One of the most common pieces of advice in business and self-help books is about the need to prioritize. We all have so much to do, that we need to plan and organize our lives so that we get the most important and urgent things done. There are various complex schemes and principles for achieving this productivity nirvana.
But there’s a divine priority that blows them all out of the water, and puts everything else in Quadrant 4: neither important nor urgent. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33).
But what does that look like? How do we do that? Here are 10 ways to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Enter the kingdom first. There’s only one entrance – and that’s through the door of regeneration (John 3:3,5). Before you do anything else, surrender to the King and submit to His rule.
Make the kingdom your greatest interest. Instead of asking “How is my team doing do?” “How are the polls doing?” How are my shares doing?” Ask “How is the kingdom doing?” Make the church of Christ your first interest and chief delight.
Give the first of your money to the kingdom. Instead of seeing how much is left over at the end of the week or the month, the first cut from your salary should be your tithe to the kingdom.
Devote the first minutes to the kingdom. Don’t wait until you can squeeze God in at some point in the day or delay until you give him the drowsy dregs of the day. As soon as you rise and are refreshed give time to listening to the King’s Word and petitioning the King’s throne.
Commit the first day to the kingdom. God set apart one day in seven to turn away from the kingdoms of the world and our personal kingdom-building to focus our attention on the upbuilding of His kingdom.
Dedicate your best energy to the kingdom. Don’t wait until you are old and can only offer a few tired years to the Lord’s kingdom. Serve him early, serve him young, serve him vigorously and energetically.
View everything through a kingdom filter. As you read and hear the news, apply the kingdom filter to it, look at world events through the lens of the kingdom.
Choose, decide, and plan using kingdom criteria. When you are faced with major life decisions, your first question shouldn’t be “How will this affect my family?” but “How will this affect the kingdom?”
Prioritize kingdom interests in your prayers. While there’s nothing wrong and plenty right with praying for personal and family needs, we must remember that “Your kingdom come” comes before, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Seek the salvation of our children above all else. While we may want our children to get a good education, and good jobs, and good spouses, and good houses, above all we want them to know the goodness of God through faith in Jesus Christ. If we asked our children “What do you think your parents want most for you?” would their answer be “The Kingdom.”
There’s a wonderful promise attached to this command: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” What are these things? The context tells us – food, drink, and clothing. The necessities of life, in other words. It’s not a promise of health, wealth, and prosperity, but of basics, enough, and sufficient.
God’s basically saying, “If you take care of my interests, I’ll take care of yours.”