Saturday, March 14, 2015

100 Days on Jesus’ Sermon Mount (Day 64)

Jesus said, “... your first priority is to go in search of God’s kingdom and his concept of what is right, then all these things will be yours as well.”
— Matthew 6:33 (USC)
One verse that ever endures with my wife’s maternal grandparents it’s this!
And that’s why it’s so incredibly foundational in my theology, especially when it comes to the desires of the heart (Psalm 37:4) and God’s desires to enjoin his will with ours. Simply put, if we desire the Kingdom and God’s righteousness, above all else, we will most certainly get the desires of our hearts, for those self-same desires will be God’s. Our fleshly desires fade from view into the background.
In the above translation — the Australian English — faithful to the Greek — we have key components with which to form a stable compound; a chemistry for fruitfulness.
If our first priority is God, all else will be sorted. If that priority is correctly aligned we will constantly be searching for the things and the substance of God’s kingdom.
This will sort out the true disciples from the also-rans, because God cannot help someone supposedly committed to him who cannot keep his eye on the goal of the Kingdom. Like James says in 1:7-8, we cannot expect our prayers to be answered if we our faith is tossed about on the waves of mood and circumstance.
But how do we make this work when life seems hard enough as it is?
Surely it’s more a paradigm shift in our minds than any effort of Everest.
Surely we have only a subtle movement to make — to seek, with a slight shift of focus, the Lord’s way.
If we have been taken all the way into despair we have been favoured — of a kind — to come to the end of ourselves. The subtle shift required is to notice that at the end of seeking our own will — when we know that doesn’t work anymore — is the beginning of the seeking for God’s will.
Suddenly peace is within the sight of our experience. No longer is anything as fundamentally important. Suddenly the power of the risen Lord, through the Holy Spirit, has come to reside through us.
When God comes first in our deliberations we deliberate on what needs to come first. When God comes first, all the needs around us are reordered by his wisdom, and everyone is blessed. For God to come first is to put our world first; the recreation of God’s original creational perfection.
1.     How have you experienced yourself or others putting God first? What came of such a decision implemented?
2.     What is God’s Spirit saying to you, right now, in what to bring before him to surrender before him?
3.     When you make God’s kingdom and his righteousness first, consistently and implicitly, what changes do you anticipate?
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.
Note: USC version is Under the Southern Cross, The New Testament in Australian English (2014). This translation was painstakingly developed by Dr. Richard Moore, a NT Greek scholar, over nearly thirty years.

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