I have just found another set.
But seek first His kingdom and all these things [food, clothing, shelter, etc] shall be added unto you, Matt 6:33.
You have sown much, but bring in little; you eat, but have not enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but none is warm; and he who earns wages earns wages to put into a bag filled with holes. You looked for much and lo it came to little; and when you brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because my house lies in waste while you run every man to his own house, Haggai 1:6,9.
The first chapter of Haggai is a rebuke from God to those who returned from captivity and, though they had professed a desire to rebuild the temple of God, had neglected it. Instead they spent their time on their own needs and desires. The needs were legitimate, but they had lost their sense of priority, and ultimately their trust in God to provide for them. And so, since they took from God their time and service, He took from them His blessings.
“My house comes first,” God was saying. “If you trust me to take care of you, you will have plenty of time to build it.”
Four hundred years later Jesus tells us the same thing. God’s kingdom, His “house” (1 Tim 3:15), is supposed to be the priority in our lives. The mission of that house is our mission. He will clothe us, Jesus says. He will feed us, He will put a roof over our heads as long as we put His house first, (Matt 6:25-34).
But like the Israelites, we often neglect the kingdom while we pursue our “necessities.” Perhaps the problem is that we are not satisfied with a “roof;” we want the upscale model in the “right” neighborhood. We are not satisfied with sustenance; we want to eat out five nights a week. We are not satisfied with “raiment” as fine as the lilies; we want designer duds. And so we spend more and more of our time working to pay for those things and the house of God, and its mission, are ignored. Surely God will understand, we say, and reach for a handy verse just as Satan often did: “It is written,” we piously comment, “if any will not work, neither let him eat,” 2 Thes 3:10!
If we neglect God’s house, He will stop sending blessings as surely as He stopped sending them to those materialistic Israelites of old. “First” means first, not second, not if there is enough time, not if I get the kind I want. It means we adjust our wants to suit Him, not the other way around.
What is truly “first” in your life today?
Trust in Jehovah and do good; dwell in the land and feed on his faithfulness. Commit your way unto Jehovah; trust also in him and he will bring it to pass. Better is a little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread, Psalm 37:3,5,16,23.