Lunch Time Devotionals
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
“Our #1 Priority”
Our devos in the New Testament start with the book of Matthew. The purpose of this gospel is clear: to show that Jesus was the long-awaited king, the son of David, the Messiah who’s coming was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. Matthew’s format is to present certain facts concerning the person and work of Jesus; then he follows with an account of Jesus’ teaching. Each section concluded with a phrase that includes the word “finished,” such as “finished these parables” or “when Jesus finished saying all these things.”
Our verse today, Matthew 6:33, is one of the most important truths for Believers in Scripture. Why? Because it focuses our attention on how we should live. These words of Jesus are revolutionary to us. Our natural inclination is self-preservation. We spend much of our lives concerned about taking care of our family and ourselves. These things in and of themselves are not “bad,” but our tendency is to worry and fret. Secondly, our priorities are wrong! How can God use us if we fret and fume about the “here and now”. “Do not worry about life…” (Matthew 7:25). Make God your first priority.
The application of this one verse from Jesus will be a life-long endeavor. When you are temporarily not attentive to this truth, you will slide back into over concern and worry. Our relationship with God should be our #1 concern. As Oswald Chambers says, “We are to be cautiously carefree about everything else.”
Place your relationship with God first and everything else second. Be ready for trials – let the Holy Spirit bring you peace, which comes from the knowledge that God promises to take care of everything. Make Him your first priority.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.“
Are you seeking God first? Is everything else in life a distant second priority? Today’s passage from Matthew 6:21 will answer this question for you.
We can fool others. We often even fool ourselves with regard to our priorities and motives. But God sees through the “smoke-screen.” What are your priorities? Where is your heart? Look at what is important to you. Look at how you spend your time and effort. No matter what you say, your priorities are played out by what you do. The treasures of the heart are played out by how you live your life.
Are you striving for power, prestige and material things? Are you concerned about what other people think about you? Are you constantly avoiding difficulties in order to have comfort in your life? If the answers to any of these questions is a “yes,” then God is not your #1 priority.
God deserves to be your #1 priority because without the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins, we would spend eternity, not just 50-90 years, apart from God. Seek Him first. And remember, power, prestige and material things are all fleeting. If the temporary, rather than the eternal, is your “heart-set,” you will be disappointed.
Where is your treasure? Is it God first and everything else a distant second? Your heart will follow your true treasure. How do you spend your time? You will know what your treasure is!
Matthew 12:34 “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.“
Some people are very effective at masking his (her) feelings. They may be very polite in the presence of certain people, but very critical and negative when out of earshot. Do you know anyone like that? Are you one of those people?
Our passage today teaches that out of the mouth will flow what is really in a person’s heart. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” (Matthew 12:35). You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.
We speak what is in our hearts. Therefore, if we truly want to effect a change, it must start with the heart! Masking the heart with careful speech will fail. But out of a pure heart comes pure speech. The application of these principles is prayer for a pure heart in obedience with God’s plan for your life. Don’t be prideful and try to cut corners. It starts with the heart. “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:26).
Why is this important? Because one day we will have to stand before our Creator and give an account: “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37).
Avoid careless negative speech and encourage others by what you say!
Matthew 16:26 “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?“
“Are You in Danger?”
The world will not lead you to God. The focus of the world is often on everything but God. If you have never made your peace with God, you are focused on the here and now. You can be rich, famous and powerful, but end up being separated from God for eternity.
If you are a Believer, you can choose the way of the world and pursue power, prestige and material things and waste your life. Don’t do it! Be intentional and pursue God. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” (Matthew 6:19-20). God knows what is best for us. He knows what truly satisfies His creation. It’s clear that rich and famous people are rarely content. Solomon was rich and famous. Listen to what he says, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11).
How can we store up treasures in heaven? By being obedient in five distinct areas of our lives:
- How you spend your time
- How you use your money
- How you care for your spouse
- How you care for your family
- How you utilize your spiritual gifts
This is the basis on which we will be judged. Focus on treasures above, not on the things of the world. Remember: “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.” (Matthew 16:27).
Matthew 22:37-38 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment.“
God wants to be #1 in our lives. He desires our unrestrained devotion. In Matthew 6:33, we learned to seek God first. Matthew 16:24-26 teaches us to deny ourselves and follow the Lord. Anything less than #1 is unacceptable to our Lord.
True love for the Lord involves our all: heart, soul, and mind (physical, spiritual, and mental). This is the definition of true devotion to Him. God desires our unrestrained love, without anything or anyone else getting in the way.
Without Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we would have been separated from God for eternity. He deserves our devotion. Here’s what Oswald Chambers had to say about setting our priorities correctly and being devoted to the Lord: “Do I want to be identified with His death – to be completely dead to all interest in sin, worldliness, and self? Do I long to be so closely identified with Jesus that I am of no value for anything except Him and His purposes?…The proof that your old life is dead, having been ‘crucified with Christ’ (Galatians 2:20), is the amazing ease with which the life of God in you now enables you to obey the voice of Jesus Christ…The underlying foundation of Christianity is personal, passionate devotion to the Lord Jesus.”
IF GOD IS IN CHARGE AND LOVES US, THEN WHATEVER IS GIVEN IS SUBJECT TO HIS CONTROL AND IS MEANT FOR OUR JOY: Elizabeth Elliott