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I AM RESOLVED

…to Put the Kingdom of God First in My Life

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    The kingdom was a subject of the Old Testament prophets (Dan. 2:44).

 

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed;  and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but is shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

 

B.      Both John the Baptist and Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom was near during their ministries.

1.      John (Matt. 3:1-2)

 

In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye:  for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

2.      Jesus (Matt. 4:17)

 

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent:  for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 

C.     The kingdom was established on the day of Pentecost following our Lord’s resurrection and ascension back to heaven.

1.      Jesus said the kingdom would come with power (Mark 9:1).

2.      He said the power would come when the Holy Spirit came (Acts 1:8).

3.      The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)

4.      Therefore, the kingdom came on the day of Pentecost.

 

D.    Many thought, and still believe, that the kingdom is an earthly, physical kingdom.  Jesus said that it is not (John 18:36).

 

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world:  if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews:  but now is my kingdom not from hence.

 

E.      The fact is that the kingdom and the church are the same institution.

1.      Jesus spoke of them interchangeably in Matthew 16:18-19.

2.      The kingdom came on Pentecost, and in Acts 2:47, we learn that the Lord added the saved to the church.

3.      Paul wrote to the saints and faithful brethren of the church in the city of Colossae (Col. 1:2).  In verse 13 of chapter one, he notes that they had been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

 

F.      Jesus is the King over this kingdom (I Tim. 6:15).

1.      He died to establish the kingdom.

2.      He loves and is deeply concerned about the kingdom.

3.      One day, He will deliver this kingdom to the Father.

 

G.     Now listen to what Jesus says to us about this kingdom of which we are now members (Matt. 6:33).

 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

1.      Today is the last day of 2017.

2.      Our theme this year has been:  “I Am Resolved…”

3.      Today, I want us to discuss the subject:  “I Am Resolved…to Put the Kingdom of God First in My Life.”

 

I.                    RANK:  FIRST

 

A.    The definition:

1.      Not 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.

2.      Having absolutely nothing that comes before

3.      Dictionary.com:  Being before all others with respect to time, order, rank, importance, etc.

 

B.      The kingdom, then work

The kingdom, then friends and family

The kingdom, then recreation

The kingdom, then rest and relaxation

The kingdom, then school and education

The kingdom, then health and exercise

The kingdom, then my convenience

 

C.     A failure to put the kingdom first shows:

1.      A disinterest in God

2.      A deafness to the Word of God

3.      A love for something above God

4.      A casting away of that which is truly valuable to man

5.      An inattentiveness to one’s soul and spiritual well-being

6.      A detachment from things spiritual, holy, and heavenly

7.      A distrust in the promises of God

 

II.                 RESPONSIBILITY:  SEEK

 

A.    The word “seek” is an action verb.

1.      It means “to pursue.”

2.      It means “to track down.”

 

B.      Examples of seeking:

1.      The merchantman sought the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:45).

 

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking goodly pearls.

 

2.      The shepherd who sought his lost sheep (Luke 15:4).

 

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

 

3.      Jesus seeking the lost upon the earth (Luke 19:10)

 

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

C.     Seeking means more than just discovering the kingdom.  It involves the use of one’s life in service to the kingdom.

1.      The world behind me, the cross before me.

2.      The old man is crucified, and Christ lives in me.

3.      We cease being conformed to the world and are transformed by the Word of God.

4.      We are no longer the servants of sin, but servants of righteousness.

5.      We cease using excuses and look for opportunities.

6.      We no longer wander in the wilderness, but are priests in the temple of God.

7.      We are no longer citizens of this world, but our citizenship in in heaven.

8.      Earthly pleasures have faded, and we look with hope to entering into the joys of our Lord.

9.      We are no longer sinners, but saints, consecrated to the service of God.

 

III.               REWARD:  ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED

 

A.    In the context, Jesus is referring to the physical necessities of life (Matt. 6:31-33).

 

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?  Or, what shall we drink?  Or, wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

NOTE:  So many of the things we forsake the kingdom for would be provided if we sought the kingdom first.  Why lose our souls to gain what the Lord would give us if we sought the kingdom first? (See Ps. 37:25).

 

B.      Many other things are also added to us when we seek the kingdom first.

1.      A relationship with the King.

2.      The blessings of the treasures of the kingdom

3.      The peace and order of living our lives by the law of the kingdom

4.      Relationships with other citizens of the kingdom

5.      A hope that we will continue to reside in the kingdom in the hereafter

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    First (Exo. 20:3)

 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

B.      Seek (I Tim. 6:11)

 

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

 

C.     All these things (Ps. 34:9)

 

O fear the Lord, ye his saints:  for there is no want to them that fear him.