Matthew 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
Anxiety DepressesT. Jackson, B. A.Matthew 6:33
Anxiety Produces an Unhealthy Habit of MindWilmot Buxton.Matthew 6:33
By Fighting with Fancied IllsWilmot Buxton.Matthew 6:33
ForebodingDr. O. P. Fitzgerald.Matthew 6:33
Forecasting SorrowT. Jackson, B. A.Matthew 6:33
It Renders Insensible to Present GoodT. Jackson, B. A., Adam Littleton, D. D.Matthew 6:33
Live One Day in the DayJay.Matthew 6:33
Man's First DutyH. M. Villiers, M. A., J. W. Cunningham, M. A., Hugh McNeile, M. A.Matthew 6:33
Man's First Duty, and God's PromiseH. Melvill, B. D.Matthew 6:33
Meeting SorrowWilmot Buxton.Matthew 6:33
Providence Leaves no Excuse for IndolenceBeecher.Matthew 6:33
Religion Our Chief ConcernW. Fleming, D. D.Matthew 6:33
Seeking First the KingdomJ. Vaughan, M. A.Matthew 6:33
Sermon for the Fifteenth Sunday After TrinitySusannah Winkworth Matthew 6:33
Sorrows to be Borne SingleMatthew 6:33
Taking no Thought for the MorrowE. L. Hull, B. A.Matthew 6:33
The Care of the Body Transferred to the SoulJ. E. Good.Matthew 6:33
The Evil Here IsT. Jackson, B. A.Matthew 6:33
The First ConcernW. Cadman, M. A.Matthew 6:33
The First Object in LifeJ. Vaughan, M. A.Matthew 6:33
The First Object of Human PursuitR. Tuck Matthew 6:33
The Future Does not Belong to FearBeecher.Matthew 6:33
The Future Should not Embitter the PresentWilmot Buxton.Matthew 6:33
The Profitable PursuitW. Jay.Matthew 6:33
Unfitness a Great Occasion of AnxietyBeecher., T. Dale, M. A.Matthew 6:33
What T is Meant by Seeking the Kingdom of GodJohn Tillotson, D. D., William Beveridge, D. D.Matthew 6:33
Sermon on the Mount: 5. Thought for the MorrowMarcus Dods Matthew 6:19-34
Lessons of the FieldsJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 6:25-34
The Condemnation of the Toil of the WorldP.C. Barker Matthew 6:25-34

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. In a former homily on this chapter it is shown that the kingdom of God is the dom, or rule, of God's will. There is a traditional sentence given by Origen, and by Clement of Alexandria, which our Lord might have uttered, for it is very like this authentic passage: "Ask great things, and little things shall be added to you; ask heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added to you." Man is made for God. "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God, and enjoy him for ever." "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." In this text our Lord says, "There is one great end and purpose of your being, and that you must voluntarily make your one, first, chief end." There may be intermediate ends and objects which rightly call for your attention, but there is one which must never be forgotten. You were made for God; to love him, to serve him, to praise him, to live in fellowship with him, to do and to bear his holy will. The true order of our human pursuits should be - first, God; second, others; third, self. Or, to put it in another way - first, righteousness; second, duty; third, pleasure. Or some point and freshness may be gained by making a distinction between the kingdom and the righteousness.

I. GOD'S KINGDOM IS THE REIGN OF HIS WILL. And that concerns conduct. God's will covers and concerns all our doings and relations.

II. GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS HIMSELF. And that is character; concerns character; stands as model for the moulding of character. Then man's two supreme ends - which are really erie - which he must always and everywhere put in the first places, are:

1. God's character - to be like him.

2. God's will - to serve him. It will be a joyful surprise to any man to find how all life goes into place, and everything gets provided for, when he seeks first the kingdom and righteousness. - R.T.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God.
I. WHAT we are to seek.

II. How we are to seek.

1. First in time.

2. First in attention.

3. What are your desires?

4. What are your exertions? These last two will reveal the object of your search.


1. Though destitute, as we naturally are, of His kingdom and righteousness, if we seek them in the manner here required, we shall obtain them.

2. Besides gaining this kingdom and righteousness, all other things shall be added unto us.Religion has a friendly influence over secular affairs; other things occupy too much of your time and attention.

1. This undue solicitude injures your spiritual welfare.

2. It is hurtful even to your temporal welfare.

(W. Jay.)

1. From the excellence of the objects which it proposes.

2. From the certainty of its rewards.

(W. Fleming, D. D.)

I. The CONCLUSION" to which the Saviour arrives.

1. The carefulness forbidden.

2. The grounds on which the prohibition is founded.

(1)It is heathenish.

(2)It is ungrateful.

(3)Fruitless and unnecessary.


II. The DUTY commanded us.

1. The objects we are to pursue — "The kingdom of God."

2. The precept given us respecting them — "Seek first."

(1)Make religion our earliest and primary object of attention.

(2)Give it preference.

3. The promise annexed to the pursuit.


1. What a friend to man is Christianity!

2. What an enemy to our peace is a worldly spirit:

3. What a reproof does this administer to multitudes of the hearers of the gospel!

(J. E. Good.)

Suppose a man should be religious for the sake of temporal advantage. Whatever a man's motive, that is the first thing. Therefore this man is not seeking first the kingdom of God, but the temporal advantages to which his religion is subservient. Do not let a poor man be tempted to think that because he is not richer, either he is not a seeker, or God is not a faithful promiser. Occasions on which we may especially urge this text: —

1. Upon the young man just entering into life.

2. The man who is passing under some temptation to compromise a principle for the sake of some worldly interest — in friendship or business. Whatever be your engagements in life, remember that you have a prior one. And in whatever relation you stand to man, never forget that you have a higher one.Keep your eye on the eternal.

1. Remember that there is a kingdom within, in which the spiritual is to reign over the carnal.

2. That there is a kingdom around you, which is God's Church, which is your foremost duty to extend.

3. That there is a kingdom coming which shall put to shame all the riches of this present world.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

The word "seek" is contrasted with the same word used in the thirty-second verse: "After these things do the Gentiles seek." With what activity, zeal, are these things attended to!

I. We need no argument to convince you THAT THE THINGS AFTER WHICH THE GENTILES SEEK OCCUPY A GREAT PLACE IN MEN'S MINDS. and necessarily so. Religious ordinances not merely for enjoyment, but to strengthen for the toil of life. But men postpone their salvation. This is against God's ordinance, "Seek first."

(1)In point of preference.

(2)In point of time.

(3)In point of anxiety.

II. THE ASSURANCE CONNECTED WITH THIS COMMAND. This is a positive assurance; the fulfilment depends upon the faithfulness of God.

1. He argues from the less to the greater — "Is not the life more than meat?"

2. He takes us to God's providential care over the lower creatures.

3. If men indulge in disquieting care, what benefit do they derive?

4. Disquieting care is as unnecessary as it is unprofitable. "Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things." A common objection is, "How is it that so many good people are in want?" Have they been seeking God first?

(W. Cadman, M. A.)

of God: —


1. To have the whole of one's heart in subjugation to God.

2. To extend the Church.

3. To pray for and help on the Second Advent.


1. There was the righteousness in which man was first made.

2. There is a righteousness which is a part of the character of God.

3. There is a righteousness composed of all the perfections of the life of Christ.Now this is the righteousness which every good man seeks.

1. That it will justify him before God.

2. Then something that will justify him before his own conscience.

3. The comfort of the thought that it is not to attainers, but to seekers.

4. There is one God in providence and in grace.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)


1. In priority of time.

2. In excellence of value.

3. It implies diligence.

4. It implies consideration. How the unjust steward planned his conduct.

5. Seek a personal interest in the kingdom of God.

6. Seek the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom.

7. Seek the glory of the kingdom.

II. His REWARD." Godliness hath promise of the life that now is, as well as of that which is to come." God is revealed as love; will He allow His servants to starve? He has given a positive pledge" He spared not His own Son; shall He not with Him freely give us all things?"

(H. M. Villiers, M. A.)


1. By the busy, anxious, laborious class of the community.

2. By the lovers of pleasure.

3. By the lovers of worldly honours and sordid applause.

4. By the professors of religion.


1. The kingdom of God is entitled to this deference.

2. If not sought first, will never be found at all.

3. In this search, all other essential throes will be granted.

(J. W. Cunningham, M. A.)

I. WHAT ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND BY THE KINGDOM OF GOD? The reign of God, the ascendency of God. Self is the great usurper. The righteousness named is the Christian character in all the details of practical religion. To seek them, is to desire these above all other things.

II. ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU. Temporal necessities. The kingdom of God, etc.

1. It will guard a man against those vain, ostentatious habits above his real income, which bring so many into difficulties, and eventually ruin.

2. It will preserve from those lax and slovenly habits of management which bring so many into ruin.

3. It will preserve from all dishonesty.

(Hugh McNeile, M. A.)

Jacob's blessing has the preference over Esau's. It is well to obtain first "the dew of heaven," then the fatness of the earth. Things are only of value as God blesses them; God's gifts are better than His permissions. The promises of prosperity in the New Testament are small.

I. HOW FAR MAY OUR TEXT BE USED AS A MOTIVE TO GODLINESS? Suppose a family with whom everything goes wrong, their best pains useless. No religion in the family. If I could work a moral change, I feel that the only way of avoiding want. No matter what means used, so long as the man is brought to God. But we must not make secular good the motive; this would not be seeking first the kingdom.

II. WHAT RESTRICTIONS DOES OUR TEXT IMPOSE UPON HUMAN CAREFULNESS? It gives no sanction to those enthusiasts who would renounce all worldly provision. Anxiety they ought to dismiss, but not attention; lay aside distrust, but not industry. Not to seek only the kingdom, but first; this implies a second. The text gives no promise of superfluities.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

1. A fixed design and resolution to that end. Like the term and end of a man's journey, towards which the traveller is continually tending, and hath it always habitually in his intention, though he doth not always think of it every step that he takes.

2. Care and diligence as to the means. That we make religion our business, and exercise ourselves in the duties of it, both in public and private. With the same seriousness and application of mind as men do in their callings and professions.

3. Zeal and earnestness in the pursuit of it. The greatness of the design, and the excellency of' what we seek after, will justify the highest degree of discreet zeal and fervour in the prosecution of

4. Patience and perseverance in our endeavours after the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Notwithstanding all the difficulties, discouragements, the opposition and persecution we may meet with, for righteousness' sake.

(John Tillotson, D. D.)

I. Constantly and sincerely make use of all means such as He hath prescribed whereby to obtain and practise true grace.

II. Consult and study the Word of God, wherein He hath revealed His will to you.

III. Make it daily your prayer to God, that He, for His Son's sake, will assist you with His grace and Holy Spirit in doing this.

(William Beveridge, D. D.)

Take the flowers of the field. They do not reap nor plant; and yet God clothes them with beauty. Very good; the flower has to develop. There is not a single flower in all the wilderness, nor in all gardens, whether of the Orient or here on our continent, that does not work for a living. It sprouts from the seed. It sends down its roots, and every one of these roots is a purveyor hunting underground here, there, and everywhere; developing, spreading out, sucking within and sucking without, dissolving the mineral, pumping here for the juices that are to run up, and searching for water yonder. The willow finds moisture, even though you should not be able to. In darkness the long vine reaches out to the light, seeks it, and at last finds it. Every plant that lives and comes to perfect plant-life is a worker, only on the plane to which he belongs with his limited development, and with his limited organization. It works for a living; and what does it find'? What does the bird find? He finds that God so orders the affairs of this world that when ha works according to his nature he is provided for. The plant, when it works and develops itself according to the laws of its nature, finds that providence has provided for it. When a man works and develops according to his nature, he finds a providence that makes it possible for him to live and to thrive.


Men are mistaking all the time what they are fit for. Shall a weak man go into the ring to wrestle? Shall a dell and heavy man go on the road to race? Shall an unskilled man undertake to carry on the most skilful shop? Men are all the time miscarrying and miscarrying; it is the collision between impotence and desire that is all the time putting them back; and they are worrying and fretting and anxious.


1. Because nothing can happen to any without God's general permission.

2. Because nothing shall happen to His people without God's special direction.

3. Because in what does happen, the terms good and evil, as we are accustomed to employ them, are often misunderstood and misapplied.

4. Because sufficient will be afforded by every passing day to exercise oar powers and occupy our thoughts, without extending our views beyond.

(T. Dale, M. A.)

1. It renders us insensible to present good.

2. It unfits for the activities of to-day. Anxiety depresses.

4. It gives a practical denial of the Christian creed.

5. It has a saddening influence upon others.

(T. Jackson, B. A.)

Men are worn out, enfeebled, aged more by corroding care than by hard labour. Look at a housemaid; if she be bright, cheerful, high-spirited, her toil is performed efficiently and speedily, to the satisfaction of herself and her mistress. How different if she is cheerless and gloomy! "A merry heart goes all the day: a sad tires in a mile," observes our great dramatist; while the Chelsea philosopher says, "Give us, oh, give us the cheerful man that sings at his work. He will do more in the same time; he will do it better; he will persevere longer. One is scarcely sensible to fatigue when marching to music."

(T. Jackson, B. A.)

A young lady once expressed to Hogarth, the great satirist, a wish to learn to draw caricature. "Alas!" said he, "it is not a faculty to be envied. Take my advice, and never draw caricature. By the long practice of it I have lost the enjoyment of beauty; I never see a face but distorted, and have never the satisfaction to behold the human face divine." So, by constantly looking at the dark side of their life, its distorted and unpleasant aspect — evils at hand and those looming in the distance — men lose the power to appreciate the blessings which are theirs, and make them an object of envy to their neighbours.

(T. Jackson, B. A.)

I. Folly to be wholly taken up with the accessories, and neglect the principal.


1. Do not anticipate your cares.

2. Do not add vexation to your life by forecasting and designing uncertainties.

3. Leave events to God's infinite, all-wise disposal.

4. Look after your present duty.

5. Reserve all your strength about you, to bear you up against present difficulties and temptations.


1. Brings care of its own.

2. Brings new duties.

3. Fresh troubles.

4. Both its hands are full. Today has enough to do of its own; to-morrow brings its own harvest.

(Adam Littleton, D. D.)


1. Afflictions.

2. Troubles.

3. Incumbrances and turmoils of life. Every day finds us enough to do. Every year brings us enough to suffer.


1. Temptations and lapses.

2. Allurements.

3. Suggestions of Satan.

4. Enticements of the world.As if the load of cares each day lays upon our shoulders were not heavy enough, we ourselves do fetch in more grist, and heap more bags still upon ourselves, by bringing future cares upon us.

(T. Jackson, B. A.)

We must regard this injunction as Christ here regards it, as flowing from faith.

1. Faith may be intuitive. It springs at once from love. You have experienced hours when the Presence of a heavenly Friend seems most real; doubt was impossible. Such a faith is a defiance of life's evils, dares all futurity. The faith of love soars above all the sorrows of time, and gazes on the glory of immortality.

2. Faith arises from reflection on the revelation of God. The belief springing from love does not always live; it is fitful. In nature we find a Fatherly care extending to the least of God's creatures. Is it possible that faith in this Father can exist with anxious care for the morrow?

3. Faith rises from the conscious feebleness of man. The more we are conscious of our own ignorance and powerlessness, the more utterly can we leave the future in God's hands.

(E. L. Hull, B. A.)

The past belongs to gratitude and regret; the present to contentment and work; the future to hope and trust.


1. This meeting trouble half way is both a sin and an act of folly. God watches over us as individuals. We are doubting God's love and care for us.

2. This habit of looking out for sorrows makes us forget our past and present blessings.

3. It is a sin to meet sorrow half way, because our present troubles are sufficient without seeking for others.

4. It is a sin because it is a want of faith in God.

5. It makes us melancholy, suspicious, and unfit for duty.

(Wilmot Buxton.)

A man once planted two rose trees, one on either side of his house. The trees were equally strong and healthy, but after a time the one grew and prospered, the other withered and died. Then the man discovered that the living rose tree was on the sunny side of the house. Brethren, we must have the sunshine of faith and hope on our lives, or we cannot live. I have read of a little child who was often observed playing by itself, and laughing and singing with delight. They asked the child what it was playing with, and the little one answered, "I am playing with sunbeams." It would be better for some of us who are too apt to look on the dark side to imitate that happy child. If we allow ourselves to be always haunted by the shadow of fancied misfortune, we shall lose faith in prayer, since the black shadow will have eclipsed the face of God.

(Wilmot Buxton.)

Will you shudder at winter's snow whilst the flowers of summer are growing around you?

(Wilmot Buxton.)

Your feet will become so tender from treading on imaginary thorns, that they will not endure the true thorny path, and there is such a path for all to tread.

(Wilmot Buxton.)

John Newton says: "Sometimes I compare the troubles we have to undergo in the course of a year to a great bundle of fagots, far too large for us to lift. But God does not require us to carry the whole at once. He mercifully unties the bundle, and gives us first one stick, which we are to carry to-day, and then another, which we are to carry to-morrow, and so on. This we might easily manage if we would only take the burden appointed for us each day; but we choose to increase our trouble by carrying yesterday's stick over again to-day, and adding to-morrow's burden to our load before we are required to bear it." "Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."

I. ITS NATURE. It is a painful, growing, contagious, discouraging habit.

II. The CAUSES of this unhappy disposition. Constitutional. Bad health. Lack of faith in God.

III. The REMEDY for this evil habit or disposition of mind. If the result of physical causes must be treated accordingly. If the result of constitutional melancholy must be borne patiently, etc. If from defective faith can only be remedied by an increase of faith.

(Dr. O. P. Fitzgerald.)

We may consider the year before us as a desk containing 365 letters addressed to us; one for every day, announcing its trials and prescribing its employments, with an order to open daily no letter but the letter for the day. Now, we may be strongly tempted to unseal, beforehand, some of the remainder. This, however, would serve only to embarrass us, while we should violate the rule which our Owner and Master has laid down for us.


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