WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 03, 2023
TOPIC: LIVE FOR GOD AND MAKE HIS KINGDOM YOUR PRIMARY CONCERN
BY T. O. BANSO
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 New King James Version).
Everything on earth is transient; only God’s kingdom will last forever. Hebrews 12:28 says since we are receiving a kingdom, which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. The Kingdom of God cannot be destroyed. It will remain forever.
Companies fold up, businesses fail, careers end, political parties cease to exist, governments are voted out of power, and nothing established or set up by human beings on this earth continues forever. This should make one think deeply and not put his faith first in that which exists only for a period. A wise person will not make number one in his life or live for that which is temporary.
Some people live for money. Some people live for fame or power. Others live for all. But even if they achieve their goal, they will eventually see the emptiness of their lives. They will realize that they have lived for the wrong things, which cannot give them fulfilment in life. Yet some people have money, fame, and power but they don’t live for any of these because they are living for a higher purpose. Their loyalty is, first and foremost, to God. He is their number one priority, not their money, fame, power, or other things. Such persons use all they have to the glory of God.
God is above all, and His Kingdom is superior to everything. Therefore, we should live for God and His Kingdom. Luke 12:31 says, “He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” (The Living Bible). The New King James Version puts it thus: “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33 says a similar thing. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (New King James Version). The phrase “all these things” refers to all the things the pagans, unbelievers, or Gentiles seek after, including what to eat, drink, and wear. The Living Bible says God “will give them to you if you give him first place in your life and live as he wants you to.” Give God first place in your life, not any other place. If you give Him first place, everything will fall into place. He will give you all you need from day to day, as Luke 12:31 says in The Living Bible. Your needs are not the same as your wants.
The Bible in Basic English renders Matthew 6:33 thus: “But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition.” Don’t let your first care be any other thing but God’s kingdom and His righteousness.
The Amplified Bible says it this way: “But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” Aim at first or strive after first God’s kingdom and His way of doing and being right. The Good News Translation says, “Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.”
How do you live for God and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern? The first thing is to be born again – give your life to Jesus. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 New King James Version). Living for God means that you’re living a new life in Christ Jesus. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 New King James Version).
You can’t live for God and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern without the Word of God. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (New King James Version). Therefore, devote yourself to the Word of God; don’t forget God, especially in times of success or prosperity. Deuteronomy 8:11 says, “Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today” (New King James Version).
The greatest of the laws of God is to love God and your neighbour. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37) or with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, as Mark 12:30 puts it. In other words, love God with your whole being.
You should also love your neighbour as yourself (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). Jesus raised the bar by adding that you should love your enemies also (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35). Love is the fulfilment of the law – it fully satisfies all of God’s requirements (Romans 13:10). Whoever does not love, does not know God – for God is love (1 John 4:8).
There are all kinds of man-made philosophies and teachings today that are at variance with the Word of God. Don’t prefer them to what God says, no matter how attractive or logical they may seem to be. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8 New King James Version).
Proverbs 3:1 says, “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands” (New King James Version). Never forget the Word of God, especially when you’re enjoying abundance or success. “When they had pasture, they were filled; they were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot Me” (Hosea 13:6 New King James Version).
Part of living for God and making the Kingdom of God your primary concern is being kingdom-minded. This includes working for the expansion of the Kingdom of God on earth by proclaiming the gospel and supporting the preaching of the Word of God with your finances, prayers, etc. The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few (Matthew 9:37). Every child of God must work or partner with God, and not receive God’s grace in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1).
Seek to please God. Do His will, not yours. “But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you” (Matthew 6:33 GOD’S WORD Translation). When you live for God and make His kingdom your primary concern, He will give you all the earthly things you need, for your heavenly Father knows that you need them (Matthew 6:32b).
He gave Solomon a wise and understanding heart so that there would be no one like him before him and after him (1 Kings 3:12). But more than that, He gave him what he didn’t ask for – riches and honour so that there would not be anyone like him among the kings all his days (verse 13). Let your priority be right. Live for God and make His kingdom your primary concern.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I renounce and forsake whatever will distract me from living for You and making Your Kingdom my primary concern. Holy Spirit, help me to live for God and make His Kingdom my primary concern. I will love God with all my heart, soul, and mind. Help me, Holy Spirit, to love God with my whole being.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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