"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
In our anxious times, this verse stands out. Let's be clear about what the Lord is saying.
The Lord isn't saying, "If what you really want is 'all these things,' here's how you get it. Seek first God's kingdom and righteousness." He can't be saying that, because seeking God's kingdom and righteousness first means first. The word "first" makes the kingdom and righteousness, not the 'all these things,' our true goal. God is generous, but he will not be used as a stepping-stone to something higher.
The Lord is saying, "Make it THE goal of your life, even above necessities, to seek God's kingdom and righteousness. Use everything else in your life to make progress toward this goal and to help others make progress toward this goal. Don't use God toward the things of this life, but use the things of this life toward God, and God promises he will back you up. He will give you all of 'all these things' that you need for a God-seeking-first, kingdom-advancing-first, righteousness-pursuing-first lifestyle."
Every one of us is either seeking God or using God, moment by moment. The word "first" reveals the difference. And God's promise belongs to all who seek him first. The only safe place in all the world.