“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” - Mathew 6:33 (NIV).
Among certain circles, the words Christ used to rebuke Satan who had just been tempted with wealth for worshiping him, have often been used to claim this was the vey motive for bringing Christianity to Africa. Evidence abounds to see that European colonists after seizing the land of those they conquered, curiously would teach them to look up to God. But this was certainly an abuse of what Christ meant. No where did the Lord command his followers to seize territories, and then offer to them faith in him to justify loss of their property.
On the contrary, the meaning of these words is that when we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, there is reveled knowledge that the Lord passes on to us, and from which all wealth flows. King Solomon came to experience great wealth after seeking wisdom first from the Lord. “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this…I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings” (1 Kings 3:10-13).
Just as with Solomon, when we seek the Lord first, he opens doors for us by blessing us with knowledge that can help us enhance our wealth. For instance, the Lord may create for us opportunities as we see he did for Abraham. “The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever” (Genesis 13:14-15).
Wealth acquisition that does not honor God first can come with misfortune. For example the beneficiary may be inflated with pride. This is what happened with Nebuchadnezzar who pumped up decided a statute be raised in his honor (Daniel 3:1-25). He forgot that it is the Lord who had enabled him and would end up chewing grass like cattle (Daniel 4:25-35).
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” When we seek the Lord first, we reap multiple blessings, that enable us live and enjoy wealth in peace and comfort.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that I seek you first, as the giver of wisdom, to create everlasting wealth, built and rooted in you, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!