An old saying says, “You’re never too old to learn.” Here is one lesson you’re never too old to learn: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). What that means is this: “Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.”
Whether you are young or old, 6 or 60, healthy and wealthy or puny and poor, you can make the rest of your life the best of your life.
I. SET PROPER PRIORITIES
If your priorities are out of order, your life will be out of order. If your priorities aren’t right, you won’t be right. You don’t have to pray about what the first priority in life should be; Jesus has already told us: to “seek ye first the kingdom of God.”
The word “seek” means to “actively pursue” or “to go after.” It’s in the present tense. It means continuously. Every day of your life, you should be seeking first the kingdom of God. To seek the kingdom, you must first seek the King. You cannot have a kingdom without a king. The first priority of your life must be to seek the King of the kingdom.
Did you know that the Christian life is more than just accepting the Lord? It is seeking the Lord. The Lord is not someone you passively accept; He is someone you actively seek.
God does not have favorites, but He does have intimates. James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.” In His Word, God has promised, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).
But it is not enough to seek the Lord. You must seek Him first. Jesus wants preeminence in your life. Jesus wants the first moments of your day. He wants the first part of every paycheck. He wants to be first.
But not only are we to seek the King, we are to seek the kingdom. The kingdom of God ought to be the obsession of your life. The word “kingdom” literally means “rule” or “reign.” A kingdom is a place where a king rules. To seek the kingdom of God is to seek the rule and the reign of God over your entire life.
When you truly seek a king and his kingdom, you are automatically looking for three things:
A. You are seeking the glory of the king. Every part and parcel of your life, every minute and moment of your time, every ounce and pound of your strength, every muscle and fiber of your body ought to be given for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).
B. You are seeking the guidance of the king. A loyal subject always wants to do whatever the king would have him or her to do. There is no higher calling in life than to find out what your King wants done and then to do it. Begin every morning of your life by asking the Lord Jesus what Paul asked on the Damascus road: “Lord, what would you have me to do?”
C. You are seeking the government of the king. A loyal subject desires to be controlled by the king, to be governed by the king, and to be ruled by the king.
II. SEEK PERSONAL PURITY
Not only are we to seek His kingdom, we are to seek His “righteousness.” That is, not only are we to be seeking God’s control over us, we are also to be seeking God’s character within us. The kingdom of God is to be experienced not just inwardly; it should also be expressed outwardly.
A true Christian makes it easier for others to believe in God. What does it mean to seek the righteousness of God?
A. We must desire it. We do what we really want to do, and we are what we really want to be (Matt. 5:6). You ought to desire to be right, do right, and live right.
B. We must derive it. We are to seek “His righteousness.” God is not interested in your righteousness; He is only interested in His righteousness. God is not interested in what you can do for Him; He is interested in what He can do through you.
It will be a great day when we learn the difference between self-righteousness and the Savior’s righteousness. After he was saved, Paul made this one of the goals of his life (Phil. 3:9).
Righteousness must be imputed before it can be imparted—before you can live it, God must give it (2 Cor. 5:21).
C. We must depict it. We should live like kingdom subjects. Will Rogers said, “We ought to live in such a way that we would not be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
III. SEE PROMISED PROSPERITY
The Lord says that if you seek His kingdom and His righteousness, “all these things shall be added unto you.” What “things” was the Lord referring to? He was talking about all the things people worry about.
• In verse 19, we are told that people worry about finances.
• In verse 25, we are told that people worry about food.
• In verse 27, we are told that people worry about fitness.
• In verse 28, we are told that people worry about fashion.
We need all these things. That’s why the Lord said, “For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things” (verse 32). The Lord has promised that if you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, you will have all the things you need (note that He didn’t say you would necessarily have all the things you want!).
There are four lessons parents ought to teach their children, and it would be good for some adults to re-learn the same lessons:
• You don’t need everything you want.
• You don’t want everything you need.
• God doesn’t give us everything we want.
• God always gives us what we need.
If you don’t have it, it’s because God knows you don’t need it at this point in your life.
It is our job to serve God, and it is His job to supply us. Most people have that backward—most people think that it is our job to supply us and that it is God’s job to serve us.
Do you want to make the rest of your life the best of your life? If so, allow Jesus Christ to be your Lord. Put Him first. Live every moment for Him, and He will take care of everything else.
General Conference Ministerial Association