Sunday, 31 July 2011

Salvation - Repentance

When many try to repent from their sins, including myself - you just want it to happen like magic; you don't want to try or persevere but just want God to interfere. But I love what I heard someone say once, "Jesus is a gentleman, He doesn't interfere or force Himself you've got to let Him in."

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. - James 4:7

While trying to repent, I've always tried to resist the devil, didn't avoid uncomfortable situations but just tried to resist the devil - and he did not flee from me! Ever so often, it is easy for us to forget the beginning, the vital part of the verse. We've got to submit to God first and then resist the devil, then you will find that he WILL flee from you.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. - Philippians 4:8

This doesn't mean that we've got nothing to contribute, we have to take the first step. Like Philippians 4:8 says, if we surround ourselves by true, noble, right, admirable, pure, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy thoughts and things - why would we be in situations where we are prone to fall into the same old sin again? 
A big part of my sins was my obsession with secular music that are filled with non-biblical lyrics, artists whose lives do not reflect Christ. Through God's grace, prayer and submission to God, I have now abandoned secular music completely and surround myself with strong Christian songs, and trust me, that helped me a lot! Whether it is isolating yourself from ungodly conversations with your friends .etc. a little sacrifice from our part and total submission to God will lead to efficient repentance results.

Another vital factor that prevents us from repenting fully is our pride - the pride of confessing our sins, the pride of bringing our shameful sins into the open and showing that we are not perfect - I certainly found that a huge struggle to overcome. You will never be able to repent fully if you are filled with the self-image pride. The point at which your relationship with God matters more to you than your public image or this 'pride', that is where true repentance happens. In addition, most of my sins were to do with pleasing those around me, fitting into the world, because I valued friendships more than Jesus Christ - the point where my relationship with God became far more important than my relationship with others on earth, that is where I could turn from my sins easily.

A massive part of salvation is repentance - We've got to accept, Jesus as our Savior, confessing sins to Him and asking for forgiveness and more importantly, repenting from our sins to possess eternal life in Christ. - What is hindering your repentance? Find the problem and address it quickly. Your destiny hinges on this. 
In conclusion, you will not find that the day your saved you will cease sinning once and for all - you've got to battle with sin until you die physically but remember what Hebrews 10:14 says:

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The instance we accept Christ into our hearts, we are seen as perfect in God's eyes because of Christ's sacrifice for our sins, however, the rest of our Christian journey we are being refined and cleansed by God to become more holy, more like Him each day - Trust Him and turn from your sins; repent to avoid regret.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Christocentric Word - Psalm 22

As I was reading Psalm 22 lately, the profound Christocentric nature of it filled my eyes with wonder. In this post, let us just focus on this Psalm to just help us digest the divine origin of it and the ample connections it has to Jesus' life.

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 
This first verse makes a direct connection to Jesus straight away as we can see that the first question addressed by David was spoken, literally, by Jesus in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34. Isn't that mind-blowing? It certainly blew my mind away. Therefore, I feel that David indirectly tries to show his readers the pain and suffering the Messiah will go through around a 1000 years later.

As the entire chapter unfolds, it is easy for us to assume that Psalm 22 was written completely from Jesus' perspective. However, we need to remember and acknowledge the fact that we can never understand God's word completely; His word has 'clues' here and there to prompt our thoughts in the right direction and to help the readers of the time prepare for the most important event in history. This is evident in Psalm 22. Thus, the entire Bible is 'Christocentric' as it is God inspired; a group of men from various time periods can't, on their own, weave such a beautiful, prophetic, one-message-centered book.

Verse 3, Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises, makes direct reference to Jesus. We can be certain that He is the only 'Holy One'. Verses 4 and 5 reassure the reader of this Christocentric principle observed by saying, In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
It is clear from the mission of Jesus' ministry and all that He taught, that He came to save the lost. Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 10:9 remind us that Salvation can only be found in Christ and through Christ. We can clearly see the connection between these verses above and this crucial truth, thus, it is clear that they're Christocentric.

Although verses 6 and 7 introduce verse 8, verse 8 really struck me as it makes a direct connection, like verse 1, to Jesus' life itself.
“He trusts in the LORD,” they say, “let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.”
The above reminds us of the mockery Jesus faced when He was crucified from many present there, in one case even a criminal who was crucified with Him, these accounts can be found in Matthew 27:39-44, Mark 15:29-32 and Luke 23:35-39. This strong parallel that can be drawn between David's Psalm and the real incident recorded by three of the four Gospel writers is profound and jaw-dropping. 

As we move down the passage, in the later part of verse 16 and verses 17 and 18, there is another striking, obvious point pointing this passage to no one other than Jesus. 
...they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.
Wow, what a reflection of the crucifixion! We know for a fact that Jesus was crucified in front of a largely mocking crowd, with nails pierced through His feet and hands(While some say that the Romans pierce nails through the wrist, the word used in the Bible, which represents hand, can be used to represent the entire upper arm section. However, some were nailed in the palm and it is also proven that, it is still possible to support the entire body.). We also know, especially from John 19:24, that His garments were stripped and divided among the soldiers. Psalm 22, like a prophecy, clearly describes Jesus' excruciating final hours.

As we read on, the rest of the verses are filled with great amounts of emotion that seem tangible and passion that creates vivid imagery; there is a lot that could be said about their Christocentric connections, but let us move on to the last three verses of this chapter.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. 30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
Verse 29 is reinforced by the victorious imagery present in Revelation as a result of God's reign and power. We also can see and are living testimonies of the fact that future generations have been told about the Lord and the victory He won over death even now, around 2000 years after Him, and generations to come will also hear about Him. Although verses 29 and 30 don't have striking parallels to Jesus' life, they are prophecies that will be fulfilled and that we can already see being fulfilled.
Personally, verse 31, did it all! Its Christocentric affiliation is subtle but powerful. People declaring "He has done it!", reminds me of the victory Jesus' won for us, over sin and death once and for all; this has been and will be a resounding, firm, joyous statement that will be proclaimed by all of God's children. This verse also wraps the entire Gospel message beautifully by pointing our thoughts to our Savior's last words on the cross, "It is finished." 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

We're on a Mission - What? Where? When? Why? Who? How?

According to the 'Great Commission' we're all called to Mission work.

 My heart's desire is to go on a Mission trip somewhere to spread God's love and the Gospel. I've always wanted to go to different places and evangelize for the glory of His name. But as I pondered on this thought and adamantly pestered my parents to send me somewhere, God raised some vital questions in my head and gave me the answers to help me realize an obvious fact!

Mission work? What is it? 
The word 'Mission' can so often slip out our mouths without us never understanding the meaning of the term. As I tried to find the perfect definition, an extract from my Religious Studies book captured my attention: 
'Mission is a word that means 'the act of sending', or, 'the duty on which a person is sent'. So in religion it refers to the act of going out to preach the faith to others - because the person or missionary was sent.'
Doesn't that summarize it all! 

The above three letter question is already answered in the first sentence of this post.
Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.''
This is the 'Great Commission'. As followers of Christ, Christians, we are called by God to go to the world and give then the message of hope, love and security, that is found in Christ Jesus. Therefore, every Christian, you and me, are called to Mission. Let me re-phrase the extract from my book to reiterate this:
'Mission is a word that means 'the act of God sending us ', or, 'the duty on which we are sent by God'. So in Christianity it refers to the act of going out to preach the faith to others - because we as missionaries are sent by God.'

Where? What is 'our' Mission field?
My idea of a Mission field, for many years, has always been a far away, remote country. While that is certainly one part of the Mission field, it is not the whole.
Our Mission field is anywhere where there are those who do not know the Lord personally (i.e. those who aren't saved), this of course makes our Mission field 'everywhere' - from our own homes, neighborhoods, work places, schools and countries to the entire world, Mission fields are everywhere. What we hope to achieve across few continents, can be achieved at home!
Mark 5:18-20 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
We all have Mission fields, however, our Mission fields depend on God's plan for us! While there are those, like Peter and Paul, who would have to leave loved ones and go across nations to preach the Gospel, there are others, like this former demon-possessed man, who would have to serve the Lord where they live until He places them elsewhere. Both are vital, we need people to preach the Gospel not only in other countries but also at home!

How can I be a missionary? What do I need to do? What skills do I need to have? - Well, all of these are 'Frequently Asked Questions', but the answer is very simple. 
  1. We ourselves should have accepted the Lord as our Savior and be saved, our lives must reflect Jesus.
  2. We have to LOVE the Lord with ALL our hearts, ALL our soul, ALL our strength and ALL our minds. (Luke 10:27)
  3. We have to LOVE our neighbor as ourselves; its obvious that if we do this, we will automatically want the best for those we love, we would want them to be saved from their sins and torment in hell.
  4. Similar to the above, we have to have a yearning to evangelize, a heart for the lost.
  5. We also need to be filled with His word through constant prayer and meditation.
  6. Finally, we need to trust God fully! God can transform our weaknesses into our strength for His glory and for Him to be able to use us - One of my favorite evangelists, Ray Comfort, said how much he dreaded speaking. To his surprise, when God saved him, the thirst for the lost was greater than his fear of speaking; God strengthened Him and now he has been doing various shows and open-air preaching for a number of years!
God has called us to be 'fishers of men', through the 'Great Commission'. 
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
The lost around us have no hope in life except through Jesus Christ, as the Bible says that 'all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.' When God has done this awesome work for us, for free, in our lives, we've got to tell EVERYONE! If you hear an amazing news, or something prodigious has just happened in your life, wouldn't you share it to the entire world? God's salvation is the most prodigious news ever, how much more vital is it to share that!

RIGHT NOW! We have to start our Mission from the time that we are saved, take all the great people in the Bible e.g Paul, they did exactly that!

But why are we scared and reluctant?
It is just the fear of being rejected, it is the fear of not being 'cool' or not being liked by those around us. 
But what does God say about this...
Matthew 10:22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 
God knows what we will go through, but He wants us to 'Trust and Obey' Him. This verse not only depicts this but also shows us that just being 'saved' and not acting on our salvation is useless, our salvation must be renewed everyday and we ought to use it as a driving-force to help us evangelize without fear or hesitation till the end, then we WILL be saved!

These thoughts really helped me understand that I ought to be standing for the Lord everyday, everywhere I am and that, that can make a difference! So, what are we waiting for, we are on a crucial Mission! Go!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The start of the video below is from a 'EuroNews' clip about the Egypt unrest and deaths that occurred during the time. Wow, can this be the fulfilling of a Revelation prophecy! Scary, you can actually see the Pale Horse(circled)! Others have also said that they've seen this mind-blowing sight, God's word is just inerrant!

Revelation 6:7-8 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Bible - The Guidebook of Modern-Day Science

As promised, This is the second post on the Bible's bank of modern scientific facts. The more I talk about this the more I realize that science ties in closely with Christianity. I mention again, there are A LOT of scientific facts in the Bible, if I talk about each one, I could be talking forever!

One of my favorite places to be at is the sea or the ocean. The mysteries it holds are numerous; although it is beautiful, it can be dangerous. There are many depths that man hasn't even explored, that is what primarily makes it astounding; that is why one of the slowest developments in our understanding of the earth happen in this area. Here are verses which have unveiled a beautiful fact about the ocean:

Psalm 18:15 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

Job 38:16 Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?

Well, I have already spoken a bit about the book of Job in the previous post, but here is a bit about Psalm: the longest book in the Bible, a poetic book, consists of five separate books, the chapters have a variety of authors(some known, others unknown) and the book was written in a period between 1410BC to 450BC. Psalm 18(the one mentioned above) was written by David at around 1010BC and 970BC. 

While these two ancient books written by ordinary people beautifully illustrate the unknown mysteries of the great depths, when did our modern scientists and explorers realize and establish this? 
Oceanology itself began fully around the early 19th century! This is relatively 'young' science, however, an ancient book holds all there is to know about it. To be more precise, underwater hot springs were discovered around 1917. 1917! Did the author of Job just make a lucky guess years and years ago?  The uneven surface and valleys and hills underwater were also a part of modern scientific discoveries that were made possible because of the extensive use of seismic and ultrasound waves. How have these recent understandings already claimed their places in archaic books?

Here are more astounding, jaw-dropping verses:

Ecclesiastes 1:7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again

Job 36:27-29 For He draws up drops of water, Which distill as rain from the mist, Which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man. Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds, The thunder from His canopy? 

Ecclesiastes is a poetic book that was written in Jerusalem before 931BC, by the wisest man who ever lived, Solomon. The (hydro-logic) water cycle, a complex and recent discovery,  is explained in the above verses with simplicity and a lot of clarity. The vivid imagery used makes it easy for the people of the time to comprehend this principle.

However, scientists, once again, realized this a lot later! Although scientists were at work with different theories on the water cycle for years, in the 16th century, a scientist named Bernard Palissy was responsible for combining the existing theories to present our modern hydro-logic cycle. Isn't this mind blowing! This fact is indeed one of my favorite! 

Moreover, the God of the Bible, is an unchanging God of  order, logic, purpose and consistency; this is at the core of our modern-day science!

This finally, brings us back to the 'HOW?'. Well, as I mentioned in the previous post, it is because the Bible is 'God breathed'. It is literally the word of God; how else will you explain its accurate, precise presentations of modern scientific facts! It is 'Inspired', 'Inerrant' and 'Infallible'! May I take this opportunity, to urge you to please take the Bible seriously, it can be trusted! Explore God's word with the right attitude and you will find these mysteries and many more unveiled to you; trust me, its not just a book with 2D words on it, these words are living words of God!

Drinking - Solution or Problem?

Recently, at around 10pm, my family went out to shop at our local supermarket. On our way back, our footpath was blocked by a group of drunk teenagers. We carefully walked past them as they hurled a wide range of foul words and insults at us. I was not angered, in fact, I was saddened! They behaved this way due to their drunkenness; they were being spoiled and pulled further into the things of the world, further away from God.

Our society presents drinking as a normality, it presents it as being alluring, social and just 'cool'. The Bible has a lot to say about this...

Ephesians 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.

1Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

Hosea 4:11 to old wine and new, which take away the understanding

Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God's word says it all! Drinking not only brings physical detriment with problems such as cancer, strokes, heart diseases, thread veins/brittle nails, diabetes, sexual health problems, pancreatitis, mental and memory problems.etc. It also brings with itself an emotional and spiritual detriment. 

If we look back to the list of verses above, we can see that drunkards can not inherit the kingdom of God. Drunkardness robs the ability of our brain to function rationally. Although many 'enjoy' this state as they feel that it gives them an escape from the stress and pressures of reality, they forget that they loose control over their mind and body. With your self-control lost, you are vulnerable to a variety of sins, this can lead to so many dangerous complications in life, some of which can be permanent and will be regretted. Especially during this economic crisis, many turn to alcohol for comfort. However, it is not a very wise thing to do, its just a waste of money that would've been spent usefully elsewhere. Drinking to run away from economic struggles just puts you into a deeper pit! Many families who share their economic struggles talk about money being wasted lavishly on alcohol just to soothe the addiction or the longing for peace. 
(Here is a link to a thought provoking article by Ray Comfort: How to Drink a House)
Its not the solution, in fact, it is the problem! Drunkenness, in most cases, is the root cause of violence, not only public but also domestic! Instead of seeking alcohol for a relief from stress, let us seek God! God has a lot of peace to give, He wants us to 'cast our burdens onto' Him.

Some may not 'enjoy' this state, but pretend to relish just to appear social; they give into peer pressure. I am blessed and grateful to have friends(even if they may not share my views on this topic) who would never force me to, in fact, they would prevent me at all costs from falling into things such as this. However, some people get pressured to conform to the expectations of those around them, just to 'fit-in' or look 'cool'. They yearn for a sense of belonging and they take drastic measures to obtain it. The Bible, clearly asks us to 'not conform to the pattern of this world' because our world is adulterated with sin. Instead take Jesus, don't try, instead strive to live like He did. It is good to be different and unique, all of us are special in God's eyes! In addition, if you need to change yourself to be someone's friend,  they really aren't your friend; a friend accepts you for who you are individually. Like Elizabeth George says, 'It is better to have no friends than have the wrong friends.'

Alcoholism isn't the only problem in our present society; materialism, drugs, immoral relationships .etc dominate the lives of many people. They all need God to untangle the knots in their lives; we all need God! Fervent prayer filled with helplessness and trust in Him is the only way out! Jesus is the only solution!

In conclusion, there is a lot I could say about this, however, His word has already given us all we need(in fact, a lot more). Let us encourage one another to not give into the pull of the world and remain steadfast in Him. Let us pray for and support one another to give up these harmful practices and look to the one, true, living God for guidance and support. Let us also pray for wisdom to understand and encourage those who are trapped in this to realize the complications, dangers and the REAL solution. Trust me, with His intervention, even the most passionate binge drinker can change in an instant. Please watch the video through the link below, this is a real life story of an alcoholic and drug addict who was truly touched and transformed by God...

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Bible - The Guidebook of Modern-Day Science

As I recently read through Job and watched a few clips on various Biblical truths, the profound, divine nature of the Bible blew my mind once again. Modern scientific 'truths' or 'facts' that only recently claimed their places after numerous experiments and investigations, were already stated in the Bible when the technology we have now wasn't even invented!

There are numerous scientific truths in the Bible and if I write about each one, I could be writing forever! Therefore, I will pick a few of my favorite ones to write about in a few posts...

Job 26: 7-10 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; He suspends the earth over nothing. He wraps up the waters in His clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. He covers the face of the full moon, spreading His clouds over it. He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness.

This passage alone holds the key to some of the greatest mysteries. Before I give any scientific details, here is a bit about Job: no one knows the author of this poetic book from the Old Testament, some believe that it could be Moses or Solomon, it is thought to be very old, some believe that it could be the oldest book in the Bible. How could this ancient book unravel scientific truths?

The first point we deal with, is the fact that the earth hangs in empty space on an imaginary, polar axis. While this ancient book already states it, when did scientists find this truth out?
This idea was mainly introduced by Nicholas Copernicus(who was not only a marvelous scientist but also a pious Christian) around 1514AD and later built upon by Galileo Galilei(who was also a Christian Scientist) - Although some scientists proposed it earlier. While our human minds pick this fact really slowly, the Bible already leads us to the next dimension in science - if only they realized it earlier!

While we talk about the earth, let us slightly digress to attack one of the oldest questions ever raised - Is the earth flat? This was an age old question! Many believed that the earth was flat and that sailors might fall off the earth if they reach the edge .etc. The above scripture, if translated back to the original Hebrew used a word, 'חוג' (chuwg) that means 'circle' or 'sphere'. While the shape of the earth was recorded in Job, it also claims its place in other books:

Isaiah 40:22 - 'the circle of the earth'
Proverbs 8:27 - also uses the Hebrew word for 'sphere' or 'circle' while it speaks about the earth and the heavens.

Again, science clearly fell behind as this idea first evolved from a Greek Astronomer called Eratosthenes during 150BC who predicted the earth's circumference and shape by observing the shape of the moon and the sun. Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei were involved with this idea later. However, the man who we mostly associate with this fact is Christopher Columbus, who sailed around the world proving that it was not flat!

In addition, in Luke 17:31-34, Jesus mentions, 'On that day' and 'in that night' - many believe that this was a reference to the light being on one side of the globe and darkness on the other simultaneously. Thus reiterating the spherical shape and also establishing another fact!

However, some Bible critics quote Revelation 7:1 that mentions the 'four corners' of the earth - It is vital to remember that this terminology was used to represent the four directions(North, South, East and West). Thus,  we see again that the Bible leads the way to our modern-day science.

Back in Job 26, we see that just these four verses talk about so many things! Not only do they talk about the earth's position in space and its shape, they also talk about the changing faces of the moon and the composition of clouds. The profound imagery used to establish these complicated facts were used for the people of the time when this book was written; thus they can be perceived as complicated or confusing. It certainly makes us question how they knew these facts! The answer to that question is also found in the Bible!

2 Peter 1:21 Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Bible is God-inspired! The word 'inspired' when translated, means 'breathed'. The words in the Bible are literally from God as He chose to use ordinary men to convey His holy message to the world. Therefore, Bible holds the key that can unlock scientific mysteries, it is at the fore front of many scientific discoveries and it is and will always be inerrant!

Missed that Quite Time - Again!

One of the things I find very hard to do is keep up with my 'Quiet Times'! It is so easy to go into the 'Quiet Time' mood out of practice or just to get a certain favor from God. However, when that is sorted out, we get into our busy lives and forget God.

One of my favorite Christian TV shows is 'iShine KNECT'. On a recent episode the iKitchen(a special segment within the show) host, Sydney, spoke about filling a jar with apples and rice. When we fill the jar with the rice first, there is not much room for the apples; but when the apples are filled first, the rice automatically adjusts and fits in between. I loved this illustration! The jar represents our lives; when we get caught up with the little things that keep us busy, we do not have enough room for the more important things in life; the apples(i.e. Quiet Time with God). However, when we first fill our lives with the important things, the little things easily fit in somehow.

There is one verse that came to my mind on this topic:

Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Seeking His kingdom: We are strangers in this world and therefore, we'll always feel incomplete. We need our Savior, to hold on to our real home, our real identity in Christ. That is why even the Lord's prayer says, "Thy kingdom come" Even in today's sermon by Pastor Derek Sewell, we saw how God's kingdom is not of this world but is a spiritual one. It is a kingdom that demonstrates and constantly lives on His saving grace and the salvation. This kingdom although is already here, it still is to come. We need to constantly long and yearn for that connection to this kingdom we belong to and the best way to seek His kingdom is through His word and prayer, Jesus Himself demonstrated this.
Seeking His righteousness: Many seem to forget the "and His righteousness" bit of this verse, however, this is the most important bit(in my opinion!). Our flesh, always seems to crave for sin! The temptations of this world try to envelop us, therefore it is vital for us to sincerely crave for righteousness. God is the only one who is righteous, Jesus set the standard high, and therefore, His righteousness should be what we aim for, although we can only achieve it in Him. How can we do this? Again, the best way to do this is by searching or meditating on God's word and through prayer.

Seeking God's kingdom and His righteousness should be done FIRST! When? FIRST! To do this sincerely, I believe that 'Quiet Time' is the best option! When we are very busy, the first thing that seems to leave our schedule is our 'Quite Time', it needs to be the last. Especially during my exams, there are times when I think that the time I spend for meditation may be used better for that final brush-up revision, however, I can not stress how much more important spending time with God is. Bible is our manual for 'life'; guiding us through life and helping us choose that which is right. God is the King of our lives, a good and renewed relationship with Him will help us listen to his voice. Our eternal destiny depends on our spiritual lives and a strong spiritual life reflects positively in all the other aspects of our life; thus, our 'Quite Times' of meditation and prayer are vital for our existence! When we spend hours together on other aspects of life, why can't we spare at least one hour to re-fuel our lives with God's guidance? Therefore lets remember that when we put Him and doing His will first in our lives, all other things will fall into place naturally! Trust me, they really do!