Sermon on the Mount Part 1

PART 1 – Are We Putting The Kingdom And Yahweh’s Righteousness First?

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

The first time I read Yahshua’s words, I realized that, of course, this is important. However, it
took reading Yahshua’s words several times and building up a daily practice over time, before
my actions reflected my desire to seek the Kingdom and Yahweh’s righteousness first.

It is useful, for deeper understanding, to read the Scripture in context. Matthew 6:33 is part of
what is known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29), a significant sermon from
Yahshua. It is important to follow Yahshua’s examples and teachings (1Peter 2:21); therefore, I
believe the Sermon on the Mount is precious Scripture. This Sermon contains key concepts and
guidelines that Yahshua teaches us, including:

1) the mindset, behavior and attitudes that we are to embrace and engage in as believers;
2) Yahweh’s laws as found in the Torah are still relevant and endure forever;
3) how to treat others and how we ourselves are to live righteously;
4) expounding on the definitions and spiritual intents of the Law;
5) prayer;
6) key principles about serving Yahweh with complete devotion and obedience.

(These topics will be covered in future parts of this series.)

The focus of this article is on “seek ye first the kingdom of Elohim and his righteousness”
specifically, and what this may look like in day-to-day life. I found the footnote in the
Restoration Study Bible, 4th edition, helpful in understanding the importance of this verse: “These
likely represent the promise of eternal life and the perfection of Yahweh’s holy Word. By these
two attributes a believer finds Yahweh’s blessed assurance and provision.”

The promise of eternal life is certainly a promise I would like to be part of! Living a life of peace
and harmony on earth forever without pain and suffering, living with Yahweh and with Yahshua
and with my spiritual family, is a big motivator to keep me walking this walk and enduring
whatever trials and challenges come ahead! (Matthew 24:13; Revelation 21:1-7) The perfection
of Yahweh’s holy Word is definitely something I agree with, as when I continue to read and
study the Bible, it is continually reinforced that Yahweh’s Word is “perfect, sure, right, and
pure” (Psalm 19:7-11), and that it is inspired by Yahweh (2Timothy 3:16-17).

These two attributes in Matthew 6:33 help us comprehend the “big picture” of what Yahweh’s
kingdom and righteousness bring us, both in daily life and in the future. (Big picture is defined in
the Meriam Webster Dictionary as “the entire perspective on a situation or issue”.)

(www.meriam-webster.com) In the Torah, Yahweh gives us His Laws, which are clear
expectations of how to live righteously and do His will. In the prophetic books and chapters of
the Bible, Yahweh gives us valuable lessons and information so we can learn His ways, live
righteously, be prepared for what the future holds, and potentially be a part of the Kingdom to
come. The New Testament reinforces and expounds on Old Testament Scriptures. Those who
obey and follow Yahweh’s Word are blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 119; Matthew 5:19).
I also felt compelled to look up the definition of the word “first” to further discuss Matthew 6:33.
According to the Meriam Webster Dictionary, “first” means: “preceding all others in time,
order, or importance: before another in time, space, or importance: one that is number one in a
series: something that is first: at the beginning.” (https://www.merriam-
webster.com/dictionary/first) As we see in this definition, “first” has to do with importance
and with sequential order. Therefore, according to Yahshua’s teaching, if we seek Yahweh’s
Kingdom and righteousness “first”, meaning we place those first both in importance and
before other aspects of daily living, then “all these things shall be added unto you” – referring
to what Yahshua spoke of in preceding verses i.e. what to eat, drink, wear (things we need daily
for living).

Now that the big picture and the significance of this Scripture became clearer, I was left with the
question, how can I show by my actions that I am seeking first the Kingdom of Elohim and his
righteousness?

It is important to have faith in Yahweh and Yahshua, AND to obey (Romans 3:31). We show our
faith by our actions (James 2:14-18). Therefore, it is important to keep the Sabbaths and the
Feasts according to the biblical calendar, and obey the Commandments, as this is important for
our very salvation! (Leviticus 23; Deuteronomy 4:40; Matthew 7:21; 1John 5:1-3; Revelation
22:14).

I also asked myself, what actions can I do daily to express to Yahweh that I love Him
(Deuteronomy 6:5), want to worship only Yahweh (Exodus 20:2-3), and want to obey Him,
because I trust in that He knows what is good for me? (Deuteronomy 10:12-15; Proverbs 3:5-6)
How do I spend time with Yahweh, my Heavenly Father, day to day, because our relationship is
important to me?

To me, the answer is to develop and engage in a daily spiritual practice. Over time, I have put the
following in place:

Daily morning practice:

 First thing in the morning, before I get out of bed, I pray and give thanks to Yahweh.

 I have an app on my phone with which I see a Bible quote of the day. I check it and read
it, think on it, and then share it.

 After breakfast, I spend time reading the Bible every day. I am following the 52-week
Bible reading plan in the back of the Restoration Study Bible, so I read the portion of the
day based on that plan. (I like the structure of it, and it works well for me. My son reads a
few chapters at a time in sequence, which works well for him.) After I finish reading the
portion of the day, I record in my journal a Scripture that I find inspiring and think on
what the words in those pages could mean. On Sabbath mornings, my family and I read
together for about 45 minutes and then discuss what we read. (Psalm 143:8)

During the day:

 If something happens where I feel very blessed by Yahweh and it is a joyous event, I say
a prayer of thanks to Yahweh for His blessings, and I like to share my joy with others
(Psalm 9:1).

 I also like to sing songs of praise and to listen to devotional music, at varied times (ex.
while commuting, after dinner, whenever I need a “pick me up”, etc.) (Psalm 100).

 If something happens that is sad, stressful, challenging, etc., I do my best to remember
that Yahweh is there, and I go to Him in prayer first. I have other tools to use as well if
needed to get me through challenges, but I find that going to Yahweh first is important
(Psalms 55:16-17, 22; Philippians 4:6-7).

 If I feel like I have erred/sinned, I go to Yahweh in prayer for forgiveness and ask for
help with how I can change and do better (Psalm 103; Matthew 6:12-13; Luke 11:4).

 Pray for others (James 5:16).

Night time before bed:

 My husband, son, and I sing and say prayers to Yahweh at night before bedtime
(Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Numbers 15:40-41; 1Thessalonians 5:17-18).

These are things I have built into my life and my routines over time. I am not saying that folks
need to engage in a daily routine as I have done it; I am merely listing what I currently do as a
practice, just as an example of what spending time with Yahweh every day and putting His
Kingdom and righteousness first, means to me.

There have been days in the past that I did not read the Bible in the morning, for whatever
reason, and became busy with day-to-day things like work, cleaning, cooking, and life-stuff in
general; looking back, those days did not go very well and were stressful! I felt a big difference
in how my day went when I started with prayer and Scripture, my days went much smoother! I
definitely feel like starting my day with prayers to Yahweh and with Scripture reading set up my
mindset and heart with faith, love, hope, and inspiration, and I feel better overall and ready to go
about my day and whatever it brings.

I believe we can see in Scripture that Yahweh loves His children and wants a relationship with us
(Proverbs 8:17; John 3:16-17; Romans 8:28; 1John 4:7-16). Therefore, in order to nurture that
relationship, and because we need to seek the Kingdom and Yahweh’s righteousness first, it
stands to reason that need to spend time daily with Yahweh Our Father in Heaven, and read His
Word, every day (Psalm 143:10; Proverbs 2:6, 3:1-6, 4:13; Acts 17:11; 1Thessalonians 5:17-21).
If ye then be risen with Messiah, seek those things which are above, where Messiah sitteth on the
right hand of Yahweh. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
(Colossians 3:1-2)
~ Submitted by Judy Stern

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