He gave

one, and only one, admonition: Be ready. What did He mean?

     Well, in a nutshell, He meant that you and I would "be ready" for

the kingdom THEN, if we are ready NOW. In other words, am I

right NOW living in the kingdom? Am I, right NOW, living under the

reign and rule of God through Jesus Christ? If I am, then I'm ready.

If I am not, then I'm NOT ready.

     One of the biggest deception is that you and I are going to be

able to live with God forever, in the eternal kingdom of God, if we

are NOT living with Him now. This means faith and obedience.

It means having the kingdom of God within us now.

Jesus wants to bring us into His kingdom, and then come back

for us. That is the plan. The question will always be: Will we let

Him bring us in?

The Good News - Home

Hit Counter