Our love for God will increase to overflowing.
This scripture passage reveals a very important truth. Some things are more important than others, therefore, it is necessary to seek, or to do those things first, in order to achieve the good and proper ends that we desire and were made for by our Father in Heaven. As Christians, our desired goal is to enter into the eternal presence of our God in heaven one day. As such, our first desire, then, should be to seek the path to God’s kingdom. We do that by developing the habits of his righteousness.
If we truly desire to seek God’s kingdom in this world, then we must answer his call to us to be saints in this world. In all honesty, we all know how difficult it is to be a saint in the world with all of its many distractions and temptations pulling at us all the time. The evil one sees himself at war with the Father. He cannot, for all of his pride and arrogance, compete with the infinite and eternal goodness, truth, and beauty that is of God and which is freely given to those who seek him with all their minds, hearts, souls, and strength. Because this is so he must disguise his temptations with the appearance of attractiveness. In the end, all of those false “appearances” prove to be ephemeral, empty, fruitless, and deadly lies. And we know this because we have succumbed to those lies at times ourselves and experienced their consequences.
God’s infinite love for us was revealed in the life, suffering, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. And in his infinite, unconditional love for us, even though we are sinners, He still urges us to strive to be saints in this sin-battered and broken world. The kingdom we seek is not of this world. “Put not your trust in princes/, in mortal men in whom there is no help” (Psalm 146:3) But if we put God and our desire to be in his kingdom first, and willingly endeavor to live in his righteousness, he promises us here in this passage that “all these things will be given you besides”.
What are “these things?” Despite the heretical arguments of the so-called “Prosperity Gospel”, they are not the things of this world. They are not earthly wealth, or vain and fleeting happiness on earth. What are they then? If we truly seek the kingdom of God first and his righteousness, we will receive things far greater than any of our worldly desires. We will begin to receive an increase in the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5: 22-23). These are the “riches” that enable us to become the saints that God calls us to be. If we seek his kingdom and righteousness first, we will see an increase in our faith that will give us the strength to live it openly and joyfully, even in the face of the world’s rejection, ridicule, and threat. We will experience an increase in the hope that sees the light beyond the darkness of despair. Our love for God will increase to overflowing and it will be witnessed by those around us through our love and our self-sacrificing service to and for others.
When we pray, “Thy kingdom come”, we do so not to ‘crush’ the unrighteous, but that they might see the joy of the kingdom in and through our lives and fall in love with it and be drawn to it themselves. It is in humility that we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. It is in humility that we recognize the natural law, the natural order of God’s law of love written into all of creation, and it is in this seeking of God’s kingdom first that, “all of these [good and eternal] things are given to us besides.” In seeking His kingdom and his righteousness first, we will find our truest joy, both here on earth and, praise be to God, in his heavenly kingdom, forever.SKM: below-content placeholder