READ: Matthew 6:19-34
COUNTERING MATERIALISM: People do struggle with the concept of putting God's kingdom first in their lives. Distractions so easily get in the way. Many people just want to focus on earthly things. Jesus points out the frustration of this (V.19). Let's pray for any people we know who struggle with the lure of materialism, trusting that their hearts will find a fresh location (V.21) in the Lord.
COUNTERING COVETOUSNESS: Jesus sets great store by the way that we look at things (V.22). One sure way to end up with darkness on the inside (V.23) is to look at everything covetously. If our priority is God's kingdom, then covetousness will not be a problem. Let's pray for a total freedom from covetousness, whether it is coveting people's possessions or their gifts and abilities. In God's kingdom we all, by His grace, have something to contribute.
COUNTERING HALF-HEARTEDNESS: Divided loyalties lead to half-heartedness (V.24). We will see so much more happen around us when we are whole-hearted for God's kingdom (see Matthew 10:7,8). Let 's pray for a whole-heartedness in our relationship with the Lord.
COUNTERING ANXIETY: Anxiety is a tremendous block when it comes to getting things done in God's kingdom. It can also be a huge block when it comes to entering God's kingdom. We can all find ourselves worrying about the most basic things - food, drink, clothing. The Lord Jesus makes it plain that God will provide (Vs. 25-32). Let's pray for those who struggle with worry and pray for a real revelation of God 's love and provision.
PRIORITISING PURPOSE: All of us need purpose in our lives and that purpose needs to be big enough to provide a context for all of our hopes and aspirations. Living for God's kingdom is really the only purpose large enough to satisfy us. Given its significance, we have to make it top priority (V.33a). Let's pray that we will have a real kingdom priority in every part of our lives.
PRIORITISING RIGHTEOUSNESS: The concept of having God's righteousness in our lives is at the heart of the gospel. We do not gain His righteousness by our own efforts - it comes through faith. When the Lord tells us, in the context of seeking God's kingdom, to also seek His righteousness (V.33b), He is not emphasising the mechanism by which we receive but the determination we must have in our hearts to be as righteous as He is. Let's stir ourselves up afresh to demonstrating the righteousness of God in every area of our lives.
THE PROMISE IN PERSPECTIVE: The promise of God's provision being "added" (V.33c) must not eclipse the greater truth that we will actually receive the primary things we seek - namely God's kingdom and God's righteousness. This is really exciting. Let's praise God for the truth of Matthew 7:7.