The Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

(If this Sunday is the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, read this devotion in the morning, and the devotion entitled, “The Sunday Before the Season of Lent” in the evening, under this same tab.)

Matthew 6:19-34

Seek First the Kingdom of God

The next several passages of chapter six seem to coalesce around the climax at the end of it: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”  We begin with Jesus’ admonition that we should not lay up treasures on earth; after all, any treasure in this world can be taken away.  Did you hear that?  Ultimately, there really is no such thing as financial security.  So what does Jesus advise?  Well, he thinks laying up treasures in heaven is a better investment.  Why?  Because the returns are eternal.  And then there is the principle that explains the foregoing: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  How true.  What we treasure most in life is the measure of what our hearts truly love – the treasure is the measure.  What is it that you can’t do without?  If it is something of this world, even your spouse or child, what will happen to you if he/she/it is taken away?

The next short text reminds us that the eye is the lamp of the body.  The eye here is a metaphor for the heart.  If you are filled with lust, envy, greed or any wicked desire, then that is how you will view the world and the people in it – as things that are supposed to serve your longings.  But if our hearts are pure and chaste, then you will seek to use the world in ways that honor God while serving others.  If your eye is full of light, then where others see an opportunity for sin, you will see an opportunity for godliness.  Thus, no one can serve two masters.  The masters mentioned here are God and money, but it is truly between God and anything else.  And this is our greatest battle.  John Calvin said that the heart has an endless reserve for making idols.  It does.  Just as soon as we rid ourselves of one, the sinful nature exalts another.  So we must be on our guard, for our God loves us with a jealous love – and that’s a good thing (James 4:4-10).

The final words of the chapter are truly comforting.  God is a loving Father who looks after the needs of His children.  Behold the birds of the air and lilies of the field; does not God take care of them?  Now, Jesus is not saying that we shouldn’t work for a living; read Proverbs to learn of this.  But he is saying that we should live without worry and anxiety.  And this is the chief sin of many of us, which indicates a lack of faith in God.  Moreover, much of our worry is compounded by the things we are chasing after.  We cannot serve two masters.  If you are chasing the things of this world, which are here today and gone tomorrow, then you should be worried!  So the answer is to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness; for, in doing so, we can be sure that our loving Father will take care of the rest.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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