Seek First the Kingdom

All around us today we hear Christians bemoaning the
world’s descent into the dark hole of moral and ethical decay.  Listen to what these men have to say about
the situation:

“When I look at the younger generation, I despair for the
future of civilization.”

“The world is passing through troublesome times.  The young people of today think of nothing,
but themselves.  They have no reverence
for parents or of old age.  They are
impatient of all restraint and they talk as though they know everything, and
what passes as wisdom to us is foolishness to them.  As for the girls they are immodest and
unwomanly in speech, behavior, and dress.”

Can you guess who made the above quotes?  Was it a church leader unhappy with the
direction of society today, or someone on one of the nightly talk shows?  It may surprise you to know the first quote
was made by Aristotle in about 300 BC, and the second was made by Peter the
Monk in 1274 AD. 

The point is, that as followers of Jesus Christ we need
to be careful to not allow ourselves to slide into fear and inactivity.  For thousands of years God’s people have been
saddened by the decay of the societies they lived in.  Every generation thinks they have it worse
than the one before.  Even Solomon
stated, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, Look!
This is something new? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our
(Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10)

We are told that many years ago Lot was, “…a righteous
man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless, for that
righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous
soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard…”
(1 Peter 2:7, 8)

It should not surprise us that the world is falling apart
around us.  It has been ever since sin
first came into the world.  “Do
everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and
pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in
which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…”

Most Christians we have spoken to from different
countries and backgrounds are concerned about the state of their nations, the
economy, corrupt governments, and most of all the moral decay spreading through
their society.  Many believers seem
obsessed with the problems around them.  And
while these problems are real, they can easily be used by Satan to distract a
Christian’s focus away from where it should be.

As Disciples of Christ, it is imperative that we look
upward and beyond the troubles of everyday life and society.  If we become isolated we will die.  There is a great lesson for us in the Dead
Sea.  Did you know there are 153
different streams and rivers of fresh water that flow into the Dead Sea, yet
nothing can live and grow in it except a few bacteria and other organisms.  That is because the Dead Sea does not have a
single outlet.

This is a lesson for every denomination, church, and
Christian; without an active and effective outlet for your faith, you too, will
become stagnant and die. 

Even though the world appears to be a frightening place,
it’s not the time for Christians to bury their heads in the sand, or run for
the hills.  Doing this plays into the
hands of the devil, who wants all of Jesus’ followers to think the job is
completed and that their own needs and self-preservation are important.  The opposite is true. Jesus tells us, “You are
the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people
light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it
gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine
before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in
(Matthew 5:14-16)

Remember that Jesus did not say we take care of our needs
first, but that we should, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and
all these things will be given to you as well.”
(Matthew 6:33)

Our focus as believers should never change.  First, we should be totally committed to know,
love, and obey God and His Word.  And second,
we must always focus on what God is focused on, reaching the unreached peoples
of the world.

Only then will Jesus return for His bride, and only then
will the seventh angel sound his trumpet in heaven and proclaim, “The kingdom
of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will
reign for ever and ever.”
(Revelation 11:15b)

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