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Seek First His Kingdom

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I am taking the course Worldview Spirituality at McMaster Divinity College (Mac Div) for this term.

I went to my first class on Monday. The prof ended the class with an illustration using a jar, sand and rocks.

He first showed the empty jar and told us that the jar represent the times we have. Everyone is fair in this area in that we all have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. He then poured the sand into the jar. The sand represented the many worries and tiny things in our lives that often grab our attention. The sand filled most of the jar.  When the prof tried to add the rocks, some of them spilled over. The rocks are the big and important matters in our lives.

He then took another jar and place the rocks in it first. Then he poured the sand into the jar.

When we focus on the important matters in our lives, all the other stuff will fit right in.

He then asked if there is a message that is similar to this in the Bible.

A student said….

“Seek first His Kingdom…”

In Matthew 6:31-33, Jesus said..

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Normally, I would read from verse 19 until 34. It is almost one unit explaining money, God, and everything in between. 

I’ve seen the jar, sand and rock illustration before. Though that night, I grasped a bit more. Perhaps it is because of the period of life I am in.

There are many worries. About career, about house, about getting marry, about paying the bills. The things that my age group long for and go after.

Like the illustration Jesus was using, food, drink and clothing, these are what’s matter in most people lives.

Jesus flipped these and teach that the most important matter is to seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

On the drive home, I was thinking about this. How much faith and how bold one must be in order to say…”I will seek His Kingdom first….first over my career, my friends, my fun things, my vacation, my car, my house, my relationship….

Notice that Jesus didn’t say denial of these things but rather He promises that these things will be given to us by our Father.  We have a Father that knows we need them.

I can already foresee, is that what future is like?  More daily worries?  Yes, there are more responsibilities (raising a family etc.).  Is this what being a children of God is about?  How does following Christ makes a different in this?

As I grow up, I started to notice how the sand of my life absorb my time and attention so quickly.   Two years ago when I first applied for Mac Div, my plan was to give up part of my career and take more courses.  Two years later, I am still in the same situation….perhaps I am clinging onto what pagans run after.

The passage is not a condemnation.  I don’t think Jesus is telling us, “ah-ha.  You see how you run after worldly things.  You should be ashamed to be called my follower.”  Rather, Jesus is gently reminding us that we indeed have a heavenly Father who will provide for us.  As such, we can rest on that alone.  

I am joyful because I have confidence in what Jesus say.  It is an encouragement.  It is like an affirmation from Him it is ok to go all out for His Kingdom. 

This is a very bold and courageous way to live. To live in faith is not merely passive or be nice.  It is, often, goes against the grain of what’s seem to be normal or logical.  And sometimes it goes against the cultural and life expectation.  Though, when one’s life is align with the Father’s Will, what doesn’t make sense in this world makes perfect sense in His Kingdom.

Where once, I worried my next paycheck or not enough money or need more money for this or that [haha, notice how often the thought of money springs up?], I shouldn’t….  the same Father who provides for the birds in the air and clothe the flowers in the field will provide for me.


Focus on the BIG rocks.

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