"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." - Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Choices. Our lives revolve around them. From the time we open our eyes in the morning until we close them in sleep at night, we have made hundreds of choices....big and small. What we're going to wear, what we're going to eat, what we're going to do that day, what our attitude is going to be, what we say, how we react to situations we face during the day....choices, choices, choices!! Our choices say a lot about us, whether we realize it or not. We may think nobody is watching what we choose to say or how we choose to act. Somebody is always watching us.....God. And He wants us to seek Him to help us make the right choices so that when we are being watched by others, they will see Him in us.
In this verse, Jesus is giving us instructions on how we should live our lives. He is in the middle of teaching His disciples and a crowd of people (and us!!) about the choices we must make to live a life that is pleasing to God. First thing, "seek His kingdom and His righteousness". How? By prayer, by studying His Word, by walking in Jesus' footsteps, by following His commandments. You may be thinking, "She always says that! Can't she be more original?" Maybe, but I choose not to be. Why mess with the perfection of God and His Word? He has told us clearly and often throughout the Bible, how we are to think, act, talk, and walk....but He has also given us free will to make the choice as to how we live our lives.
Look at the "Test for Self Evaluation" by John Wesley in the next column. That's a list of just some of the choices we make each day that may or may not be pleasing to God. I choose to read that every morning before I start my Bible study. It makes me re-evaluate my choices from yesterday, and gives me the desire to make better choices today. It helps me to have a better understanding of my Bible study, where my shortcomings are and where God is at work in my life. I also choose to start each day by giving it over to God, to seek Him first, because, when I don't, my day does not go well. When I choose wisely, when I choose to please God, when I choose to pray before making a decision, any decision, then I know I've made the correct choice, no matter the outcome. My devotional gave me this reminder: "every choice that is displeasing to Him is the wrong choice -- no exceptions." That is a good reminder to live by.
"Commitment to His lordship on Easter, at revivals, or even every Sunday is not enough. We must choose this day -- and every day -- whom we will serve. This deliberate act of the will is the inevitable choice between habitual fellowship and habitual failure." (Beth Moore)
Dear Jesus, I choose to walk in Your footsteps today. Guide me in my thoughts and actions. Let them be pleasing to God. May I always look to You and our Father in heaven for guidance in my choices. In Your name I pray, Amen.