seek ye first the kingdom of god
Faith

Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God: Living A Life Of Faith

The Apostle Paul led a less than perfect life. Remarkably, he became a fearless minister, full of wisdom, testifying of Christ through thought, word, and action, in an increasingly hostile world.

When Paul proclaimed: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Philippians 1:20) it was as if he were saying, “I desire to give my utmost for His highest.”

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How does one give their utmost for His highest? By seeking first the kingdom of God.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Jesus Christ will provide the needs of His followers as we devote our lives to Him. As we, with hearts full of CHARITY and GRATITUDE, dedicate our lives to the service of others, acting as instruments in the hands of the Savior, and, in so doing, build up the kingdom of God, we can join the Apostle Paul in giving our utmost for His highest. As Christine Franco so beautifully stated, “In reality, you can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His people. I love Him and desire to put away selfish desires in order to love and minister as He does.” 1

With the FAITH required to move forward in obedience to Christ’s teaching to seek first the kingdom of God, we give our lives to Him with full DEVOTION—always making our relationship with Him our first priority.

 

 

What does putting the Savior first look like?

It looks like the lives of Oswald Chambers and his wife, Gertrude Hobbs.

Oswald, a Scottish Christian minister and teacher, once proclaimed, “Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only–My Utmost for His Highest.’ I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him, and for Him alone.”

He then proceeded to dedicate his short life to doing just that—building up the Kingdom of God and making Jesus his first priority.

Born in Scottland in 1874 to a Baptist minister father and his gracious wife, Oswald studied art and music in London before abruptly changing his major to Christian ministry, something he said he would never do “unless God takes me by the scruff of the neck and throws me in”.

While serving as a traveling speaker, Oswald met Gertrude Hobbs. Their friendship blossomed during a voyage to the United States where, two years later, in 1910, they were married. Oswald affectionately called his new wife his “Beloved Disciple”, shortened to the initials B.D. and spoken as “Biddy”. She was known by this nickname for the rest of her life.

The following year, Chambers opened the Bible Training College in London where he lectured often. Biddy, a trained stenographer, skilled at Pitman’s shorthand, recorded his words verbatim from the back row.

To them was born one daughter, Kathleen, in 1913.

The outbreak of WWI in 1914 led to the closing of the Bible Training College so Chambers took his wife and young daughter to Egypt where he volunteered as a YMCA secretary. Oswald, “a man of uncommon spiritual insight”, became a friend to many during their time in Egypt

 

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Biddy’s Legacy

Biddy led her own ministry of sorts while in Egypt. “she continued a ministry of hospitality that produced the special touches of home for the troops so far from their families.” In a letter to Biddy’s mother, Oswald freely praised his wife, claiming that, through is wife “God [was] conveying His presence through the common elements of an ordinary life.”

Oswald had a unique perspective when dealing with daily life at the camp, his motto being: ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.’ With this motto in mind, he created rock-lined pathways, flowerbeds, and other beautifying elements in the desert camp, for beauty mattered, he knew, even in the desperate circumstances they now found themselves.

In 1917, to the shock and disbelief of all those who loved him, Oswald passed away while recovering from an emergency appendectomy. He was 43.

Biddy and four-year-old Kathleen faced the daunting task of moving forward without their husband and father. For the next two years, they continued their work among the troops at Zeitoun. Later, Biddie collected the work of her husband, compiling the pieces into a book. She titled the book, “My Utmost for His Highest“.

 

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Despite Biddie’s busy schedule, her daughter, Kathleen, described her mother as “always having time for people”, be it a neighborhood child or a potential publisher. Whenever a knock came to the door, the tea kettle and tea cups would come out to encourage the guest to stay awhile.

Ozwald and Biddy Chambers are remarkable examples of “God conveying His presence through the common elements of an ordinary life.” As their lives so beautifully reflected, meaningful connections are a natural byproduct of living a life of faith, devotion, and charity.

 

A pattern born of love, with threads of faith, devotion, and charity delicately woven together, this teaching of Jesus has the potential to change the world:

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

 

 

RECOMMENDED READING: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (Gift Edition)

In what ways do you strive to “seek first the kingdom of God”? How has doing so blessed your life?

 

(Quote source: “My Utmost For His Highest” by Oswald Chambers)

 

RECOMMENDED: My Utmost for His Highest Devotional Journal

 

 

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Seek ye first the kingdom of God

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