First Things First

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Matthew 6:25-34 (v. 33) NKJV
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

A wise sage once said, “first you make habits, then habits make you!” Truer words were never spoken. If you want to receive all that life has in store for you, you must develop great habits. The things that you give priority to in your life are the things that will manifest in your life.

The Apostle Matthew is credited with writing the book that bears his name. He was a Jew who was a former tax collector, an occupation despised by Jews because of their tendency to overtax their own people for their own personal benefit. It’s most ironic that Matthew is the only Apostle to record Jesus’ pronouncement of the Beatitudes, specific blessings and the rewards that accompany those blessings. As a tax collector, Matthew understood intimately what it meant to prioritize wealth and possessions. But his new-found understanding of Jesus changed his perspective. He not only records the Beatitudes, but goes on from chapter 5, verse 10 through Chapter 6 and verse 24 to share Christ’s words of encouragement so that his readers would likewise be recipients of God’s blessings.

In verse 25, Matthew begins by recording Jesus’ admonition not to worry…, about anything! The things he probably worried about as a tax collector he soon discovered were superfluous. The only thing that was important and truly relevant was seeking the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness. The material things in life, the extravagant, the opulent, the luxurious, were no longer necessary. If there was a need to have any of those things, the Lord would add them as needed.

Before food, water, shelter, or clothing, seek the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness. The Beatitudes, the blessings Jesus spoke of, are only granted as one pursues the pathway that leads to God’s Kingdom.

So, let’s get this straight, the way to be blessed and prosperous in life is to put first things first. We must seek the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness and do it with all our hearts and all of our soul.

Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company and The J. Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at

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