'SEEKING FIRST GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS' WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33:
'But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.'
(If you click on the underlined, you can read what 'seeking first the kingdom of God' means).
But what is Jesus talking about when He tells disciples of His to seek first God's righteousness?
Simply stated, I believe Jesus is addressing two different issues. They are:
1) 2 Corinthians 5:21: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (For an elaboration on what God is getting at in this statement, click on this underlined portion).
2) 'Righteousness' means: To be in right-relationship with God.
To be in right-relationship with God, one must strive to be obedient to God. The New Covenant (New Testament Bible) clearly instructs us in how to be in right-relationship with God. It tells us what is pleasing to God, and what is not pleasing.
What is not pleasing to God, He calls sin (or disobedience).
Thus in striving daily to obey Matthew 6:33, God is telling us that the more we determine to let Him kill sin in our life, the more we are walking toward Godly righteousness. Our goal then, is to constantly be doing all we know to do to work with the Holy Spirit to stop sinning. That's simple enough to understand, right?
"Yeah ' simple to understand ' hard to DO, right?!" That's not the point of this writing though. The point is to understand that God wants us putting top priority in working in cooperation with Him in putting sin to death in our life.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors -- not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the (sinful) deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. -- (Romans 8:12-14)
God wants us first acknowledging that sin is in fact sin according to how the New Testament Bible reveals what sin is, then God wants us making it our TOP PRIORITY in working with Him to stop committing those sins.
Am I somehow trying to imply that Christians can somehow reach a state of sinless perfection in this life? No I am not! I do not believe such a thing is possible before we receive our glorified bodies, or until we get to heaven. However, I do believe God wants us making it top priority to strive diligently to get all sin out of our life. Striving to become sin-free is very commendable to God, and will be greatly rewarded.
Jesus promises us that if we will make it our number one priority to seek these two things on a consistent basis: His Kingdom and His Righteousness, the other things we need to make it in life will come much easier for us. God will see to it.
So then ... Because God the Father has already declared followers of Jesus Christ fully legally righteous - fully legally holy - in Christ ... God EXPECTS them to WALK in daily righteous obedience to God's word (wisely applied), and the leading of the Holy Spirit. If they "miss the mark", there is forgiveness and restoration, though God's discipline may be experienced in the process. Yet God still EXPECTS His children to ever diligently keep striving to walk in righteous obedience to Him, no matter how many times they "miss the mark."
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)