But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. In a former homily on this chapter it is shown that the kingdom of God is the dom, or rule, of God's will. There is a traditional sentence given by Origen, and by Clement of Alexandria, which our Lord might have uttered, for it is very like this authentic passage: "Ask great things, and little things shall be added to you; ask heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added to you." Man is made for God. "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God, and enjoy him for ever." "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." In this text our Lord says, "There is one great end and purpose of your being, and that you must voluntarily make your one, first, chief end." There may be intermediate ends and objects which rightly call for your attention, but there is one which must never be forgotten. You were made for God; to love him, to serve him, to praise him, to live in fellowship with him, to do and to bear his holy will. The true order of our human pursuits should be - first, God; second, others; third, self. Or, to put it in another way - first, righteousness; second, duty; third, pleasure. Or some point and freshness may be gained by making a distinction between the kingdom and the righteousness.
I. GOD'S KINGDOM IS THE REIGN OF HIS WILL. And that concerns conduct. God's will covers and concerns all our doings and relations.
II. GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS HIMSELF. And that is character; concerns character; stands as model for the moulding of character. Then man's two supreme ends - which are really erie - which he must always and everywhere put in the first places, are:
1. God's character - to be like him.
2. God's will - to serve him. It will be a joyful surprise to any man to find how all life goes into place, and everything gets provided for, when he seeks first the kingdom and righteousness. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.