Christlikeness is the Reward
Our preacher at Wellspring, Andy Hudelson, encouraged us to participate in a Bible reading plan this year. He shared a strategy from Wayne Coreiro’s book Divine Mentor in which you basically allow the writers of the Bible to become your mentor for 30 minutes a day. Andy encouraged those at Wellspring to journal about their thoughts on our Church’s community website. Below is what I shared there on today’s passage, Matthew 6-10.
Today’s reading had me dwelling on Matthew 6:33. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I used to think that this was some sort of system that would get me anything I wanted. Chapter 7:7-9 would serve as further confirmation to me that if I wanted something, I just had to ask. As I have grown in my walk with Christ, I have learned not to gloss over the important parts like, “Seek FIRST his kingdom.” It’s amazing how when we are putting kingdom needs first how unimportant the things we typically ask for really are.
The chapters for todays reading reflect this kingdom perspective in ways that are really difficult for me sometimes. I can often be a judgemental worrier who would rather walk the broad road to build my house on the sand. Seeking first his kingdom centers me. It forces me to ask if my will is aligned with God’s will and if it is not, I probably need to stop the asking and get centered on Jesus.
The cost of this is not going to put me in comfortable places. In chapter 10, verse 17 Jesus tells his disciples, “Be on your guard; you WILL be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.” Jesus does not paint a pretty picture of the cost of discipleship but in the end He offers this encouragement, “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. (Mt. 10:40)” Jesus wants his disciples to have a kingdom perspective and to seek first His kingdom. I believe the reward that Jesus has to offer here is contentment in believing that following him is the best way to live. Christlikeness is the reward of seeking first his kingdom.