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Food For The Lambs Or Helps For Young Christians by Charles Ebert Orr

SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM.

|But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.| Mat.6:33. An injunction of much importance is here given. Verses 24 to 34 of this chapter show how beautifully it is in the plan of God to care for his own. We are taught to have our trust in God for what we eat, for what we drink, for what we wear -- for all the necessities of this life. We are referred to the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field, which take no thought for their life, but live in their happy, independent way, without care or trouble. These God cares for and says we are of more value than they.

What a valuable lesson we are to learn from this! But is it really true that we are to have the same degree of freedom from care or anxiety that the fowls or the lilies have? We shall also ask, Is it really possible? This lesson surely teaches that we are to have such a trust in our Maker, and therefore it must be possible. The apostle Paul instructs us in Phil.4:6, |Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.| And in another place, |I would have you without carefulness.| Our lives are to be free from worry or anxiety about anything and everything. This feature alone of the divine life, or this principle alone in the economy of God's gracious plan, ought to represent salvation as a thing greatly to be desired. But in the face of this people fail to see anything desirable in it, because by their unbelief they hold such a life to be impracticable. By this kind of unbelief the enemy of souls deprives many of their privileges in Christ and hinders the world from seeing the real nature of the salvation experience.

How the world is estranged from the principles of righteousness! How it holds light to be darkness and darkness to be light! Instead of accounting that there is any reasonableness in such trust in God as is shown in this lesson they would fain be selfishly taking upon themselves the responsibility of maintaining their own existence, and thus every one seek for his own gain. Thinking that they thus have an excuse for not devoting their time to God's service and their spiritual welfare, the things of the Lord are forgotten and neglected, and their souls consequently are lost. When will individuals learn that they have a spiritual as well as a physical existence, and that the spiritual is the more important of the two? Seek first the kingdom.

But the fact that we wish to bring out most prominently is that many Christian professors, who are supposed to be examples of the Christian life, do not comprehend the import of the test |Seek ye first the kingdom of God.| The mistake is made on the word first. They think to obey this scripture by first gaining the profession of salvation, presuming then that the blessings of the kingdom will follow, while they live as selfishly as before and dig deep into the things concerning the unrighteous mammon. In so doing they fail to experience the blessings of the kingdom, and also misrepresent the kingdom to the world. The word first means not only first in time, but first in importance; and this idea of importance must ever be held before us, not only when we enter the kingdom, but throughout our whole Christian life. We are to hold the kingdom of righteousness first in all our lives. If we hold God first in everything and consider what will be to his glory before we consider our own, we give God a chance to fulfil his word, and his own good pleasure in us will be accomplished. We then place ourselves in the order of his plan where it will be possible for him to do as he has promised.

The salvation life means an unselfish life. We are not to seek selfish glory in anything, but seek the glory of God first -- above everything else. It has been remarked concerning certain ones who were struggling for an earthly existence, that if they would only get saved |all these things| (all earthly necessities) would be added unto them. But it is not those who merely get saved that can claim this promise; it is those who keep saved and carry out the principles of the plan of righteousness. |Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness| in everything. Lose your own individuality in God, consign your all to him, live for his glory in all your life, then |all these things shall be added unto you.|

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