Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Does this really work?

Meditation for the week of January 8, 2012

Matthew 6:33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Worry is one of the great afflictions of the human race.  Of course, worry is like riding a stationary bike.  It takes lots of energy but it doesn’t get you anywhere.  But according to this passage if we really put the interests of the Lord FIRST we wouldn’t worry about having life’s needs met.  That would be the Lord’s responsibility.  Our responsibility would be to do whatever we can do to serve the Lord and to promote the spiritual kingdom that He has brought us into the moment we trust Him for salvation.  John 3:3 says, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."   The Lord was rejected as the King of the Jews at the cross, but those of us who trust Him, recognize that right now He is our King.  In a coming day, He will present Himself to this world as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16). 

What does it really mean to seek FIRST the Kingdom of God?  During my university studies (year’s ago), there was a man by the name of Maslow that thought he had figured out what motivated people.  According to him, people had five levels of needs.  When the basic needs were met such as the need for food, water and shelter then they were motivated by “higher” needs such as security, and then love, and then recognition.  When these needs have been met, people are only motivated by something he calls self-actualization which really means that they are occupied with feeling that they have fulfilled their potential to make a mark in this life.  You will notice that all of the things that Maslow mentions shows that we are normally motivated by things that affect us.  We are motivated by the trinity, “ME, MYSELF, AND I.” 

A Christian who is born again and is truly walking in the spirit has a higher motivation than what Maslow describes.  He will love God and love His neighbor as Himself.  Notice the command to love our neighbors is measured by our love to self.  Loving ourselves is always assumed in Scripture but it is not commanded—at least I have never found the command.  Just as we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves,  husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves according to Ephesians 5.  But our motivation should not be to please self but to please God and that would require us to be acutely concerned with meeting the needs of others.  Now I know some are going to say, but “Who is my neighbor?”  A lawyer in the parable of the Good Samaritan tried to avoid his responsibilities by asking that question (Luke 10:29).  It appears that our neighbor is the one that we would like to avoid.  He may be of the wrong race, or he may have gotten himself into trouble and now needs someone to come along side of Him.  Our neighbor is probably the one that we really don’t like and don’t want to help because we might be “enabling” him to continue in a self-destructive lifestyle.  These people don’t need a sermon, they need compassion and help with no strings attached.  That of course will be the most powerful sermon that they will ever hear. 

A Christian who is seeking FIRST the kingdom of God will esteem others better than himself (Philippians 2:3).  He will be swift to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).  He will humble himself rather than exalting himself (Luke 14:11).  He shares what he has with others (1 John 3:17). These are just a few of the characteristics of Christians that run counter to the things that normally motivate us according to Maslow.  

The Lord makes us a promise.  If we put Him first we will have our needs (not our greeds) met.  I wonder if it works? Has anyone really been able to do this?   I am convinced that the Lord is gracious when we fail but that we miss out on great blessings as Christians when we stay occupied with what we want rather than with what the Lord wants.

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>