But seek ye first the kingdom of God - See on Matthew 3:7; (note).
His righteousness - That holiness of heart and purity of life which God requires of those who profess to be subjects of that spiritual kingdom mentioned above. See on Matthew 5:20; (note).
The seventh reason against these worldly cares and fears is - because the business of our salvation ought to engross us entirely: hither all our desires, cares, and inquiries ought to tend. Grace is the way to glory - holiness the way to happiness. If men be not righteous, there is no heaven to be had: if they be, they shall have heaven and earth too; for godliness has the promise of both lives. 1 Timothy 6:3.
All these things shall be added unto you - The very blunt note of old Mr. Trapp, on this passage, is worthy of serious attention. All things shall be added. "They shall be cast in as an overplus, or as small advantages to the main bargain; as paper and pack-thread are given where we buy spice and fruit, or an inch of measure to an ell of cloth." This was a very common saying among the Jews: "Seek that, to which other things are necessarily connected." "A king said to his particular friend, 'Ask what thou wilt, and I will give it unto thee.' He thought within himself, 'If I ask to be made a general I shall readily obtain it. I will ask something to which all these things shall be added:' he therefore said, 'Give me thy daughter to wife.' This he did knowing that all the dignities of the kingdom should be added unto this gift." See in Schoettgen.
To this verse, probably, belong the following words, quoted often by Clement, Origen, and Eusebius, as the words of Christ: αιτειτε τα μεγαλα, και τα μικρα υμιν προστεθησεται· και αιτειτε τα επουρανια, και τα επιγεια προστεθησεται υμιν . "Ask great things, and little things shall be added unto you; ask heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added unto you."
The Old and the New Testament Scriptures need to be studied daily. The knowledge of God and the wisdom of God come to the student who is a constant learner of His ways and works. The Bible is to be our light, our educator. When we will acknowledge God in all our ways; when the youth are educated to believe that God sends the rain and the sunshine from heaven, causing vegetation to flourish; when they are taught that all blessings come from Him, and that thanksgiving and praise are due to Him; when with fidelity they acknowledge God, and discharge their duties day by day, God will be in all their thoughts; they can trust Him for tomorrow, and that anxious care that brings unhappiness to so many lives, will be avoided. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” FE 414.1
The first great lesson in all education is to know and understand the will of God. Take the knowledge of God with you through every day of life. Let it absorb the mind and the whole being. God gave Solomon wisdom, but this God-given wisdom was perverted when he turned from God to obtain wisdom from other sources. We need the wisdom of Solomon after we have learned the wisdom of One greater than Solomon. We are not to go through human wisdom, which is termed foolishness, to seek true wisdom. For men to learn science through man's interpretation, is to obtain a false education, but to learn of God and Jesus Christ is to learn the science of the Bible. The confusion in education has come because the wisdom and knowledge of God have not been honored and exalted by the religious world. The pure in heart see God in every providence, in every phase of true education. They vibrate to the first approach of light which radiates from the throne of God. Communications from heaven are made to those who will catch the first gleams of spiritual knowledge. FE 414.2Read in context »
God can make these brethren more precious than fine gold, even the golden wedge of Ophir, if they will yield themselves to His transforming hand. They should be determined to make the noblest use of every faculty and every opportunity. The word of God should be their study and their guide in deciding what is the highest and best in all cases. The one faultless character, the perfect Pattern set before them in the gospel, should be studied with deepest interest. The one lesson most essential for them to learn is that goodness alone gives true greatness. May God deliver us from the philosophy of worldly-wise men. Their only hope is in becoming fools, that they may be wise indeed. 4T 541.1
The weakest follower of Christ has entered into alliance with infinite power. In many cases God can do little with men of learning because they feel no need of leaning upon Him who is the Source of all wisdom; therefore, after a trial, He sets them aside for men of inferior talent who have learned to rely upon Him, whose souls are fortified by goodness, truth, and unwavering fidelity, and who will not stoop to anything that will leave a stain upon the conscience. 4T 541.2
Brethren, if you connect your souls with God by living faith, He will make you men of power. If you trust to your own strength and wisdom, you will surely fail. It is not pleasing to God that you take so little interest in religious service. You are representative men, and as such, you exert a wider influence than persons in less prominent positions. You should ever seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. You should be active, interested workers in the church, cultivating your religious faculties, and keeping your own souls in the love of God. The Lord has claims upon you in this matter that you cannot lightly disregard; you must either grow in grace or be dwarfed and crippled in spiritual things. It is not only your privilege but your duty to bear testimony for Christ when and where you can; and by exercising the mind in this way, you will cultivate a love for sacred things. 4T 541.3Read in context »
His doctrine dropped as the rain; His speech distilled as the dew. In the character of Christ was blended such majesty as God had never before displayed to fallen man and such meekness as man had never developed. Never before had there walked among men one so noble, so pure, so benevolent, so conscious of His godlike nature; yet so simple, so full of plans and purposes to do good to humanity. While abhorring sin, He wept with compassion over the sinner. He pleased not Himself. The Majesty of heaven clothed Himself with the humility of a child. This is the character of Christ. Are we walking in His footsteps? O my Saviour, how poorly art Thou represented by Thy professed followers! 5T 422.1Read in context »
But few parents realize that their children are what their example and discipline have made them, and that they are responsible for the characters their children develop. If the hearts of Christian parents were in obedience to the will of Christ, they would obey the injunction of the heavenly Teacher: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” If those who profess to be followers of Christ would only do this, they would give, not only to their children, but to the unbelieving world, examples that would rightly represent the religion of the Bible. 3T 144.1
If Christian parents lived in obedience to the requirements of the divine Teacher, they would preserve simplicity in eating and in dressing, and would live more in accordance with natural law. They would not then devote so much time to artificial life, in making for themselves cares and burdens that Christ has not laid upon them, but that He has positively bid them shun. If the kingdom of God and His righteousness were the first and all-important consideration with parents, but little precious time would be lost in needless outward ornamentation while the minds of their children are almost entirely neglected. The precious time devoted by many parents to dressing their children for display in their scenes of amusement would better, far better, be spent in cultivating their own minds in order that they may be competent to properly instruct their children. It is not essential to the salvation or happiness of these parents that they use the precious probationary time that God has lent them, in dressing, visiting, and gossiping. 3T 144.2
Many parents plead that they have so much to do that they have no time to improve their minds, to educate their children for practical life, or to teach them how they may become lambs of Christ's fold. Not until the final settlement, when the cases of all will be decided, and the acts of our entire lives will be laid open to our view in the presence of God and the Lamb and all the holy angels, will parents realize the almost infinite value of their misspent time. Very many will then see that their wrong course has determined the destiny of their children. Not only have they failed to secure for themselves the words of commendation from the King of glory, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,” but they hear pronounced upon their children the terrible denunciation, “Depart!” This separates their children forever from the joys and glories of heaven, and from the presence of Christ. And they themselves also receive the denunciation: Depart, “thou wicked and slothful servant.” Jesus will never say “Well done” to those who have not earned the “Well done” by their faithful lives of self-denial and self-sacrifice to do others good and to promote His glory. Those who live principally to please themselves instead of to do others good will meet with infinite loss. 3T 145.1Read in context »
When our publishing houses do a large amount of commercial work, there is great danger that an objectionable class of literature will be brought in. Upon one occasion when these matters were brought to my attention, my Guide inquired of one occupying a responsible position in a publishing institution: “How much do you receive in payment for this work?” The figures were placed before Him. He said: “This is too small a sum. If you do business in this way, you meet with loss. But even should you receive a much larger sum, this class of literature could be published only at a great loss. The influence on the workers is demoralizing. All the messages that God shall send them, presenting the sacredness of the work, are neutralized by your action in consenting to print such matter.” 7T 164.1
The world is flooded with books that might better be consumed than circulated. Books upon Indian warfare and similar topics, published and circulated as a money- making scheme, might better never be read. There is satanic fascination in such books. The heartsickening relation of crimes and atrocities has a bewitching power upon many youth, exciting in them the desire to bring themselves into notice by the most wicked deeds. There are many works more strictly historical whose influence is little better. The enormities, the cruelties, the licentious practices, portrayed in these writings have acted as leaven in many minds, leading to the commission of similar acts. Books that delineate the satanic practices of human beings are giving publicity to evil works. The horrible details of crime and misery need not to be lived over, and none who believe the truth for this time should act a part in perpetuating their memory. 7T 164.2Read in context »