Last time I left you to ponder the question of how we decide if we have been using our time wisely. Let’s be honest, we all live very different lives. Is there any possibility that a 400 word article could answer such a complex question? I want to suggest to you that Jesus does a pretty good job in just 19 words in Matthew 6. He is talking about the really practical stuff of life – food, clothing, planning for the future, worry – and, in the midst of this earthy reality, he lays down a guiding principle for all of life: yes, for every nook and cranny. Here’s what he says:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt 6:33)
Notice how every practical aspect of life, including how we use our time, should be aligned with one simple heart motivation: to live wholeheartedly, all-in, for God and his kingdom.
As a pastor, all too frequently I have conversations with people who ask for advice about what they should do in a situation, and when I take them to this passage I see an internal struggle. Why? Because when we’ve truly grasped the reality of this statement most day-to-day decisions will be that much easier to make. Here’s an example: I’ve spoken to a number of parents who have said ‘We can’t be at church every Sunday because my child goes to x group on a Sunday morning.’ For me, this is a really simple issue to resolve. Come every Sunday! Why? Because this is an issue of seeking first the kingdom of God. Does that mean your child won’t be able to participate in the group? Yep, that’s right. But if you go down the other route, you teach your kids that the church and gathering with God’s people is an optional extra; something for when you don’t have anything better to do. Speaking very honestly, as a parent I want my kids to understand both through my words and my actions the centrality of meeting together with God’s people. It’s part of seeking first the kingdom of God – not as consumers, but as people on mission.
So, what does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God in the way you schedule your diary? Have you considered it? Why not look over your diary and prayerfully start asking what changes you need to make to ensure that your diary is all about kingdom-first living?