Our Daily Bread Devotional For October 19, 2023 : Topic – First on the List
Bible in a Year:
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Today’s Scripture : Matthew 6:25–34
Much of God’s kingdom consists of what’s unseen. In Matthew 6:1, Jesus pointed out that the Pharisees were doing their good deeds to be seen by others. In contrast, He instructs us to give to the poor without others noticing (vv. 1–4). He tells us to pray in secret (vv. 5–6) and not to amass treasure in this visible world but in the world to come (vv. 19–20). Yet the life of faith also includes a trust in our heavenly Father because of what can be seen. Here Jesus points to the birds and the lilies as evidence of His care for us (vv. 26–34).
MeSSAGE : The morning commenced like a track meet. I practically jumped out of bed, launching into the teeth of the day’s deadlines. Get the kids to school. Check. Get to work. Check. I blasted full throttle into writing my “To Do” list, in which personal and professional tasks tumbled together in an avalanche-like litany:
“ . . . 13. Edit article. 14. Clean office. 15. Strategic team planning. 16. Write tech blog. 17. Clean basement. 18. Pray.”
By the time I got to number eighteen, I’d remembered that I needed God’s help. But I’d gotten that far before it even occurred to me that I was going at it alone, trying to manufacture my own momentum.
Jesus knew. He knew our days would crash one into another, a sea of ceaseless urgency. So He instructs, “Seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
It’s natural to hear Jesus’ words as a command. And they are. But there’s more here—an invitation. In Matthew 6, Jesus invites us to exchange the world’s frantic anxiety (vv. 25–32) for a life of trust, day by day. God, by His grace, helps us all of our days—even when we get to number eighteen on our list before we remember to see life from His perspective.
Reflect & Pray
How can we turn to God first each day? On stressful days, what helps you trust Jesus with things demanding your immediate attention?
Father, thank You for your invitation to relinquish my anxiety and to embrace the life of abundant provision You offer me each day.