A study on the what, how and why of seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.
It is a fact that we live in days of anxiety and uncertainty. This imperfect, changing and corrupt world is not short of events, situations and experiences that constantly supply us with huge doses of anxiety. Wherever we turn, we are literally incited by life’s experiences to be anxious. The crime statistical spiral, a depressed global economic order and rising inflation, all bring a chill of anxiety down our spines. Furthermore, reports of job losses and growing older- do not help to allay the fears and anxieties of men. The consequence of all this is that men are moved to chiefly care about securing their jobs, their lives and their future. Matters of bread and butter and security become the focus of their lives and gradually they become ends in themselves. And the problem often is that all this can be done at the expense of the Kingdom of God.
Our Lord in Matt 6:25-34 was concerned to see that the spiritual lives of his disciples were not quenched by an unhealthy anxiety regarding life and material comfort this side of eternity. And so accordingly, he counsels them to overcome it by entering into a growing realisation of the Fatherhood of God and the pursuit of the lasting rewards of the kingdom of God. We send out this study guide in the hopes that it will revolutionise our lives and move them from being self-centered to being Kingdom of God-centered. We will organise our thoughts around the word “seek”. May God richly bless you as you work through the material.
What we seek
1. What according to Matt 6:33 should the Christian be seeking above everything else?
2. What according to Luke 17:20,21 & Rom 14:17a is and isn’t the Kingdom of God?
3. Who is the present ruler of the Kingdom of God? Deduce your answer from Psalm 2; Matt 28:19-20 & Revelation 4 & 5.
4. What are the characteristics of the ruler of the Kingdom of God? See John 5:26, Matt 28:18; Matt 28:20; John 2:24.
6. What is the standard of his rule? Psalm 97:2.
7. What is the territory over which he rules? Use the following scriptures to answer your questions: Matt 28:18; Col 1:18; Eph 5:23 and Luke 17:21)
8. Do you think there is such a thing as the Kingdom of self? What would you say are its characteristics? Use 2Cor 5:15).
9. How do you think you should be seeking the Kingdom of God? See Matt 13:45-46; Matt 6:25a.
What stands in the way of what we seek
1.The Lord Jesus Christ in v25a warns against one chief hindrance to the Kingdom of God. What is it?
2. There are three things people are generally anxious about. What are they? (see v25, 30, 34)
3. What is it to be Anxious about life," Verse 25. (life here means breath). How in practice does this express itself? And how does it hinder our search for the Kingdom of God?
4. What is it to be Anxious about the future (tomorrow.) v34 How does this form of anxiety hinder our search for the Kingdom of God?
5. What is it to be Anxious about God’s ability to take care of us? Verse 30. How does this form of anxiety hinder our search for the Kingdom of God?
6. What according to v30 is at the root of anxiety?
How to overcome hindrances to what we seek.
1. Anxiety, according to Matt 6:25-34, is one of the major hurdles that stand in the way of our search for the Kingdom of God. Use the following scriptures to name three things about anxiety that should move you to resist it?
a) Matt 6:30; Phil 4:6
b) Matt 6: 27
b) Matt 6 32
2. Mathew 6:33, suggests that when we seek first the righteousness of God, that we shant be anxious about food, drink and clothing.
a) Do you agree with the above statement?
b) What are we to understand by the Righteousness of God? Use the following scriptures to arrive at your answer:
Rom 4:5; 2Cor 5:21; 1John 2:29
c) Do you think that Christ was ever anxious? Give a reason for your answer.
d) What three things should we do to ensure peace rather than anxiety in our lives? Use Phil 4:6-8 to arrive at your answer?
3. Matt 6:32-34 teaches three basic ideas on God that can inoculate us against anxiety. What are they?
What to seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness is.
a) Using Ps 42:1 and Matt 13:45, explain the meaning of the word seek in Matt 6:33.
b) Using John 1:15; Luke 10:5, explain the meaning of the word first in Matt 6:33.
c) How does the idea of seeking first the Kingdom of God in Matt 6:33 contrast with the desires of the rich fool in Luke 12:22.
d) The Lord uses three expressions (see below) to capture the essence of what it is to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. Explain what each of them practically means:
i) "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" Matt 6v20. See also Lk 12:33-34 and Luke 14:13-14.
ii) “If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light”. Matt 6:22
ii) "No one can serve two masters”; Matt 6:24
e) In what way do the statements in d above, relate to our giving toward the Lord’s work at LBC?
What to seek the Kingdom of God (KOD) and his righteousness is
In this study, we will stretch the discussion we began in the last study, and we will observe that seeking the Kingdom of God is basically living for Christ who is at the centre of this Kingdom.
1. What is it for Christ to be at the centre of the Kingdom of God? Deduce your answers from the following scriptures:
a) John 1:3; Col 1:16.
b) Col 1:16.
c) Rev 5:1-14
d) Eph 1:22; Eph 4:16, Rev 5:9
e) Phil 4:13; Eph 5:23; John 15:5
2. What semblances of seeking and loving Christ should we avoid? Use the following passages to arrive at your answer
a) Rev 2:1-7
b) Rev 3:1-6
c) Rev 3:14-21
3. What then is it for Christ to be our life and ruler? The Scriptures below are suggestive:
Rom 6:23; Eph 2:1, 4; John 6:33, 34, 54; John 15:5
Phil 3:10; Gal 5:23; Mk 1:1; Rev 5
What we stand to benefit from seeking the Kingdom of God.
Yielding to the rule of Christ, does bring a number of benefits with it. In this study, our focus will be on three benefits that the Kingdom of God brings along:
1. What spiritual benefits accrue to those who seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness?see Matt 6:33 and Psalm 73:25.
2. What qualities do we come to possess when we seek first the Kingdom of God? See
a) Matt 5:1-11
b) Matt 6: 25-34 (hinted at); 1Tim 6:6, 7 (overt)
3. What material benefits accrue to those who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? See Matt 6:33b.
4. Why will God bless the children of God more than Lilies and Birds? See Matt 6:26-30
5. What does the study on the Kingdom of God teach you on the value of the Kingdom of God and his righteousness?
6. Share with the group as to what you practically plan to do in your bid to reorder your priorities and to put the Kingdom of God first?