Have you ever come to a place in your life where you feel like you’re just “rushing along in life”; you’re always “busy” with THINGS and yet not accomplishing much in OTHER THINGS that may be more important? Now this may be a rather “garbled” or “ill-written” question, until you begin to think about it. But if you ponder the word “THINGS”, as we use it in the English language, it can be applied to almost every aspect in life!
You may be surprised by how often God, in the Bible, uses the word “things” and how much importance we are to place on it. Let’s begin with one of my favorite verses: Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Does this mean that those who say they “love God” are going to have a good and trouble free life (the “good life”, as we call it? No, it does not! There is much more to life, and especially ETERNAL LIFE, than just mouthing the words, “I love the Lord” or “I love God and His Word.”
Well, do you really? What is the “Proof” that you are willing to OBEY GOD WHENEVER YOU MAKE THOSE ASSERTIONS? I John 5:3 “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” Chapter 2:3 “And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep His commandments 4 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
Actually, the Bible reveals that the carnal, fleshly mind (one that is not yet converted by the Power of the Holy Spirit) is hostile toward God and His Commandments. Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
So what are those THINGS a converted person or a true Christian should be pursuing or seeking? Christ gave clear instructions and answers in His Word and by examples: Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.”
No, you cannot covet nor seek (in an inordinate way), the THINGS of this world and, at the same time, neglect the SPIRITUAL THINGS of God! Let’s continue in this passage: Verse 25, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no (over anxious - Bullinger’s Companion Bible) thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what shall ye put on. Is not the life more (valuable) than meat, and the body than raiment?” You know, in this great, affluent, wealthy nation, we are blessed to live in (at least for now), you hear people lament: “oh, I don’t have a thing to wear, to this or that occasion”. And yet, they may have so many items in their closets; there isn’t room to hang another garment! Verse 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? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the fields, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O YE OF LITTLE FAITH”?
Here is the problem -- there is a LACK OF FAITH in those who worry and fret about the PHYSICAL THINGS OF LIFE! 31 “Therefore take no (anxious) thought, saying, What shall we eat?” (David wrote, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”: Psalms 37:25). “Or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these THINGS do the Gentiles seek :) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.”
HERE IS WHERE A TRUE CHRISTIAN’S FOCUS SHOULD BE!
HERE IS WHERE OUR PRIORITIES BELONG!
IT MUST BE ON THINGS THAT REALLY MATTER!
Verse 33 “But seek ye first (the things of) THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; and ALL THESE THINGS (physical needs) SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.”
So, what are the SPIRITUAL THINGS of GOD, we ought to be seeking? The Apostle Paul gives us some of the answers: Philippians 3:3 “For we are the circumcision (Col.2:11), which worship God in the spirit (John 4:24), and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (Paul goes on to say, that if anyone could boast of having achieved anything in the flesh, he had the credentials!) 7 But what things were gain (profitable) to me, I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss (worthless) for the EXCELLENCY OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST.”
My friends, the knowledge true Christians have, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is incalculable, immeasurable! (I Cor. 2:11): “for whom I have suffered the loss of all things (physical), and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. 9 And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness (Isaiah 64:6), which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. 10 That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. 11 If by any means I MIGHT ATTAIN THE RESSURECTION OF THE DEAD.”
This was Paul’s No. 1 Goal! The resurrection of the SAINTS - The FIRST and BETTER RESURRECTION! (I Cor.15:22 23; I Thess.4:16-18; Rev. 20:4- 6; Heb. 11:35)
PAUL WAS SEEKING FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
Notice what this entails! Back to Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this ONE THING I do, forgetting those things which are behind (physical attainments), and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Spiritual achievements).14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Folks, after conversion, as Christians, we ought to be “putting on the New Man”. We should be thinking on THESE THINGS: Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS. 9 THOSE THINGS, which ye have both learned and received, and heard, and seen me do: and the god of peace shall be with you.”
Notice that Paul was not overly concerned with physical things: 11. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” How was Paul able to be so positive in his attitude? HERE’S HOW! Verse 13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
As we know through our understanding of bible prophecy, hard times are ahead for this nation and for the whole world, as we approach the end of this present society; but we, also, can have this same confidence that Paul had. Verse 19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ.”
THERE’S MUCH MORE TO THE THINGS, GOD HAS PROMISED US!
But, there are conditions: Colossians 1:10 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be PARTAKERS OF THE INHEIRITANCE OF THE SAINTS in light.”
Inheritance of the Saints? What is this INHERITANCE? My friends, this is BEYOND HUMAN COMPREHENSION! I Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, THE THINGS which God hath prepared for them that love Him. 10 But God hath REVEALED THEM unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth ALL THINGS, yea the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the THINGS OF GOD knoweth no man, but (by) the Spirit of God. 14. But the natural man receiveth not THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they (Spiritual things) are spiritually discerned.”
JEAUS CHRIST PLAYS THE PIVITOL ROLE IN THIS INHERITANCE
Colossians 1; 15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the FIRSTBORN of every creature; 16 For by Him were ALL THINGS (the universe) created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: ALL THINGS were created by Him and for Him: 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, the FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD; that in all things He might have the preeminence. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled. 22 In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.”
The world, at large, has no inkling of what I’m going to tell you now!
GOD IS A DIVINE FAMILY, INTO WHICH WE MAY BE BORN!
Ephesians 3:14 “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole FAMILY in heaven and earth is named.”
JESUS CHRIST IS THE FIRSTBORN SON IN THAT GOD FAMILY
Romans 8:29 “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BRETHREN.”
How will WE appear after we’ve been born into that Divine Family? I John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God (in a begotten state), and it doth not YET appear what we shall be: but WE KNOW that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR (in His second coming and the resurrection takes place), WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM.” Revelation 1: 5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the KINGS OF THE EARTH (US, BRETHREN!). Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Our rulership will begin on the earth, but that is only the first phase in our glorified state!
Revelation 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they (us) sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, which and not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark in their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Now, notice the important things of life. Revelation 21:2 “And I John saw the new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” And finally, 7 “He that overcometh shall INHERIT ALL THINGS; AND I WILL BE HIS God, and he shall be My son.” ALL THINGS means THE UNIVERSE!
The things we worry about today, will certainly pale into insignificance when we inherit all things!