Put God’s Kingdom First

22 Jesus said to his followers, “So I tell you, don’t worry about the things you need to live—what you will eat or what you will wear. 23 Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what you put on it. 24 Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in houses or barns, but God feeds them. And you are worth much more than crows. 25 None of you can add any time to your life by worrying about it. 26 And if you can’t do the little things, why worry about the big things?

27 “Think about how the wildflowers grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that even Solomon, the great and rich king, was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. 28 If God makes what grows in the field so beautiful, what do you think he will do for you? That’s just grass—one day it’s alive, and the next day someone throws it into a fire. But God cares enough to make it beautiful. Surely he will do much more for you. Your faith is so small!

29 “So don’t always think about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about it. 30 That’s what all those people who don’t know God are always thinking about. But your Father knows that you need these things. 31 What you should be thinking about is God’s kingdom. Then he will give you all these other things you need.

Don’t Trust in Money

32 “Don’t fear, little flock. Your Father wants to share his kingdom with you. 33 Sell the things you have and give that money to those who need it. This is the only way you can keep your riches from being lost. You will be storing treasure in heaven that lasts forever. Thieves can’t steal that treasure, and moths can’t destroy it. 34 Your heart will be where your treasure is.

After reading this it is obvious to ask - is going to work everyday putting God's kingdom second?

Would we have enough to survive if we all did missionary work?

What is the image Jesus wants us to follow here?

4 Answers 4


The word "vocation," the word that many people use to describe their line of work, means "calling." To say that vocations outside of the ministry are not part of God's work is deny what many protestants believe about work.

Just to cite one prominent example, Martin Luther writes:

God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid


vocation is a "mask of God." He is hidden in vocation. We see the milkmaid, or the farmer, or the doctor or pastor or artist. But, looming behind this human mask, God is genuinely present and active in what they do for us.

In short, God uses our work to be glorified. The same article goes on to say:

Luther's Doctrine of Vocation

To understand fully the doctrine of vocation, one should begin not with the Puritans-who tended to turn the doctrine of vocation into a work ethic-but with Luther and with Lutherans, from the composers of the Book of Concord to modern theologians such as Billing and Gustaf Wingren. It goes something like this: When we pray the Lord's Prayer, we ask God to give us this day our daily bread. And he does. The way he gives us our daily bread is through the vocations of farmers, millers, and bakers. We might add truck drivers, factory workers, bankers, warehouse attendants, and the lady at the checkout counter. Virtually every step of our whole economic system contributes to that piece of toast you had for breakfast. And when you thanked God for the food that he provided, you were right to do so.

God could have chosen to create new human beings to populate the earth out of the dust, as he did with the first man. But instead, he chose to create new life-which, however commonplace, is no less miraculous-by means of mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, the vocations of the family.

God protects us through the vocations of earthly government, as detailed in Romans 13. He gives his gifts of healing usually not through out-and-out miracles (though he can) but by means of the medical vocations. He proclaims his word by means of human pastors. He teaches by means of teachers. He creates works of beauty and meaning by means of human artists, whom he has given particular talents.

Many treatments of the doctrine of vocation emphasize what we do, or are supposed to do, in our various callings. This is part of it, as are the various aspects that I outlined above, but it is essential in grasping the magnitude of this teaching to understand first the sense in which vocation is God's work.

The sense of God acting in vocation is characteristically Lutheran in the way it emphasizes that God works through physical means. Luther and his followers stress how God has chosen to bestow his spiritual gifts by means of his Word (ink on paper; the sound waves emanating from a pulpit) and Sacrament (water; bread and wine). And he bestows his earthly gifts by means of human vocations.

  • 1
    Also, from a strictly personal standpoint, I find that my "vocation" as a data center manager (man, I miss being a coder!) lets me minister to people that would never come hear me preach. As St. Francis said, "preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words!" Oct 30, 2012 at 20:35
  • this is an awesome answer, thank you, did not know about this Lutheran view. Oct 30, 2012 at 22:09
  • @AffableGeek That explains why you have so much time to be on SE :D I code, but I do more helping other developers than actual coding anymore. <sigh>
    – user1054
    Nov 1, 2012 at 15:07

In Genesis, God gives Adam work to do before He even gives Him a wife.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 2:15 ESV

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Genesis 2:18 ESV

There are several other verses that encourage work as well. Colossians 3:23-24 affirms that working is rewarded by God Himself:

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 ESV

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. 14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.Proverbs 12:11, 14 ESV

Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys. Proverbs 18:9 ESV

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. Proverbs 28:19 ESV

So, work is honored and rewarded by God.

The passage in Luke addresses not work--but worry. Work diligently, but trust God to provide.

  • thanks for pointing out that it addresses worry, I did miss that part. Oct 31, 2012 at 23:21
  • I like this answer. But, I might also add that work is an integral part of our purpose. If we're truly made in God's image, the natural expectation is that we do as God does: create, work, love ...
    – svidgen
    Nov 6, 2012 at 21:21

To put it simply Paul stated that work is very necessary (2 Thessalonians 3:10). In fact Paul was a tent maker. To further this point Solomon spoke of the usage of money (Ecclesiastes 10:19). And to finally concrete this point Jesus spoke of paying taxes (Matthew 22:21).

So, you decide, but I think the mentioned section is far from telling you that you should quit your job and mission, but it's trying to teach you how to keep from loving money (1 Timothy 6:10) and to rather love Jesus and stop worrying about money.


What is Jesus commanding us to do in this passage? Different translations word it differently, but basically:

  • Don’t worry about the things you need to live
  • Don’t always think about what you will eat or what you will drink (our needs). Don’t worry about it
  • Don't fear
  • Seek his kingdom / you should be thinking about God’s kingdom

What is the Kingdom of God?

The word translated "kingdom" throughout the New Testament is the Greek word basileia, which denotes "sovereignty, royal power, [and] dominion" (Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, "Kingdom").

Simply put, it is the sovereignty of God. To seek the kingdom of God (in Christ Jesus) is to seek the sovereignty of God in your life, the lives of fellow believers, and bringing this sovereignty to those who do not know him also.

Jesus is telling us to not have our minds set, or be overly anxious, or fear about our needs not being provided, but to have it set on his kingdom. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to quit your job and go into full time ministry (@Affable gives a good answer about that). Check out Romans 12: We are all members of one body performing different functions. Romans 12:1-2 tells us how we can test and approve of God's will in our own lives.

As a side note, in the Lord's prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray that our needs are provided after praying for His kingdom. I think there is some significance in that.

To summarize, Jesus is telling us not to fret over our needs. As He says, it reflects “little faith”; not a good testimony.

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt 6:33


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