At the beginning of a New Year many people look at their lives and set some New Year’s Resolutions. The gyms see a significant increase in activity in January, reflecting a desire by many to lose some weight and get in better shape. Our resolutions reflect the priorities that we have in life. In Matthew 6, Jesus addresses some anxieties and concerns that people had about food, clothing, and shelter. We have a tendency of prioritizing these necessary things in life. Jesus then tells us not to be anxious or worry about these things, and to trust our Heavenly Father to provide these. Instead, He tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
The kingdom of God represents the rule and reign of Christ. When we pray for His kingdom to come here on earth as it is in heaven, we are praying for His rule and reign here on earth. So, when Jesus tells us to seek first His kingdom, we should be seeking His rule and Lordship in our lives. We are seeking to submit our will and our lives to Him, and to allow Him to have first place in every area of our lives. We are seeking Him to rule in our work place, in our home, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, and most importantly, in our personal lives.
How do we seek first His kingdom? Here are some practical things to help us seek His kingdom first this year. First, begin each day in prayer. Spend time honoring and worshipping the King. Set a New Year’s resolution to spend a certain amount of time in prayer. For some, spending fifteen minutes would be a good start. Another person may want to schedule an hour each morning in prayer. Second, spend time filling your heart and mind with God’s word. Make a goal of spending a certain amount of time reading the Bible. Again, some people may set aside fifteen minutes, while others may spend more time. Find a good daily Bible reading program and use it so that you have a good reading plan. Third, take just a few minutes to journal or write down the things that stand out to you in prayer and in God’s word each day. You will find if you do these three things that you will see more of God’s rule and reign in your life in 2018.