Read Introduction to Matthew
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Jesus comes to the climax of His argument. The kingdom is the ultimate focus for every believer.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
The kingdom of God is more important than our personal agenda. The idea of the kingdom is the main subject of the Sermon on the Mount. The kingdom is to be our controlling priority.
This verse picks up the same word for “seek” as in the last verse. “Seek” carries the idea of concentrating on, making the kingdom one’s highest priority. “Seek” is in the imperative mood and calls for burning attention to the kingdom. The grammar also indicates a constant seeking. The idea is to “Make the kingdom the center of your life.”
The word “first” itself indicates priority and is emphatic in the sentence. We put kingdom issues above everything else. The idea is to put material things second. Believers are not to allow themselves to become distracted by personal needs from God’s purpose for them.
God’s righteousness characterizes His kingdom. This is the kind of kingdom that believers are to pursue.
And all these things shall be added to you.
“All these things” are material things. This refers to the Father knowing what we need in verse 32. The word “added” indicates that God will meet our needs as a matter of course. “These things” are the necessities of life.
This verse gives us the seventh reason not to worry: Worry for more than what is at hand compounds worry.
The idea of “therefore” draws a conclusion: “Since God meets the necessities of life, there is no need to be filled with anxiety. Seek pursuits of the kingdom freely.”
do not worry about tomorrow,
We are to exercise our faith on a daily basis. Worry is distrust in God.
This phrase is not a mandate against providing for the future or planning. However, it is a warning against fearful preoccupation with the future.
for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Focus on tomorrow robs us of today. Tomorrow has its own problems. Worry for more than what is at hand compounds worry.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We compound our problems by worrying about two days. One day’s trouble is enough to deal with. The idea is not to compound your troubles. Each day has its own set of problems. Why double our trouble?
Today is the tomorrow that we worried about yesterday. Each day that passes proves the worry of the previous day was unnecessary.
PRINCIPLE: Believers need to understand the hierarchy of priorities.
APPLICATION: It is very easy to become preoccupied with the material dimension of life. Jesus wants us to focus on the greater issue of His kingdom.
We need to put in priority the things of greatest value. Kingdom pursuits are of greater value than material pursuits. The issue is whether we are self-centered or God-centered. We cannot commit partially to kingdom issues.