With this current economic downturn, I have been unfaithful in my giving for the advancement of the kingdom of God. I blamed this unfaithfulness on my low wage as well as rising gas & food prices. I am in grievous sin; this was made very clear to me last night as I read this short piece from George Müller, based on the text in Matthew 6:33, “but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you”:
There is one thing which we ought to attend to, with reference to our temporal necessities; it is mentioned in our verse, “but seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”. The great business which the disciple of the Lord Jesus has to be concerned about (for this word was spoken to disciples, to professed believers) is, to seek the kingdom of God, i.e., to seek, as I view it, after the external and internal prosperity of the Church of God. If, according to our ability, and according to the opportunity which the Lord gives us, we seek to win souls for the Lord Jesus, that appears to me to be seeking the external prosperity of the kingdom of God; and, if we, as members of the body of Christ, seek to benefit our fellow members in the body, helping them on in grace and truth, or caring for them in any way to their edification, that would be the internal prosperity of the kingdom of God. But in connection with this we have also to “seek…His righteousness”, which means (as it was spoken to disciples, to those who have a Father in heaven, and not to those who were without), to seek to be more and more like God, to seek to be inwardly conformed to the mind of God. If these two things are attended to (and they imply also that we are not slothful in business), then do we come under that precious promise: “and all these things (that is food, raiment, or anything else that is needful for this present life) shall be added unto you”. It is not for attending to these two things that we obtain the blessing, but in attending to them.
I now ask you, my dear reader, a few questions in all love, because I do seek your welfare, and I do not wish to put these questions to you, without putting them first to my own heart. Do you make it your primary business, your first great concern, to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Are the things of God, the honour of His name, the welfare of His church, the conversion of sinners, and the profit of your own soul, your chief aim? Or does your business, or your family, or your own temporal concerns, in some shape or other primarily occupy your attention? I never knew a child of God who acted according to the above passage in whose experience the Lord did not fulfill His word of promise, “all these things shall be added unto you”.
His counsel, His affectionate entreaty, and His commandment to us His disciples is “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth”. The meaning obviously is, that the disciples of the Lord Jesus, being strangers and pilgrims on earth, i.e., neither belonging to the earth nor expecting to remain in it, should not seek to increase their earthly possessions, in whatever these possessions may consist. This is a word for poor believers as well as for rich believers.
It might also be said by a brother whose earnings are small, ‘should I give also according to my earnings? They are already so small, that my wife can only with the greatest difficulty manage to make them sufficient for the family’. My reply is: have you ever considered, my brother, that the very reason why the Lord is obliged to let your earnings remain so small may be the fact of your spending everything upon yourselves, and that, if He were to give you more, you would only use it to increase your own family comfort, instead of looking about to see who among the brethren are sick, or who have no work at all, that you might help them, or how you might assist the work of God at home or abroad? There is a great temptation for a brother whose earnings are small to put off the responsibility of assisting the needy and sick saints, or helping on the work of God, and to lay it upon the few rich brethren and sisters whith whom he is associated in fellowship, and thus rob his own soul!
From ‘Valuable Selections From the Writings of George Müller’