. . . and in His law doth he meditate day and night. Psalm 1:2v

Seek First the Kingdom

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Do not heap up coffers of precious things for yourselves on earth, where moth and corrosion cause it to vanish away, and where pilferers take it by theft. That’s what mammon worshipers do. They see no benefit in laying up treasures in heaven, but right here on earth is where they want it to be. Get all you can and can all you get. Save all you are able to for a rainy day.

Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

But gather and heap up for yourselves a repository of valuable things in the region above the sidereal heavens, per Strong's Concordance, where God dwells with other heavenly beings. Lay up your treasures in a place that is separate from this world, a place untouched by the things of the earth. Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. If your treasure is in the earth, that’s where your heart will also be. But if you have placed it in heaven, then your heart will be in heavenly places. You will be living in another world, in another reality. You will be living in the kingdom of God.

Giving Alms

How do we do this? How do we lay up treasures in heaven? Well, Jesus explains that earlier in this chapter. The entire chapter of Matthew 6 involves living in the kingdom of God. That’s what this “Sermon on the Mount” is talking about. Jesus, the king of the kingdom, is describing how to live in His kingdom.

Matthew 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
Matthew 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

According to the Strong's Concordance, alms here is the Greek word eleemosune, which means “mercy, pity, especially as exhibited in giving alms . . . or giving a donation to the poor.” It means taking of our substance and blessing someone who is less fortunate than ourselves. Throughout the Scriptures it is easily recognizable that helping people who are poor and needy is near and dear to the heart of God.

Jesus said, when you do alms, not if you do alms. The giving of alms is part of kingdom life. And the promise of Matthew 6:4 is that when we do this, when we give alms, that our heavenly Father sees us in secret and blesses us openly, or, that is, for all to see. And this is what is meant by laying up treasures in heaven.

We take that which is ours and give alms, and in doing so we sow our seed into heavenly places, believing that He Who sees in secret will cause special and unusual blessing to come upon us. God Himself will reward us. And our heavenly treasure will provide for us the things we need in life. We do not give up or forfeit our treasure by giving it to help the poor and needy. We merely place it into another depository. We store it in heavenly places, where it is safe and secure.

Two Masters

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Master: the owner; one who has control of a person, the master. No man can serve two owners. We are servants of the Master we serve.

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

For either he will detest the one and dearly love the other . . . or else he will cleave to and pay heed to, listen to and obey the one, and think little or nothing of the other. You cannot have the same allegiance to both God and mammon. You cannot serve God and mammon, which refers to treasure or riches (where it is personified and opposed to God.) In other words, it is riches and wealth outside of God, or by our own ability to gain. You cannot serve God if money and wealth is your god. And that is the natural condition of the unregenerate soul.

The unsaved person knows little or nothing of God’s ability or His desire to provide for mankind. And yes, it is and always has been in God’s plan to provide for every man’s every need. When you look at the Book of Genesis and the story of creation, it can be seen that the Lord created everything man would ever need in life before He created man himself. The man, Adam, was meant to live without the concern or the weight of providing for himself.

But to live in God’s divine provision required a connection with God Himself, which Adam had in the beginning. It says he walked with God in the cool of the day. He talked with God. He spent time with the Most High. It was the presence of the Almighty in his life that caused provision to be made available to him. When he lost that connection with God through sin, the earth would no longer bring forth her bounty as before. Now it brought forth thorns and thistles instead, and Adam was destined to eat bread by the sweat of his face all the days of his life.

Why? Because the connection was broken. Adam was unplugged from the power source. The Lord could no longer charge Adam’s life with His grace and blessing. And centuries of time went by before the connection between God and man could be restored. It was restored when sin was dealt with by the work of Jesus at Calvary, and man was made able by faith in Christ to once again stand before His Maker in righteousness and be capable of once again living a life in communion and fellowship with God. And it’s by that connection that the divine provision of God can once again be realized in the life of man, a provision that is made available through faith in the promises of God’s word.

Take No Anxious Thought

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Do not be anxious or troubled about these things, such things as what you’re going to eat, or what you’re going to drink, or what you’re going to wear. For isn’t life more than food, and isn’t the body more than clothing? Men were created by the Lord for something much bigger than providing food and clothing for themselves. Those things were never intended to be the focus of man’s life.

Jesus said it this way in another place.

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

A man’s life is not made up of his net worth. And thinking that it does consist of that is the result of a covetous heart or mindset, which is the driving force of worldly societies. The Apostle John says in one of his letters that the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are of the world. They are worldly concepts.

The life of man is far greater than these things. And the Lord has to teach us how to deal with covetousness in our lives so that we can recognize the higher call of God that we were intended to live our lives by. One of the ways He trains us to overcome covetousness is through our obedience to use our money in ways that He intended for us to use it.

The Birds and the Flowers

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Notice that Jesus is dealing here with the tendency of people to worry and be anxious about things, especially about the provision of things needed in life. He says, look at the birds of the air. They don’t sow crops, they don’t reap crops, they don’t put their crops in barns. But your heavenly Father feeds them. God feeds the birds. He feeds the animals. He feeds the fish. He feeds the insects of the world. Don’t you think that you are more important to Him than they are? Was not man His greatest creation? Is not man better than the birds and the animals?

If your heavenly Father feeds the birds, will He pass you by and not feed you? No. He would never have made provision for the birds and the animals and leave man, His greatest creation, the one to whom he gave dominion over the animal kingdom, unprovided for. To do that would be absolutely absurd and ridiculous. Wouldn’t it?

And He’s saying, why then are you so anxious and fearful about your provision? Why are you taking so much troubled thought over these things? Don’t you know and understand that your heavenly Father has made provision for you?

Matthew 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

In other words, how effective is your worry in making things happen? What does it accomplish? Which one of you can add a few inches to your height by worrying? The obvious and presumed answer is that none of us can do that.

At one place He asked the question, which one of you by worrying can make one of your hairs white or black? Jesus is making clear and plain the futility of worry and anxious thought. We can only assume from these statements that it is His desire for us to eliminate and totally remove it from our lives.

Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Matthew 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

It is interesting that Jesus points to natural things such as birds and flowers to illustrate God’s provision in the created order of things. The animals, the birds, the fish, the insects and the creeping things of the earth, all have their provision through the planning and the foresight of the Father. Man is the only species who seems to believe that he was left out of God’s plan for provision. And so, he worries. The birds, the fish, the animals, and the creeping things have more faith in God than most Christians.

Seek First the Kingdom

Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Matthew 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Don’t agonize over these things. Don’t expend your energy worrying about these things. Stop it. Isn’t it nteresting? The God Who created us is fully aware of the fact that we need these things. He did not forget to include our food, clothing and life provision into the plan of creation. He is still aware that we need these things, and He has already made provision for them. And so, instead of worrying, what should we do?

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The word seek in this verse is the Greek word proton, which means first in time or place, or first in any succession of things. But you seek before anything else, first of all, the kingdom of God, as Strong’s Concordance puts it . . . “the royal power, kingship, dominion, and rule, speaking particularly of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah's kingdom.” Seek to find the royal power and authority that has been bestowed upon us in Christ, and seek the rightness and correctness of thinking that comes from knowing God. And all these things the Gentiles run after shall be joined to you or gathered unto you. These things will join themselves to you, and you will gather them to yourself.

Why? Because you’re seeking the kingdom of God before all else. God places the key to the kingdom before us in Matthew 6:33. What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Well, it primarily means to learn about the kingdom and about how it works based on the word of God.

Meditation in the Word

One of the main ways of doing that, if not the main way, is through meditation in the word of God. Meditation means pondering or reflecting on the writings in the Bible. Through meditation in the word of God, the ways of the kingdom are revealed or unveiled to our understanding. We become kingdom-focused or heavenly-minded. There is nothing like meditating in the word of God to get your heart and mind over into heavenly places. Faith comes by hearing, and moreover by hearing the word of God.

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Overcoming Fear

Jesus is still on the subject of not worrying or being anxious and troubled in connection with your provision. He says to take no anxious thought for tomorrow, but rather let tomorrow take anxious thought for itself. Why does the Lord Jesus, the Master, the king of the kingdom, talk so much about us putting away anxious thought and worrying? Because fear is the opposite of faith. And the kingdom operates by faith in it. We will not be able to walk effectively in the kingdom, nor will we be able to access the power and blessing of the kingdom of God for our lives as long as we are slaves to fear.

Fear is an opposing force that stands in opposition to the force of faith in our lives. And faith is the power of the kingdom. We must learn and we shall learn to overcome the force of fear in our lives and walk in the faith and the peace that God has called us to walk in.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

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