David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family invites you to join them this week for worship at 10 a.m. and Bible study at 11:10 a.m. Visit www.mcdonoughroad.org for online viewing options. Visit www.davidchancey.com for more of Chancey’s writings.
For several years, the YouVersion Bible app has published its most frequently marked, highlighted, and shared verse from the previous year.
In 2021, this nation’s most popular verse was “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
In many Latin American countries, Isaiah 41:10 was the favorite: “Therefore, be not afraid, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will support you from my right hand.
Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” , conducted research and sharing in Singapore and the Netherlands.
YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald said his team was encouraged to see high levels of Bible engagement after a record-breaking 2020. In 2021, the YouVersion community read 55.8 billion Bible chapters; read 8.2 billion audio chapters; created 2.4 billion highlights, bookmarks and notes; and completed 1.4 billion days of biblical plan. (ttps://www.youversion.com/press/youversion-reveals-2021-verse-of-the-year-and-bible-app-trends/).
“It means people are turning to God and the Bible for answers to their questions,” he said.
Applying Matthew 6:33 to our lives gives great direction for 2022. This verse is found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which he teaches how to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God. Since our true home is in heaven, our lives should reflect this reality as we pursue God. After teaching the futility of worry, Jesus commands us to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness above all else.
“Seek” is not a suggestion, but a command in the present tense, which means that we must continually seek God. We should desire to know Him more and more this year. As we come to know Him, we come to know His will and His ways.
This commandment is just one example in which God reveals his will for our lives. Whenever we see a command in the scriptures, that command is God’s will. He knows what is best for our lives. When we live in His declared will, then we will find the most success and fulfillment.
When we align our lives with the revealed will of God, we can trust God to reveal his hidden will as we follow him day by day.
In God’s Will as a Way of Life, Jerry Sittser expresses the comfort we find in seeking to obey the revealed will of God:
“If we seek first the kingdom and righteousness of God, which is God’s will for our lives, then all the choices we make about the future become God’s will for our lives. There are many paths we could follow, many options we could pursue. As long as we seek God, all can be God’s will for our lives, although only one – the path we choose – really becomes his will.
As we face multiple decisions throughout this year, our number one decision each day will be, “Who and what am I going to pursue today?” Will I run after God or after the world?
Jesus sets the tone for the serious believer, using two objects to emphasize a simultaneous pursuit. Seek above all the kingdom and its righteousness. Make seeking God the main and preeminent goal of your life and put his rule and kingdom first in your life.
For 2,000 years, astronomers believed that the sun revolved around the earth and that the earth was the center of the entire universe. The greatest minds of the time, like Aristotle and Ptolemy, promoted this theory. Then in the 16th century Nicolai Copernicus came up with a new theory that the sun was the center of the universe and the earth and other planets orbited the sun. He was ostracized by the scientific community for his thinking, but ultimately he was right.
The sun is at the center and everything else, including our world, revolves around the sun. We make a huge mistake when we think our world revolves around us. Seeking his justice means making God the center of his life.
Who is at the center of your universe? What is your main activity this year?
David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family invites you to join them this week for worship at 10 a.m. and Bible study at 11:10 a.m. To visit www.mcdonoughroad.org for online viewing options. To visit www.davidchancey.com for more of Chancey’s writings.