Seek First the Kingdom of God

Written by Stephen Kingery

In my life there has been much joy, pain, defeats, victories, and sin. Through all of this I have spent many years trying to be successful in my profession as well as a good father, husband, and member of a local congregation. I have been an officer inrepparttar church for many years and have tried to be effective in that capacity as well.

A few years ago I came torepparttar 140977 realization that no matter how successful I am at any of those things which I have mentioned above, it is all for naught if I do not have a genuine relationship with God. So I began to pray and search God's word forrepparttar 140978 answer. Jesus gave usrepparttar 140979 answer, "But seek firstrepparttar 140980 kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

The conclusion which I arrived at, as a Christian trying to serve God and to do His will, is that we should seek God. This isrepparttar 140981 single most important thing which we, as children of God, must do to show ourselves approved of God. Paul, in his epistle torepparttar 140982 Romans says, "I Beseech you therefore, brethren, byrepparttar 140983 mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." (Romans 12:1)

Paul's admonition torepparttar 140984 Christians in Rome has a lot to do with yielding torepparttar 140985 Holy Spirit and being an instrument for God's service. But it also has a lot to do with seeking God, for he continues in verse two, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed byrepparttar 140986 renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." How can we truly be transformed unless we seek God?

What does it mean to seek God, or how does one go about seeking God? To seek, as it is used in this capacity, means to beat a common path to something. Or, in other words, to constantly seek. It doesn't mean to seek, find, and have something. It does mean to dorepparttar 140987 same thing over and over again, to constantly be seeking.

A few years ago my wife decided that she wanted a new lamp forrepparttar 140988 living room. She knew just exactly where she was going to put it, but she didn't know exactly what kind of lamp she wanted. She spent many hours over a period of several months looking for (seeking) that perfect lamp for that one spot inrepparttar 140989 living room. I heard her fretting overrepparttar 140990 fact that she could not find a lamp she liked for those several months. Then one day she came home with a lamp. She announced that she had foundrepparttar 140991 lamp she wanted, she placed it onrepparttar 140992 table, and I never heard another word about that lamp. She soughtrepparttar 140993 lamp, found it, and then had it. She probably didn't think much about it after that.

This is not what seeking God is all about. We cannot simply seek God, find Him, and then have Him. We can't put Him on a shelf somewhere and forget about Him. Paul, in his epistle torepparttar 140994 Colossians gives us some insight into what it means to seek God. He tellsrepparttar 140995 Colossians, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting atrepparttar 140996 right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things onrepparttar 140997 earth." (Colossians 3:1,2) We need to set our minds on things above. In other words, we need to have God inrepparttar 140998 forefront of our consciousness. As we meet problems in life, or as we make decisions, we need to be asking ourselves, "What would God have me do in this situation?" We need to throw offrepparttar 140999 phoniness of "playing Christian," and be known as a person who seeks God.

There are many ways in which we seek God: through prayer, memorization of scripture, fasting, Bible study, attending worship services, communion service, listening to gospel music or taped sermons, meditating on God and His word, and sharing Christ with one another.

The book of Isaiah tells us that we should seek God while He is near, "Seekrepparttar 141000 LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near." (Isaiah 55:6) Seeking God is also exercising our faith in Him. It is impossible to please God without faith. (See Hebrews 11:6) However, for many Christians,repparttar 141001 only time they make a conscience effort to seek God is when there is trouble, when they want something, or when they expect a blessing. This is not wholeheartedly seeking God.

So why don't people seek God? The answer is spelled out for us inrepparttar 141002 fourth chapter of Deuteronomy in verses 25-28. Many of us have fallen intorepparttar 141003 same trap asrepparttar 141004 Israelites, we have set up for ourselves false gods. Some of our false gods are: money, job, family, things (cars, houses, etc.), sports, and pleasure. Do you serve any of these false gods, or perhaps others?

Sin in the Life of a Christian

Written by Stephen Kingery

We know from readingrepparttar Scriptures that Christ was without sin; there was no sin in His life. It was because of this fact that He was able to carry our sin torepparttar 140976 cross so that we can have forgiveness. It was throughrepparttar 140977 sinless life of Christ that it became possible that He wasrepparttar 140978 perfect sacrifice. God would accept nothing less than a perfect sacrifice for our sin. Therefore, we can know with assurance that because of Christ's death onrepparttar 140979 cross we can have forgiveness of sin and look forward to life in eternity with our Heavenly Father.

In our monograph titled "A Scriptural Look at Sin" I discussedrepparttar 140980 fact that we cannot overcome sin by ourselves. We can realize a victory over sin throughrepparttar 140981 strength of Jesus Christ. But how should a Christian live in relation to sin?

I think it is clear inrepparttar 140982 Scriptures that we are expected to live a life apart from sin. Consider what Peter tells us in this passage, "For to this you were called, because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, Nor was guile found in His mouth'; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten; but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body onrepparttar 140983 tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:21-24) It is clear that we are to follow in His steps; we are to live a life free of sin torepparttar 140984 best of our ability. When we fail to get rid ofrepparttar 140985 sin in our lives, we are not able to live in harmony withrepparttar 140986 Word of God. Our relationship withrepparttar 140987 Father, Son and Holy Spirit suffers because of it.

Let's explore a little further what happens to us when we become a Christian. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we have a deep regret forrepparttar 140988 sin we have committed in times past. This regret and sorrow causes us to repent of those sins. "Repenting" is not merely saying that we are sorry for those sins. It is, onrepparttar 140989 other hand, a deep regret which causes us to changerepparttar 140990 way we live; to stop sinning!

The Bible speaks of this repenting as being "crucified" or as being "dead to sin." Consider these passages: "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me..." (Galatians 2:20); "And those who are Christ's have crucifiedrepparttar 140991 flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:24); "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1,2); "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:11). Being "dead to sin" or being "crucified with Christ" isrepparttar 140992 same as saying that we have departed from sin, departed from a life of sinfulness. Paul says if quite well when he asksrepparttar 140993 question, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" His response is emphatic; "Certainly not!" We, as Christian, need to recognize that if we are to liverepparttar 140994 kind of life which is pleasing to God, sin must not be a part of our lives.

Our Christian walk should be one which is apart from sin. The Scriptures refer to us as "new creatures" and says that we are walking in "newness of life." "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) "Therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised fromrepparttar 140995 dead byrepparttar 140996 glory ofrepparttar 140997 Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4) "Old things have passed away" - these "old things" arerepparttar 140998 sins which we committed while still outside of salvation. "Behold, all things have become new" -repparttar 140999 "newness of life",repparttar 141000 opportunity to live apart from sin.

Is this merely an opportunity to live a life of sinlessness. No! It is much more than that. It is also a command that we should live a life apart from sin. Consider these passages: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed byrepparttar 141001 renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2); "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness ofrepparttar 141002 flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness inrepparttar 141003 fear of God." (2 Corinthians 7:1); "Abstain from every form of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22). These and other Scriptures clearly tell us that we are expected to live a life of holiness. We are expected to fight against sin in our lives and to winrepparttar 141004 victory over sin andrepparttar 141005 consequences that it has in our lives.

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