“For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (Luke 12:30-31).
Seek first the kingdom of heaven and all these things will be added to you as well.
For many of us, this is a well known and often cited verse.
I find the context in which Jesus speaks this truth in the Gospel according to Luke. Jesus says that the nations of the world strive after all these things? What are these things?
In the previous verses, Jesus speaks about worrying. Particularly worrying about what to eat and what to wear. Jesus tells the disciples not to worry about such things because the Father knows that we need them. There’s a reason why these two things go together – not worrying, and the Father.
When I was pastor in Texas, we regularly sent short-term mission teams to Uganda Africa where we worked in a children’s center that took in orphans. The only kids who worry about what to eat and what to wear are orphans. My children may have had worries about lots of things, but they’ve never worried about not being able to eat or not having clothes. In fact, it would really silly for them to do so when mom and dad were around who provided more than enough for them.
That’s the point. Jesus says to his disciples, you are not like the other nations. Unlike others, you have a Father. The Father already knows everything you need and provides for you. So stop acting like orphans! Stop with your worrying. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, focus on your Father. Focus on what he’s called you to be. Seek the Father’s will. And all these things will be given to you as well.