Kingdom of God

Kingdom First

“Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” (Luke 12:31)

A jack-in-the-box is a weird toy, right? A child can just be cranking the handle, enjoying the music, when all of a sudden, a clown surprisingly jumps up. It’s shocking. The child might laugh or cry, it could go either way.

Jesus’s parables are sometimes like a jack-in-the-box. He’s telling the story, and everyone’s nodding their heads, thinking, “that’s right, Jesus,” when all of a sudden, the unexpected happens and we don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or pray for forgiveness.

In Luke 12:13-23, Jesus tells one of these stories. On this occasion, a man asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide their father’s estate with him. Jesus saw into the man’s heart. He told the man to guard against greed because life isn’t measured by how much we own.

Then Jesus tells a story, as only Jesus can do.

A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, “What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.” Then he said, “I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, ‘My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!’”  (Luke 12:16-19)

Back in that time and place, prosperity was commonly accepted as a sign of God’s favor and blessing. The listeners of this story were probably nodding, agreeing with the man’s effort to lay up riches for himself. Little did they know that Jesus was about to spring a jack-in-the-box moment on them.

But God said to him, “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?” (Luke 12:20)

Jesus didn’t compliment the rich man in the story on his great wisdom and vast wealth, as his listeners must have expected. Instead, Jesus causes everyone listening to rethink their beliefs and assumptions with the words, “you fool.” His listeners had to question whether a life focused on accumulating more and more wealth was actually the life of a fool. We could die at any moment. What good will our possessions do for us then?

Jesus uses this pithy story to teach us that money isn’t as important as we like to think it is. In the kingdom of God, life is about faith. Jesus says it is unbelievers who worry about not having enough money. He advises his followers to seek the kingdom of God above everything else. He promises that those who put God’s kingdom first will have all their needs supplied. When we put the kingdom of God in first place, everything else falls into its proper place.

Dear God, it’s so easy to believe more money and more possessions bring happiness, but I know only you and your kingdom can satisfy my heart and soul. Help me seek your kingdom before anything else. Help me to not worry about my finances, but to trust you to meet my needs. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Kingdom of God


“So, do not be afraid, little flock, for it gives the Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

What do we think of when we hear the word, “kingdom?”

Some of us will immediately think of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. It enthralls millions of visitors each year with parades, fantasy, music, fireworks, and imaginative attractions like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Jungle Cruise. They call it, “the happiest place on earth,” but it’s only good for as long as your ticket lasts.

Some of us might think of a country, such as the United Kingdom, home of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, and Prince William and Princess Kate. They have crowns and castles, tiaras and titles. Royalty undoubtedly has some pretty sweet perks, but to be royal in the UK, one must marry a royal or be born to royal parents.

Maybe, just maybe, we think of the Kingdom more amazing than any other—God’s Kingdom. Righteousness, peace, and joy overflow in God’s Kingdom (Romans 14:17). The Kingdom brings healing (Luke 10:9) and breaks demonic strongholds (Luke 11:20). Those who focus on the Kingdom find all their needs are supplied (Matthew 6:33).

In God’s Kingdom, we don’t have to be afraid in times of trouble because our Father offers us his presence, provision, and protection. We don’t have to fear sickness because healing flows in the Kingdom. We don’t have to fear death because citizens of the Kingdom have eternal life.

Unlike the Magic Kingdom, the Kingdom of God doesn’t require a ticket. And unlike the UK, we don’t have to be born a royal to be a citizen of God’s Kingdom. When we repented of our sins and accepted Jesus, God adopted us as his own. “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:5). Out of his love for us, God adopted us. We became children of the King and a citizen of the Kingdom, with all the privileges that come along with citizenship.

So, where’s our focus today? Are we troubled by our problems? Are we worried, stressed, or afraid of what we see happening in our world? Have we forgotten who we are…and whose we are?

“The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19).

It’s time to lift up our heads and look beyond our circumstances. We’re the chosen and cherished children of the King, and he rules over all. We’re dearly loved. Our heavenly Father rejoices to give us the Kingdom.

Dear God, it is a privilege to be able to call you, “Father.” I am thankful to be your child, and to be a citizen of your Kingdom. In every situation, every circumstance, and every part of my journey, I will remember who I am. Let the righteousness, peace, joy, and power of the Kingdom live in my heart. In Jesus’s name, amen.

What is different in your life because you are a child of God? Leave a comment in the “Reply” section below.