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Deuteronomy 6:6-7
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Seek First?
Posted on March 29, 2011

You probably have sung Matthew 6:33 around a campfire at some point. Nearly, all of us are familiar with the verse. Dr. Hendricks says that familiarity keeps us from seeing what is there.

The verse turned up in my quiet time in the past couple of weeks. Instead of rushing by – do you do that too? I get to some passages of scripture and they are so familiar I find myself skimming them or else reading them without really processing what I am reading – sometimes actually thinking about something else – this time instead of rushing by I slowed down, began to pray, and looked closely at the verse. Things that were not obvious and questions I had not considered before presented themselves.

I pulled out my Greek New Testament to compare with what I was reading in the New American Standard. First thing I noticed was that the verb, seek, is imperative. This is a command. Not a suggestion or a good idea, a command. Next I noted that the sentence began with “but,� which indicates a contrast with the previous statement. That immediate statement deals with our need for food and clothing. The command here is rather than focus on our basic needs we are to seek His kingdom and His righteousness. We could stop there, probably should. The clear message here is that there is to be nothing more important for us than seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. The Greek is even more emphatic. Literally it reads: “the kingdom and the righteousness His.� The use of the article and modifying both with one word emphasizes the command.

If I examine my life in relation to this passage, I am not sure I am doing so well. I find myself often in the likeness of the thorny soil of Mark 4:19, “the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things…� choke out, muddle my priorities. It seems to me that as a result my effectiveness for the work to which Christ has called me is greatly diminished. I wonder if the Church’s effectiveness is diminished because too many of us are too familiar with this verse?

PS. One of the things that we really covet is your prayer for this ministry. We send out on Mondays a weekly intercession request. If you would commit to pray for us please click here to join our intercession team.

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