Seek FIRST!

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

BUT What Does ‘first’ Mean? WHAT does it look like when you seekHim first?

The word ‘first‘ means foremost in position, rank, or importance.

F – Rid thyself of FLESH

1 Corinthians 1:28-29
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
John 3:30
He must Increase; ‘I’ must Decrease.

I – Place him as #1 of all your INETERESTS & for all you INSPIRATION

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

R – REMAIN in Christ & RESIST the Devil

James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
John 15:4
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

S – SEEK the SON first from the rising sun

Psalm 113:3
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’S name is to be praised.
Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

T – Ensuring He is the first and only person you turn to in TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS
Psalms 34:17
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Thoroughout the the next two days we will be looking at the other two significant parts of the verse:

1. The Kingdom of God &
2. His Righteousness

We like the ‘ALL OTHER THINGS ADDED UNTO YOU’ part but we need Biblical understanding FIRST, to ensure we do not misconstrue exactly what the Lord wants from us.

PRAYER OF THE DAY:

Lord Jesus, help me to put You First today; above all my agenda, ambitions and decisions. You know the sins that easily beset me; I ask You for grace to overcome them and humility to remain dependent on You at all times. Be #1 in all areas of my mind, thoughts and inclinations that I will not displease you Today. I pray these things in Jesus’s mighty Name. Amen!

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DO IT ALL FOR THE LORD

If any man boast, let him boast in what the Lord has done for him (2 Cor. 12:9).

If any man be greedy, let him be greedy for more of the Lord’s anointing in his life (Psalm 27:4).

If any man be happy, let his most profound joy be that his name is written in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20).

If any man be hungry, let his greatest hunger be for the Lord’s righteousness (Matt. 5:6).

If any man lusts, let his yearning be an unquenchable fire of desire for more of God’s glorious power and presence in his life (Ps. 27:4).

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If any man loves, let his true love be for the Lord, his First Love (Rev. 2:4).

If any man seeks knowledge, let his greatest attainment be in knowing Jesus as Jesus as his Lord and Savior and the power of His resurrection (Philip. 3:10).

If any man fears, let his only fear be the fear of the Lord and the working out his salvation (Philip. 2:12).

If any man has respect, let his greatest reverence be for the Lord God Almighty (Deut. 13:4).

Let us not be fooled:
Knowing all, Having all, Feeling all, & Doing all; if done without Jesus all adds up to nothing. Naked a man cometh and naked shall he return (Job 1:21). Paul, most importantly stated, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philip. 1:21).

In other words, there is no true life outside of Christ. To truly enjoy life, to feel the power of God in you, to feel a love from God that cannot be compared to anything else; we must be willing to live for Christ. Dying in this life, therefore; means to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). That is, eternal life in Heaven forevermore.

Food for FAITH vs Food for FEAR

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Food for FAITH vs Food for FEAR

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

              ~Feed Your Faith~

¤ Reading the Bible
Reading the Word of God builds faith as the scripture states, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom.10:17).

¤ Mediating on God’s Word
Meditating on scripture further strengthens our understanding of His Word also allowing for powerful revelations.
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and he meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).

¤ Positive Declarations
Many studies have referenced benefits of speaking positively. Today, I urge you to take that one step further; declaring the Word of God over your life and the lives of others. Scripture states, “Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” (Job 22:28).

¤ Studying Scripture
The Bible is also called the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17) and studying will make you more effective when wielding it.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

¤ Asking
The Lord said “Ask and it shall be given to you” (Matt. 7:7). The simple process of asking (not according to selfish means) and receiving builds the muscle of faith.

¤ Praying in the Spirit
“Building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 1:20) sharpens and amplifies your spiritual senses such as your discernment, faith, hearing the voice of God.

¤ Fellowship with Others
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17). Being around like-minded individuals will help to bolster your faith especially as testimonies are shared.

¤ Obedience
‘”Come!’ answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus” (Matt.14:29). Jesse Duplantis explained it like this, “Stay in the boat and you’ll meet disciples; walk on the water and you’ll meet Jesus.”

¤ Fasting
“Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I” (Isa. 58:9). Fasting unlocks uncommon miracles, revivals and transformations. Jesus said “this one cometh not out but by prayer and fasting” in Matthew 17:21.

FeedFaith

              ~Starve Your Fears~

Horror Movies
Watching horror movies is one of the main door ways by which fear enters our lives.

Negative Speech
Speaking negatively does not produce faith and as the Bible states, “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). Additionally, Proverbs 18:21 which says, “Life and death is in the power of the tongue.” So, avoid all forms of negative speaking.

Negative Thinking
Worrying, being anxious, over thinking situations also produces fears, hence why the Bible commands; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil. 4:6).

Exposure to Excessive Violence
One’s exposure to violence also has the tendency to produce uneasiness and fear if we allow our emotions to go unchecked.

Victim of Violent Crime
Being a victim of a violent crime can additionally be a means by which fear may have a grip on our lives.

Socialization
The way we are brought up can influence the level of faith we have in God and also the amount of fear we may have also. Scripture states that “Bad company ruins good character” (1 Cor. 15:33).

Lack of Knowledge
Ignorance is the source by which fear enters our lives and establishes strongholds. This is why the Bible advises to “be not ignorant of your enemies’ devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). Hosea 4:6 also states, “My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge.”
Curse

The primary verse above (that is, 2 Tim. 1:7) states the following:

1. Fear is a spirit &
2. God did not give us

Therefore, if anyone of us struggle with any kind of fear inclusive of fear of heights, insects, public speaking and so on; we have to get rid of it. What we do know is that God gave us 3 things:

1. Power
2. Love
3. Sound-mind/self-control

All we have to do is pray this prayer today and be rid of every kind of fear once and for all.

PRAYER
Lord Jesus, I confess today that I struggle with fear (state specifically the kind(s) of fear that you struggle with). I am your child and You never gave me this fear, but You gave me power, love and a sound mind. I ask for Your forgiveness for opening the doorway for this fear to have come into my life and I repent now! I ask you Lord Jesus, to expel from within me, every fear right now, in the Name of Jesus! Set me free by the power of Your Blood & demolish every stronghold in Jesus’ Name. I now receive power, love and self control now and forevermore in Jesus’ Name. Amen!!!

Follower or Unfollower

In this present world in which we live, social media seems to be the order of the day. Facebook pages are gauged by the amount of likes, Twitter & Instagram are about followers and who you are following.

We tend to follow people who are friends, associates, business partners or sometimes just because we take an interest in the content they post. The same goes for people who follow us.

It is worth saying that there is a dilemma in all of this. There are situations where you maybe following a person in hopes that they follow you back, but sometimes they never do. Truth be told, most Instagram and Twitter accounts have more followers than following, of course with a few exceptions.

The difference between the two categories is a term called ‘Unfollower.’ An ‘unfollower’ is someone who may have followed you at some point and hence, decided to stop by un-following. An ‘unfollower’ can also be classified as a person that you follow but they do not follow back.

Now, from a spiritual perspective, we know that when Jesus started out He had 12 disciples/followers. They were attracted to the person of who Jesus was and wanted to learn from Him and so, the rest is history.

The Bible tell us that “while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). This verse along with Isaiah 65:2 which states, “All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations”, is enough to say that God is our biggest fan and follower.

Yet, the question is this; shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t we be the one’s vying for the Lord’s attention, pursuing Him like there’s no tomorrow, seeking Him like our lives depended on (as we know it does).

However, we have grown so fond of ourselves that to follow Christ and be desperate to know Him and be in His presence is of our least concern. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

We know who we are deep down. If any of these things describe you then you know what you need to do. “You have abandoned your first love” (Rev. 2:4) and it is only through repenting (turning away from sin) and following after Jesus Christ with your whole heart that you will be saved.

KEY POINT:
WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT, “EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD” (PHIL. 2:10). WE GET TO DECIDE WHEN IT IS DONE; WHETHER NOW, WHILE WE HAVE FREEDOM AND WILL INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE OR LATER; WHEN WE HAVE NO CHOICE AND ARE TO SUFFER ETERNAL DAMNATION.

PRAYER:
LORD, help me this day I pray; for I have sinned, and fallen short of your glory. I ask You to forgive me of all my unrighteousness and be my Lord & Savior. I receive your forgiveness even now, in Jesus’ name and hereby declare to follow you all the days of my life. Amen!!!

Worry Not!

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” This was a question posed by Jesus in Matthew 6:27. It went futher on to say from verses 28-32:

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

The King James Version made specific mention of these flowers actually being lillies. Now, there are 80-100 different species of lilies. They’ve never worked a day, yet the Bible says that not even Solomon, who would be among the richest or maybe the richest today could comapare to theses lillies.

Someone asked, “If God is real, then why is there so much evil in this world? Bad things happen to good people all the time; where is God in all of this and why should I not worry and take matters into my own hands?”

The other person responded, “There is so much soap in this world yet not everyone is clean. In fact, you could lay down beside soap everyday of your life and you still would never be clean unless YOU CHOSE to apply it to your body.”

The same goes for God’s presence; He is everywhere. The responsibility is upon us to CHOOSE HIM and apply HIS WORD to our life and we will be cleansed from our sins and receive His protection, provisions and all His promises.

Finally, Jesus summed up this lesson by saying, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). All that this is saying is for us to put God first in all the areas of our lives by striving to live holy and righteous lives and all that we want out of life will be given to us. Another reference to this truth may be found at Psalm 37: 4, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

My prayer today is that if we have ever struggled with worrying that we mark this day as the last day that we will ever worry again. We are not worriers but Warriors in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

The Soul that Suffers

The word, ‘suffer‘ means to experience pain, hardship or distress. It is something that we, all as people must go through whether as Christians or unbelievers. We have all suffered at some point in our lives. The question is, whether we are suffering for Christ’s sake or our self’s sake. The answer to either helps us with our perspective and thus impacts our ability to relieve ourselves from this predicament.

To suffer for Christ’s sake as 2 Timothy 3:12 states is not only a part of the Christian life and cannot be escaped but, is also a privilege and honor. For if we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12).
For example, no one wants a friend or partner who wants to be there just for the good times, the profits and the ups but selectively disappears in the bad times, the losses and the downs. You want someone who is with you through the mess to the message, through the test to the testimony.

To suffer for self’s sake is something to be taken cautiously. One reason is that we definitely do not have an assurance of any deliverance or lasting resolution. The second reason is that sometimes suffering outside of Christ may lead us to feeling a sense of hopelessness that then is compounded with varying fears. Loneliness, sadness and depression are also emotions that may try to overcome us. This is not a state that God wants anyone of his children to be in, whether Christian or non-believer.

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We must recognize that when we suffer, the Lord suffers even more. He hurts more and feels in a capacity that far exceeds our ability to even imagine or handle. His pain grows exponentially when He has every intention and limitless power to save us but our sins have tied His hands from being able to help. Isaiah 59:1-2 states “Surely uthe arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

The reality is that children of God have a 100% guaranteed gateway to deliverance whenever they are suffering, as Matthew 11:28-30 states, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” This is Jesus’ promises to those who are willing to come to Him and learn from Him.

Will you consider giving the Lord your life today?
If you are a backslider, will you consider returning to Him?
He wants to fight the battle for you (2 Chronicles 20:15). Will you stop fighting in your own strength and let Him fight in His?
Or, are you going to continue to live, suffer and die by yourself and for yourself?

KEY POINT: IF IT WERE POSSIBLE TO FIND VICTORY OUTSIDE OF JESUS CHRIST THEN WE WOULD BE SAYING HIS COMING, DEATH AND RESURRECTION WAS IN VAIN.

HE DID IT ALL!!!

HIS LOVE has defeated my selfishness.
HIS POWER has defeated my addictions.
HIS GOODNESS has brought me to my knees.
HIS MERCY has melted my rebellion.
HIS FAITHFULNESS has pursued and overcome fears.
HIS GRACE made my weakness strengths and strengths even stronger.
HIS HANDS has cconquered my many enemies.
HIS VOICE drew me from deep darkness into a most marvellous light.
HIS SPIRIT has chased away all my depression and fears and laid a blanket of comfort on me.
HIS WISDOM has made me forever hungry for more of His presence.
HIS KNOWLEDGE constrains me to impart His love to the ends of earth.
HIS UNDERSTANDING has empowered me to a heart of gratitude and worship.
HIS JUDGEMENT keeps humble and diligently pressing on towards the mark.
HIS WORD produces endless faith and endows me with divine revelation.
HIS SON died for us as rebellious and evil and broken and lost and forgotten and forsaken and sick and broken and rich and unbelieving and fearful and everyday is another opportunity to receive Him.