As I shared yesterday, today's scripture reading is Matthew 6:33
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
How to read this scripture:
1) Meditation- First, I started out reading each word scripture very slowly. I gave myself at least 5 minutes to meditate on the scripture with a clear mind.
2) Ask- After you finish with your meditation of each word, it's always great to ask God how the scripture applies to your life. So, I asked God, "Dad, how does this relate to me?" "Am I seeking you first in my life?"
3) Dig Deeper - After meditation, God put it on my heart to go deeper into the meaning of the scripture. One of the first things God told me to do with this scripture is to find out more about the word "seek."
So, I did a topical search for the word "seek." A topical search helps you to have a deeper understanding of a word or topic in the Bible.
God may lead you to do a topical search on a word or topic to have a better understanding on what He's instructing you to do.
The topical search gave me the meaning for the word "seek" in Greek because the first translation of the Bible was done in Greek. When I searched the word "seek," I realized that the original greek word for "seek" is "ekzeteo," meaning to, "require, seek out after." The search also defined the word by emphasizing the "personal intent of the seeker." Lastly, the definition said "this seeking is only as valuable as the motive which drives it."
3) Revelation - Next, I took the definitions I found and opened my mind and heart for God to help me understand what He was trying to say.
Then, He broke down each definition to me. Let's go one by one:
a) "require, seek out after."
-Look at the Matthew 6:33. As you read, replace the word "seek" with the word "require."
As I read the scripture with the word "require," I realized God was literally telling me that in order to seek Him, I must make Him my first requirement. I must be intentional about requiring Him first in my life.
Think of things you think of as "requirements" and necessities. We all see cars, clothes, jobs, education, and a home as a requirement. But, are we being sure to require the kingdom of God first before all those things? Do we see God as a greater necessity than our need for a job or whatever else we have a passion for? If you lost your job, house, or had to drop out of school tomorrow, would you still trust God?
Have you realized how much of a necessity God is? As the scripture tells us, it's only once we require Him first that everything else can be added unto us. He must always be first.
I once went through a period of my life where I was unemployed for a year and a half. I was depressed, frustrated, and mad with God. My actions were praising Him on Sunday. But, my mindset proved how little I trusted Him. I didn't require Him before I required the other things in my life. If I did, there would be no need for complaint. Well, God kept me in that situation until I learned to have peace through my storm. Once I realized that He is my everything with or without a job, He was able to bless me with two great job offers. But, I had to learn to seek and require Him first so that all the other things (job, money, etc.) could be added to me.
b) Next definition: "personal intent of the seeker"
-This definition is basically saying that we are the ones who have to be intentional about seeking God. The intent is "personal" because seeking Him is your responsibility.
Like the scripture states, everything else can only be added unto us once we've learned to seek Him first. In other words, we can't expect God to deliver us from our fears, worries, insecurities, and to bless us if we aren't being intentional about putting Him first.
Think about what you do intentionally in life. If you intentionally go to work or school everyday, then you can intentionally spend time with God everyday.
c) Last definition: "this seeking is only as valuable as the motive which drives it."
Your seeking for God will only be as valuable as your motive to seek God. If you're having trouble seeking God, ask Him to help you examine your motives. For so many years, I wasn't hungry for God because my motives were unpure. I only had the motive to know Him because my parents taught me it was the "right" thing to do.
If you want to put God first, your motive has to be personal. You can't thrive in God based off what someone else has urged you to do. You won't have the desire to seek Him on your own if your only motive is to go after God because your pastor said so. You have to want God for yourself. Ask God to make you hungry for Him. Ask Him to stir a hunger in you like never before. Ask Him to purify your motives for having a relationship with Him. Don't seek Him just because you want a blessing, a husband, or because you want someone to pity you. Ask Him to help you go to Him with a clear heart and pure motives. Even if you've been knowing God for awhile, your motive to spend time with Him should always be done because you want to, not just because you feel like it's the "right" thing to do.
Are you hungry for God? Or is your time with Him just spent in routine? Let's let God bless our motives to seek Him by making us hungry for Him again! I guarantee you if you aren't hungry for God…then there's something else you are hungry for. Ask Him to eliminate any hunger you have that's greater than Him. Trust Him and let Him lead the way!
For the next few days, I'll be looking more into Matthew 6. You all are welcome to join me with Matthew 6 or move on somewhere else as God leads you.
Use what you've learned in this email as a guideline as to how to study the Word. Don't overwhelm yourself. Take only 1-3 scriptures each day and then apply them to your life! Don't just read to read…read to live!
Remember…let's get in at least one hour or more of uninterrupted time with God! Don't forget, your prayer life is just as important as your scripture reading! So, get more time in with prayer, too!
Reach out if you have questions! I'm so proud of everyone for growing in God like never before! I'll send out out the next email in a few days…Until then…
I love you!
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Other blogs on this topic:
- How to Read God's Word
- How to Spend Time with God
- 3 Ways to Get What You Want From God
- 4 Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with God