Priorities

Matthew 6:33–Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
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Seek–To search in order to obtain and enjoy that which we seek.

Seek first–This speaks of priority. Our first priority should be to obtain and enjoy the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This should be the most important thing in our life. “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). This whole hearted seeking and searching is what God is talking about here in Matthew 6:33. If we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness in this way we will find it. God will be only as real as our hearts desire.

And all these things shall be added unto you–”All these things” is explained in the previous verses. They speak of food and clothing and shelter. These are the basic needs of our life. The previous verses explain that God watches over us and that we are very valuable unto Him. When we have our priorities right as mentioned above, God will provide for us. “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

“What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul”? (Matthew 16:26).
Let us keep our priorities in correct order.

Things That Choke The Word Of God

Mark 4:19–The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
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God’s word is to be planted in our hearts and is to produce fruit in our lives as we give ourselves to it, obey it, and let it direct our thoughts and decisions. There are three things mentioned here that choke the word of God and makes it to become unfruitful in our lives.

The cares of this world–Anything that causes worry, anxiety, and fear in our lives can choke the word of God and keep it from producing the desired results in our lives. These things dominate our attention and time and become the focus of our lives instead of the word of God. We are to walk by faith but worry, anxiety and fear produce unbelief.

The deceitfulness of riches–Riches are deceiving. They promise satisfaction which they can not and do not bring. Some of the richest people in the world are the most miserable. “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Timothy 6:9). Following after riches can cause a person to act in a wrong way toward others. It can cause a person to do things and say things that hurt other people and certainly are not pleasing to God. Riches can become the focus of our lives and attention and will in so doing choke the word of God and keep it from accomplishing what God wants it to do in our lives.

The lusts of other things– Lust is an intense and overpowering desire. The intense and overpowering desire for the things of this world will also choke the word of God making it unfruitful in our lives. These things might include clothes, food, drugs, alcohol, homes, and jewelry, just to mention a few. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Let God’s word be the focus of our lives and let us give ourselves to it, obey it, and let it direct our thoughts and decisions.

A Clear Conscience And Prayer

1 John 3:21-22–Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
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If our heart condemns us not then we have confidence toward God–We need a clean and clear conscience toward God if we are to have faith and trust toward Him. If our heart condemns us then we must put in action 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. Only through God’s forgiveness and cleansing are we worthy to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. The words, “in His sight”, reminds us that God is ever watchful over His children. He desires obedience and when we are disobedient the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment thus causing our heart to condemn us in order that we might repent and make our confession to God. It is the prayer of faith that gets results. “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

If we are to have our prayers answered our heart must be right with God. When our heart condemns us it is telling us that our heart is not right with God. God bless you.

Being Positive In Our Relationships With Others

Ephesians 4:31-32–Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
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Yesterday we looked at the “tails” side of the coin and saw what we are to put away from us. Today we are looking at the “heads” side of the coin and the positive side of our relationship with others.

Be ye kind one to another–Kind means to be friendly, gentle, benevolent, and generous. We are to be helpful and this applies to all contacts and situations. “Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12: 20-21). We are to minister to the needs of those who oppose us.

Be ye tenderhearted to one another–Tenderhearted is to be sensitive to the hurts, pains, and feelings of others. It means to be responsive to others needs and things they are going through.

Be forgiving one another–To overlook, or excuse the behavior or words of someone else. It is to let the wrong done to us or our loved ones go without any negative feelings toward that person and having no claim to avenge ourselves. Where there is true forgiveness we will continue to treat the other person in the same way as if they had done nothing.

Even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you–We are to follow God’s example of forgiveness. As His children, we are to display the character of God in our lives and in our relationships.

Put These Things Away From You

Ephesians 4:31-32–Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
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I want to deal with both of these verses, for they are two sides of the same coin so to speak. However, it would become too lengthy to look at both of these verses in one day. So I shall deal with the “tails” side of the coin (verse 31) today and the “heads” side of the coin (verse 32) tomorrow. The following are fiery darts the wicked one shoots into our hearts. They are weapons the wicked one uses to pollute our lives, corrupt us, and lead us from the paths of righteousness. The following definitions are taken from “Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American language”.

Let all bitterness be put away from you–Bitterness is a sharp and disagreeable spirit or feeling. It is one of the fiery darts of the wicked one which can only be quenched by the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16). Bitterness is contagious. It can infect others and control their lives.

Let all wrath be put away from you–Wrath is intense anger; rage; fury and any action carried out because of these. Here is another fiery dart of the wicked one shot into our heart to defile us.

Let all anger be put away from you–A hostile feeling of displeasure that may result from injury, mistreatment, or opposition. This feeling can be the result of physical or verbal assault on that person or someone they love. Yet another of the fiery darts the devil shoots into our hearts.

Let all clamour be put away from you–A loud outcry; uproar; a noisy demand or complaint. This is the verbal expression of the bitterness, wrath, and anger that resides in the heart of the person. Much like a volcano, these feelings can flow forth without force. However, like a volcano, they can be held in and the pressure builds until they come forth in an explosive eruption. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).

Let all evil speaking be put away from you–This is self-defining. It is speaking in a negative way about someone to another person. It is to become the teller of tales.

Let all malice be put away from you–Malice is the deliberate intent and plan to do something to harm or to get back at someone else. This often is expressed in some action toward or because of a wrong someone has done toward the individual or to someone they love.

We are to put all of these things away from us. These things issue from the flesh and not from the spirit. They come from the old nature and not from the new nature that has been born of God. They are works of the flesh inspired by the devil and not fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Have A Good Conscience

1 Peter 3:16-17–Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
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Having a good conscience–We are to maintain a good conscience toward God by conducting ourselves in a way that is pleasing to God through our obedience to Him.

Whereas they speak evil of you–When others speak evil of us and falsely accuse us we are to follow the instructions of Jesus as found in Matthew 5:44. “I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”. We are also told, “Recompense to no man evil for evil” (Romans 12:17). And again, “See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men” (1 Thessalonians 5:1). “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). We are not to be overcome by the evil of others and walk according to their ways, but we are to overcome evil with good and maintain our walk with God. In following the instruction of God we shall indeed inherit a blessing and maintain a good conscience.

It is better that we suffer for doing good, rather than for doing evil.

Letters From God–Book of Hebrews 11:7-12

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My child, I warned Noah of things not seen as yet and by faith he moved with fear, and prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. When I share with you of things not seen as yet, you also are to embrace these things by faith and move by faith in the things pertaining to your life. I called Abraham to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance and by faith Abraham went out, not knowing where he went. When I call you to do something, you also must act on it by faith, even though you don’t know what lies ahead. By faith Abraham journeyed in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. You too must go through life with a readiness to follow My direction. You dwell in a strange country for this world is not your home. You are still in this world but you are no longer of this world, for I have called you out of this world and your citizenship is in heaven where you look for your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. By faith Abraham looked for a city which has foundations of which I am the builder and maker. You also by faith look for a city, the holy city, the Heavenly Jerusalem, in which you have a mansion prepared for you by Jesus. Through faith Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judge Me faithful who had promised. My child, you also must judge Me faithful to perform all that I have promised and thereby become an heir of the promises. Therefore it was by faith that from Abraham, even though he was past the age of having children, should have descendants as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore, innumerable. Even so those being born of My Spirit will be an innumerable number as well. Hebrews 11:7-12
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The Path To Being Blessed

James 1:25–Whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
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Whoso looks into he perfect law of liberty–This looking is not a casual scanning or skimming through the word of God. It is to closely examine the word of God with purpose. It is engaging the mind to understand the word of God in order to apply it to our life and to receive everything that God offers us in it. It is the law of freedom and liberty. It sets us free from the law of sin and death to live our lives unto God and righteousness.

And continues therein–We must stay in the word of God and give it the time and attention that it deserves. To continue is to continue to hear it, read it, meditate on it, understand it, believe it, and to do it. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

He being not a forgetful hearer–We must also remember it as we go about our daily lives.

But a doer of the work–We must not only look into the word of God, we must be a doer of it. We must walk in obedience to the word of God. It is to guide our decisions, our relationships, and every aspect of our lives.

This man shall be blessed in his deed–The person who follows the directions above will experience happiness. This person will experience success and spiritual prosperity.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

James 2:19-20–Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
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You believe that there is one God; you do well–There are many people that believe that there are many gods. This is a deception and lie of Satan. There is one God and only one God. If we believe this then we do well.

The devils also believe and tremble–A belief that there is one God that does not influence our lives, puts us in company with the devils. “When he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:28-29). Here is only one example of the devils belief and trembling. They knew exactly who Jesus was and that in due time they would suffer torment for their response toward God and their way of living.

Faith without works is dead–A dead faith does not accomplish anything. It has no life in it. It produces no proper response to God, nor does it result in a proper way of living. We are to walk in accordance to our faith.

Motivation To Teach And Share

2 Timothy 2:2–The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
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The things you have heard–These are the things of God. These are things associated with the word of God, and our response to the word of God. It applies to the things that we have heard, understood, believed, and experienced.

The same commit to faithful men–God expects us to share with other people the things we have heard. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen”. We are to make special effort to pass on the things we have heard, understood, believed, and experienced, to people who will be faithful and able to pass it on and so have a multiplying effect.

The motivation–Peter and John said, when they were brought before the council, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). The things that touch us deeply and mean so much to us motivate us to share them with others. Peter and John said, “We cannot help but speak of these things”.

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