Summary Statement

How do we develop a right state of mind in balancing life. How do we balance our heart between earthly things and heavenly things. Jesus tells us clearly that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  [Matthew 6:33 NIV]

The kingdom of God” is the focus of Jesus’ when He gave the Sermon on the Mount. Now He is summarizing all that He has talked about and illustrated to those who would listen. God is erecting in this fallen world His kingdom. And “His righteousness” is the goal He wants to establish in us. It is a choice that we will make whether we will direct our lives in pursuit of our lives or His life in us.  If we are seeking of God’s kingdom and His righteousness “first” then everything becomes subordinate to what God is doing. We will be seeking His will and His holiness before and above all else.

Christ followers are on a different path than those outside of the Kingdom of God. Jesus introduced this revolutionary thought with this fact as a reference point: “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you.” [Mat 6:32]A good illustration of this spiritual principle can be seen in the conversation between God and King Solomon. Let’s listen in. Solomon requested, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people.” Then he asked, “Who is able to govern this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king,  therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” [2CH 1:10-12]

He has control over all things, and He can give you what you need. He will give you what he deems best for you. Here are some questions that will help assess just where the balance is in our life.

1. What comes First in allocating my time.

2. What is First in getting my attention.

3. What is First in my desires?

4. Where is the major portion of my energies spent?

This is an age-old problem. Here are what some others have said about the balance in their lives.

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. [Adaption of Westminster Confession]

“Seek that, to which other things are necessarily connected.” [Old Jewish saying]

“Do not be anxious about the supply of your needs, whether of body, mind, or heart. God knows what you need. If He has given life, will He not maintain it? Does He not care for the birds and flowers? Did He not give His Son, and will He withhold any good? Trust Him and be at peace.” [F.B. Meyer]

“Happy are those who take the Lord for their God, and make full proof of it by trusting themselves wholly to his wise disposal.” [Matthew Henry]

“Christ tells us that there is a true order of human endeavor, and that when that order is followed all the lesser concerns of human life find sufficient and unfailing guarantee.” [Great Texts of the Bible]

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.” [Apostle Paul, Romans 14:17 -18 NIV]

May we have the same mind-set of seeking wisdom and knowledge as did Solomon and follow the prescription that Jesus gave us. It is our choice. It is always our choice.

“I will … meet you there.”

And Jesus says to them, “All of you will fall away, because it stands written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. But after I have been raised I will go before you into Galilee.”

But Peter said to Him, “Even if all will fall away, certainly not I.”

And Jesus says to him, “Truly, I am saying to you, that, as for you, today, on this night, before a rooster crows twice, three times you will deny me.”

And Peter kept on saying with more vehemence and iteration, “If it should be necessary for me to die with you, I will positively not deny you.”

Moreover, in like manner also all kept on saying. [Mark 14:27-31 Wuest Translation]

‘all of you will desert me’— Jesus knows things and He knows our hearts. He tells them ahead of time in plain language that cannot be misconstrued, that they, every last one of them will abandon Him before the night is done. Jesus wants them to know that He knows them better than they know themselves; they will fail. But He is not rejecting them. Nor will he reject them later.

‘I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.’ In the following hours those words may have seemed far-fetched in the disciples minds. This morning as I thought through this whole passage, I was struck by the enormity of Jesus’ words. We often fail our LORD and can be very troubled by the failure. But there is reason for hope. There is reason for knowing that He is a God of mercy and inhuman patience. Here is reason to ask forgiveness, maybe for the thousandth time. He is waiting for us.

‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ Jesus is doing what He is doing based not on our actions or best intentions but on His Father’s purpose. Otherwise there would be not saving grace. We would have no mercy before a just God. The disciples will scatter because they are offended that their hopes are being destroyed. They will stumble. They will lose confidence. Those are the facts that Jesus is putting on the table for them and because His word is indisputable, they will become evidence to the truth about human condition. They are becoming offended at the manner with which Jesus is attempting to bring in His kingdom. Their offense in Him, as were the religious leaders, causes them to not acknowledge His authority. They did not want to be caught up in issues with the Roman government that could easily kill them for their association with Jesus.

I can be most certainly like Peter, at least for some period of time, defending myself against Jesus accusatory [my feeling after I sin] words. I regularly desert Jesus. The temptation becomes powerful, so powerful that it overwhelms my defenses that are at a low point anyway. But Jesus is not accusatory here; He is not reproaching them. He is telling them of better things to come. Yes, there is going to be an immediate time [within a few short hours] of indescribable betrayal, gloom and bitterness in their souls. But wait! Here is the good news! ‘I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.’ By week end, you will experience the hope of the resurrection. No matter how far we feel we have moved away from God, He is always ready and willing to meet us. Take those guilty feelings to the One who knows you best.