Sunday, January 31, 2016

Day Forty - Our One Great Need

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be added to you.” 
Matthew 6:33

Does it strike you as odd that in forty days of devotionals on abiding in Christ I have not once led us to pray for the practical things of life? After all, Jesus clearly promised us that if we will ask according to his will, he will grant whatever we ask. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to have spent at least some time praying directly about any number of practical things in life? 

Yes it would, however, we are so prone to jump into the work of the Kingdom of God and forget the King. We are so prone to think that the major issues that lie before us are the need for people and money and things rather than our need for Christ who is Lord over all things. We are so prone to get on with bearing fruit rather than with abiding in the vine from whom comes our fruit. Therefore, it has been good and right and necessary to spend forty days in prayer and fasting, seeking the King as an end in himself; seeking the vine before the fruit. 

This is not to say that the practical things of life are unimportant; it’s simply to say that they are secondary. It is as Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” God is aware of all of our needs, and he is willing and able to provide them in his way and in his time. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11). “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Beloved, if we abide in him and his words abide in us, we can ask anything we wish and he will do it for us! Therefore, the most important thing we need is to ensure that we are abiding in Christ, and he in us. Everything else in life combined is, by far, secondary to this one great need. Indeed, the one who rushes to bear fruit will bear false fruit, but the one who first pursues the vine of Christ, who first seeks the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, will bear much fruit to the glory of God because “all these things will be added to him.” 

So, from these forty days let us learn and never forget the lesson: “But seek first the kingdom of God [seek first to abide in the vine] and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). 

Prayer Focus: Pray that the Father will cause the truth of Matthew 6:33 ever to abide with us as his people. Pray that we will never stray, by his power and grace, from striving first to abide in the vine and then passionately praying for the fruit of the vine. Let us also give thanks to God for these forty days!

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