Seeking the Kingdom First - Sandy Cove Ministries
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    Jesus never doubts the provision of God. He never worries that there won't be enough. He always pushes us to trust God completely. One of the ways he does that is by teaching us who God is and how God acts.


    In Matthew 6:24-34 — which is an excerpt from Jesus's longest recorded sermon, the Sermon on the Mount — Jesus goes to great lengths to remind us that as a good, caring and attentive Father, we can be confident that God will provide, that he is capable of meeting all our needs. When we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, Jesus makes it clear that all the other stuff, the stuff we have a tendency to worry about, will be taken care of. Let's explore further:


    1. Jesus is very interested in toppling our idols so that we can be free to worship and serve God. One of the idols that has the potential to displace God at the center of our lives is money. Jesus warns us: “You cannot serve both God and money.” Why do you think Jesus is so adamant that “hate” for the one leads to “love” for the other, and vice versa? How have you found that to be true in your own life? What do you think Jesus is trying to teach us about money, about God?


    2. I think it'd be fair to say that Jesus's way — a way of worry-free reliance on God — is so much better than the alternative. Why do you think it's so difficult for us to live this way? Do you think we've created lifestyles that engender inordinate amounts of worry, anxiety, and stress? What's one thing you can you do to change that?


    3. God's provision is all around us. All we have to do is observe the natural world to see God at work. Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air…See how the flowers of the field grow” (Matthew 6:28-30). Creation is bursting with reminders that God provides. Have you ever stopped and thought about how birds are fed and fields and flowers are clothed? If God is capable of doing all of that, largely unnoticed and with so little effort, why do you think it's so hard for us to trust that He will provide for all of our needs?


    4. Jesus stresses the importance of seeking the kingdom first, before we do anything else (vs. 33). He then makes the bold pronouncement that when we do this, everything else will be taken care of, our needs will be met. How does Jesus's assertion challenge you to greater levels of faith and trust in God, knowing that when God is at the center of your life there will always be enough?

    Tom Ward
    The son of a pastor, Tom caught a glimpse of the church’s potential to bring real and lasting change to the lives of hurting, broken people at a very young age, and he knew from then on that he wanted to invest his life in ministries that share the love of Jesus with others. That’s what brought him to Sandy Cove Ministries as the Director of Development, a role that he finds “challenging,” “fun,” and “extraordinarily rewarding.” When he's not at work, Tom can usually be found with a coffee in one hand and a book in the other, or spending time with his wife, Cherie, and their three kids, Ashleigh, Sarah, and Ethan. He also loves to share the love of Jesus in the developing world, especially among the poor.