December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”—Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
I think we can all admit we want to get the most out of our lives. We desire a life of meaning, significance, purpose, fulfillment, and joy. We desire the same things out of our relationships, both the familial ones we’re born into and the ones we cultivate along the way.
So, how do we make the most of the time we’ve been given? How do we experience the greatest return on investment in this life? By focusing first and foremost, above all else, on the most important relationship we will ever have: our relationship with God!
We need to stop worrying about our lives and stop seeking after fulfillment, enjoyment, purpose, and joy in creation. Instead, we need to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV) and everything else will be fall into place! How amazing is that? The gospel transforms all of life because it demands us to reorient our lives, worldview, mindset, heart, future, desires, and relationships to all sit under and operate from the overflow of our relationship with Him and our walking in His purposes and plans for us.
Sadly, seeking God is usually not at the top of our list. Oh, we may say our relationship with the Lord is the most important thing in the world to us, but often our lives tell a different story. Consider what Jesus said a few verses earlier in Matthew 6:21 (NIV): “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” It’s been said that you can always tell what someone truly values by examining what they spend their time on.
So often, we try to “fit” prayer, worship, time in the Word, church attendance, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines into our busy schedules . . . and then we wonder why we’re not hearing from God, why our relationship with Him sometimes seems stagnant, and why we’re not growing spiritually. There’s no way around it: We cannot expect to squeeze God into our crazy-busy schedules and prioritize everything and everyone above Him and still experience spiritual growth and personal transformation.
But even more than that, we’re talking about the creator of heaven and earth, the King of the universe . . . Why wouldn’t we want to spend as much time as possible with Him? What could we possibly have to do that is better and more important?
Literally, nothing else can bring about greater joy, fulfillment, purpose, peace, satisfaction, identity, belonging, value, or wholeness than a relationship with God. Knowing Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior more and more each day and enjoying Him, drawing deeper into the One who is supremely valuable and worthy of our affection and devotion is where wholeness and completion are found.
This is what Paul, who had it all and lost it all, discovered when he met Jesus. In Philippians 3:8 (NIV), he said, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” May this be the way we all as believers see life! When we do, literally everything will change and all things will be added to us!
Pause: What does it look like to seek first Christ and His kingdom?
Practice: The best way to seek Him first and prioritize your relationship with Him is by engaging in spiritual disciplines! The following is a list of spiritual disciplines I encourage you to build your life, schedule, and relationships around:
Pray: Father, I desire to have nothing before You in my heart and life. Help me to seek You first in all things and make walking with You, knowing You, and serving You the primary driver of my life. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.