Scripture: Matthew 6:33 CEB
“Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
A desire is to long or hope for something or someone. There are many things in life for which we might long or hope. Many people long or hope for fame, fortune, power, or position in life. Others desire freedom from structure and institutional thinking. Some people desire to live off the grid and not have to answer to anyone. People in general long for security, safety, peace, and happiness. As a nation people desire sovereignty and the ability to create the cultural norms by which everyone will live. So, there are many things for which we desire. We long for or hope for something meaningful and fulfilling above all else. It is usually this desire that seems most elusive to the world around us. People desire to live a meaningful life that has purpose.
Jesus taught his disciples that there is one thing worthy of our desire. Above all else, there is one thing that will lead us to live a life of great purpose. Jesus acknowledges that there are all kinds of things in this world we can desire. He also warns his followers not to get caught up in the trap of seeking what the world has to offer. Jesus teaches, “Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” It is God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness that should be our first desire. The lyrics of the song Above All performed by Michael W. Smith help us see the nature of God’s kingdom:
Above all kingdoms, Above all thrones, Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth, there’s no way to measure what you’re worth
Our first desire in the morning and our last desire at night should be Jesus. Other things may seem worthy of our desire, but they will always fall short. Things will decay and become obsolete. People will let you down despite their best intentions. The only thing that is forever and certain is God’s kingdom. Jesus promised to never leave us or forget about us. Jesus promised to be with us until the end of the age. Jesus promised to go and prepare a place for us and then return to bring us to his Father’s house. Jesus is the one who loved us enough to be beaten and shamed. Jesus is the one who endured the cross and was raised from the dead. Jesus is the only one worthy of our desire. Our first desire must be God’s kingdom and righteousness as revealed in Jesus.
If you are reading this in the morning, make Jesus your first thought and desire. Throughout the day seek Jesus as your first desire as you love the people you come across. Desire first to live out the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness following the example of Jesus. Love your family, your coworkers, your neighbors, and everyone you interact with. Seek first to love like Jesus. This should be our first desire. If we make this our first desire, Jesus says everything else will be given to us as well. Meaning and purpose, fulfillment and joy will flow from our first desire.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I desire for nothing more than you today. I seek to love like you. It is my desire to love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. It is my desire to love my neighbor as you have loved me. Empower me to desire nothing but you today. In the name of Jesus. Amen.