On Seeking First God's Kingdom
The meaning of Matt 16:19 is, therefore, not fundamentally different from Matt. 6:33: "Seek more than anything else to act with the kingdom of God and to have His kind of goodness, and all else you need will be added." (paraphrase) Or Romans 8:32: "He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things." (NAS) Or the well-known Philipians 4:19: "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (NAS)
But if the abundance is here, enough even to defeat the "Gates of Hell," why are we not thriving in it? The answer is that we have a key to the keys. The abundance of God to our lives, our families and our ministries is not passively received or imposed and does not happen to us by chance, but is claimed and put into action by our active, intelligent pursuit of it. We must seek out ways to live and act in union with the flow of God's kingdom life that should come through our relationship with Jesus.
There is, of course, no question of doing this purely on our own. But we must act. Grace is opposed to earning, not to effort. And it is well-directed, decisive and sustained effort that is the key to the keys of the kingdom and to the life of restful power in ministry that those keys can open to us.
(The Great Omission:Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship by Dallas Willard, p. 33-34)
Not to be morbid in any way, but it is so interesting to read everything I read this morning in light of possibly facing the end of this life. The biopsy came back "inconclusive" with "darker than normal" cells. Therefore, I am having a surgery to remove it with margins. It will be interesting to see what she finds. It may or may not be melanoma. If it is, it may have been caught early. It may be in my body in other places. But seeking His Kingdom is the focus. I am not afraid of death, and I am grateful He has put it in my heart to be a Kingdom Seeker! :)