Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It’s simple: seek the kingdom first

I love old people.  They’re like treasures waiting to be discovered.  Sure it’s true that they can move slowly, tend to forget things or seem like they’re stuck in their own ways.  But they can also have such an uncomplicated way of looking at things.  It makes their wisdom clear and simple.  The long years of their lives have shown them what is important, and nothing sways them from their course.

Take Uncle T, for instance.  In his 70s, Uncle T is an elder of one of the largest rural house church networks in China.  He is responsible for helping to oversee the leading of literally millions of believers throughout the country which involves discipling Christians and teaching them the Bible.  At the same time though, Uncle T has a farm and his livelihood to maintain.  His wife and family depend on him.  His custom has thus been to farm for about four months and devote the rest of the year to serving in the church.  Needless to say, Uncle T’s days are full. 

Yet he does not complain about his lot in life.  Nor does he worry about not having enough time to complete everything.  He simply goes about his work faithfully day after day.  In fact, over the years people have been impressed not only with the church and its growth, but with his crops and livestock too.  He says that quite often he has received compliments or been asked advice about his farming. 

“How do you get such healthy pigs?” people ask.  “Do you pray to God to bless your crops?”

Uncle T has a wide grin on his face as he’s telling me this.  “No need!” he begins to explain.  “I don’t pray for God to bless my crops.  When you seek first His kingdom, all these things will be given to you as well.”

How many times have we heard or sung this familiar passage in Matthew 6?  But even more important, when will we heed?

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