Faith, God, Grace, Joy, Love, Peace, Trust

Seek First The Kingdom Of God

There are many worldviews (e.g. materialism, relativism, objectivism, secularism, social Darwinism, etc.) out there that are contrary to the Christian worldview. They might disagree on the importance of material possessions, the validity of LGBT marriages, and the right to have abortions, but I certainly hope none would favour chaos over orderliness.

When we see an out-of-order sign on the lift door, I’m sure most of us, regardless of our worldview, would avoid taking it. I’m also quite sure that most people would regard mental disorders, stomach disorders, and sleep disorders as health problems that need to be treated. What about social and moral entropy? There is a tendency for social networks and society in general to break down over time, moving from cooperation and advancement towards conflict and chaos. This is apparent in a world where social divisions and polarization are becoming more evident, and the number of cases of senseless killing are also on the rise in many parts of the world. Do most people recognize the severity of the problem? Don’t we feel responsible as members of society to find a solution to the problem?

Let us take a look at the problem from a Christian perspective. In Gal 5:15, the Apostle Paul warned of the consequence of unbridled social and moral entropy: “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” To overcome social and moral entropy, Paul advised Christians to: “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh” (Gal 5:16-17). He added: “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Gal 5:19-26).

Since God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 103:8), won’t He just make the problem go away? Although God is pure love and mercy, He is also immutable or unchangeable (cf. Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Isaiah 46:9-11; Ezekiel 24:14; James 1:17). The Bible is very clear that God does not change, neither His mind, His will, nor His nature. Hence, there are rules or principles laid down by God that cannot be thwarted. St. Paul spoke of one such rule or principle in his epistle to the Galatians: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Man can think what he wants to think. Man can deceive himself if he wants to be deceived. Man can be as wicked as he wants. But all of that will not change God’s rule. What a person sows, he will surely reap. That rule of God is always operative, both in the natural and spiritual realms. It is a law which God has put into the very fabric of the universe. That rule can no more be changed than the rule that we must eat and drink to survive. Or the rule that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. God is not mocked, because whatever a man sows, that will he also reap — no matter what. When a man plants an orchard of apple trees he does not harvest oranges or peaches or pears (cf. Matt 7:16). And so it is in the spiritual realm. Whatever we sow, no matter what that might be, that is what we reap. Nothing more, nothing less. Our spiritual harvest is exactly equal to our spiritual sowing (cf. Romans 2:6; Proverbs 1:31; Job 4:8).

Hence, if we leave social and moral entropy unchecked, and continue to sow to our own flesh, we will certainly reap corruption, disorder and chaos. Conversely, if we sow to the Spirit, we will be able to overcome social and moral entropy and reap joy, peace, righteousness, and eternal life.

I think our Lord has left us a very good piece of advice on how to overcome social and moral entropy. It is found in Matt 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.

In the verse there is a description of true religion. What is it? “The Kingdom of God.” Without using a single superfluous theological term, I may say that the great God has always had a Kingdom in this world. In the olden times He set up a kingdom among His people, Israel, to whom He gave laws and statutes. But now the Lord is King over all the world—“The God of the whole earth shall He be called” (Isa 54:5). “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). God has a Kingdom in this world, but it is too much neglected and forgotten of men. The first thing to be done by us is to enter that Kingdom. Blessed is that man who has the Lord God to be his King and has learned to order his life according to Divine Law. The highest liberty comes from wearing the yoke of God. The servant of men who dares not call his soul his own is a serf to be pitied. But the servant of God who fears nothing but sin, is a man of princely mold. If we determine to yield ourselves wholly unto the Lord, we shall become influential among our fellow men.

We can only enter into this Kingdom of God by being born again of His Spirit, for, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). In that new birth we learn to submit ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ and to find in Him, eternal life. God has appointed the Lord Jesus heir of all things. By Him, also, He made the worlds. He says of Him, “Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psalm 2:12). Faith in Christ casts our sins at the foot of His Cross and brings us an inward life unto holiness. We must believe in Jesus and trust in His great Atonement for sin, for apart from His full Atonement, there is no salvation and no true service to God. This faith puts us into the Kingdom of God for, to “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). The reign of our Lord is to be our main objective if we would lead a well-ordered, useful, happy, and honored life.

We are called to be saints, and saints are not miraculous beings to be set up in niches and admired—they are men and women who live, trade, do righteousness and practice charity in the streets of a city, or the fields of a village! Those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb should not be satisfied with the common cleanliness of morality—the garment of their life should be whiter than any fuller can make it! Purity becomes the disciples of Jesus. In spirit, soul and body we ought to be holiness to the Lord. Our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees! It should be a reproduction of the Character of our Lord!

We should seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first, by giving to true religion a sovereignty over our lives. The helm by which life is steered should be in the hands of God. To glorify God and promote righteousness should be our master passion. This Aaron’s rod should swallow up all other rods! We should be first a man of God—after that a banker, or a merchant, or a working man. Let us pray to God that our politics, our merchandise, our literature, our art were all saturated with this idea—“First a Christian.” Then the secondary character would rise in excellence and nobility! Science, social laws, trade usages, domestic life would all be the better for coming under the supremacy of living religion. The fear of God should be the foundation and the top stone of the social edifice. “Christ first” and other things in their due order! Over and above all, let consecration to God shine forth even as the pillar of fire in the wilderness covered and illuminated the entire camp of Israel.

We may ask, “What will become of our business if we place godliness first?”. The answer is in the verse— “All these things shall be added unto you,” and the measure of the addition shall be arranged by Infallible Wisdom. Temporal things shall come to us in such proportion as we would desire them if we were able to know all things and to form a judgement according to Infinite Wisdom. Would we not prefer a lot selected by the Lord to one chosen by ourselves? Do we not joyfully sing with the Psalmist, “You shall choose my inheritance for me” (Psalm 47:4)?

Unbridled social and moral entropy is causing the world billions of dollars and thousands of lives each year. The solution could be as simple as seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness by giving to true religion a sovereignty over our lives. By sowing to the Spirit, we will be able to overcome social and moral entropy and reap joy, peace, righteousness, and eternal life.

Let us surrender our lives to the Lord with the hymn “Seek Ye first The Kingdom of God”:

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About RockofFaith

I'm a Christian who likes to share about my faith.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Seek First The Kingdom Of God

  1. Excellent! How would you feel about sharing this ad a guest post on my blog?

    Please prayerfully consider.

    James

    Posted by The Isaiah 53:5 Project | January 12, 2016, 11:44 pm

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