The Jackpot of Life Part 2 - by Nancy Dufresne

    In last month’s teaching, I wrote of what Jesus stated in Matthew 6:31-33. He told us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things that others are dying to get will be ADDED to you. This is the “jackpot” of life. It’s a key scripture that tells us that when we seek God first, then all these things this scripture contains will be added to us.

     Seeking first His Kingdom and His way of operating will put us in command of all other things that others are dying to get. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its diverse interests, and all these things shall be added to you.

     Put your love for God and His Kingdom first, without anything else competing for that first and highest place. You can’t put your business, your own plans, and your natural interests alongside God and His Kingdom and then say He’s first. 

     You cannot give God a “shared” first position. Anything else that is put in that position of “first” will fail you. Nothing else in this world or life is worthy of or able to successfully occupy the position of being first. That is a position that only God and His Kingdom can successfully occupy and fulfill.

     Matthew 6:33 doesn’t say, “Seek ye ONLY.” It says, “Seek ye FIRST....” Yes, we can have other interests, but they can’t be first; we aren’t to put anything above Him.

     Revelation 2:4 & 5 warns us, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy FIRST LOVE. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
     If we leave our first love, nothing else we may do matters.

 

Love God With All...

     Let’s see what loving God first looks like. Mark 12:28-30 (Amplified) reads, “Then one of the scribes...asked Him (Jesus), Which commandment is first and most important of all [in its nature]? Jesus answered, The first and principal one of all commands is: Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the FIRST and principal commandment.”
     To love God with all our being — this is the FIRST commandment (vs. 30). Jesus said, “HEAR, O Israel....” God’s people — HEAR THIS. This is where many of God’s people miss it. Family isn’t first, your plans aren’t first, your business isn’t first, your income isn’t first, what men call important isn’t first — loving God with all our being is FIRST.

     Jesus tells us HOW we are to love God. Verse 30 — “And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart....” Notice the word “with” — “And you shall love the Lord your God WITH....” We can only love God WITH something — we can’t love Him WITHOUT something. To love Him properly, we can’t demonstrate our love to Him without something.

     God wants something more from us than natural things — He wants things of greater value — that which you can’t put a price on — He wants that which flows out of man’s being — man’s heart, his soul, his mind, and his strength — that which is above price. He wants ALL of you — the WHOLE of you.

     Love has to be in two places: the heart and the actions. We aren’t just to have actions without the heart involved, and we aren’t to have the heart without any actions to prove it.

     Jesus said that there are 4 things that must be involved in our love for God — all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength.

     First, with all our heart. This is where the life stems from — our hearts. If our hearts aren’t involved, why would His heart be involved? Our hearts have to be involved for it to matter. Our hearts are to be an unshared seat. God is first and foremost in our hearts, and we are not assuming to seat something else alongside Him. He alone occupies the foremost seat in our hearts.

     Second, with all our souls (AMP — our life). Our daily lives are a picture of what’s in our souls — they demonstrate the way we think, what we set our will on, and what we set our affections on. Our way of thinking, our will, and affections flow out into our daily lives. To love God with all our souls, we come into harmony with God’s will for our daily lives. We are to think right toward God and His Kingdom interests. We are not to be self-willed. We are to hold our affections on God and His Kingdom. We have no room in our thinking and in our lives for anything contrary to God and His Word.

     We do not permit in our thinking and in our lives what others may permit. Worry, fear, doubt, strife, unforgiveness, offense, ill will toward others — none of these things are to be permitted, and there is no room for them in us if we are loving God with all our souls.

     Third, with all our minds. It’s the renewed mind that thinks right toward God and His kingdom. The renewed mind takes its rightful place in Him. The renewed mind comes into the understanding and revelation of the Word and takes the thoughts of God as its own. 

     Fourth, with all our strength. We are to exert and spend our strength in loving, obeying, and serving Him. This involves works that demonstrate love. We are saved by grace, not by works, but once we’re saved, works matter! That’s called fruit, and Jesus said we would know someone by their fruit. 

     We are to use all our strength in obedience to carry out His will for our lives. Obedience is the action of a heart submitted to and loving God. We demonstrate our love for God with our strength. 

     Paul said that he labored more abundantly than all others; that was the fruit of his love for God. We are to love Him with all our strength.

     Seeking first the Kingdom of God and His way of doing things will deliver to you and your family the best life — it will add to you what you could never achieve for yourself. 

The Jackpot of Life Part 1 - by Nancy Dufresne

Matt. 6:31-34 instructs us, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But SEEK ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be ADDED unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow....”

The Amplified translation of verse 33 reads, “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (HIS WAY OF DOING and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”

When we seek first God’s Kingdom and His way of operating, everything we need in this life shall be added to us.
— Nancy Dufresne

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things that others are dying to get will be ADDED to you. This is the “jackpot” of life. It’s a key scripture that tells us that when we seek God first, then all these things this scripture contains will be added to us.

Seeking first His Kingdom and His way of operating will put us in command of all other things that others are dying to get. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its diverse interests, and all these things shall be added to you.

“Seek” — this is not a casual approach to God and His Kingdom, but a “whole-hearted” approach that calls for your whole attention. This verse shows us that we are to have a God-centeredness in all we do. God-centeredness is loving God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. God-centeredness puts us on top of all other issues of life. This verse shows us that God-centeredness will put us in command of all other issues of life.

No Fear of What We’re Far Above

For the one who is God-centered in his thoughts and in his attention, he is done with fear and worry and doubt. To engage in “His way of doing” (vs. 33, Amp) gives you the mastery over all opposition. When you get the revelation of this verse, you will be free from struggling for anything. You can be assured that this truth sets you free from every form of struggle.

God-centeredness is the mystery behind our dominion on the earth. God-centeredness helps us see ourselves and walk in the position He has raised us to — FAR above all powers.

Ephesians 1:20-23 reads, “Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” And Ephesians 2:5 & 6 tells us, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ...And hath RAISED US UP together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

When you get the revelation that you are seated FAR ABOVE all opposing powers, it is like a divine coronation, and you begin to exercise the dominion that is yours. You live on top instead of beneath. God-centeredness brings you into a mindfulness of your exalted position in Christ. It sets you free from fear when you see that you are FAR ABOVE all opposition. You can never be afraid of what you are FAR above. When someone is afraid, it is because they have forgotten that they are FAR ABOVE it. No more fear of being alone, fear of flying, fear of failure, no fear of the future, no fear that so many others’ lives are dominated by.

Utmost Excitement About His Kingdom

When we seek first God’s Kingdom and His way of operating, everything we need in this life shall be added to us. To seek first the Kingdom of God and His way of doing things is to love God unreservedly — going after Kingdom issues with utmost excitement — treating it as the highlight of your life.

First Corinthians 2:9 reads, “...What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]” (Amplified).

The more interested I become with Him and His business, the more I lose interest in the unimportant, and the more absorbed I am with God’s interests. I’m not going to let the unimportant rob me of the glorious future God planned for me on this earth. I’m not going to let distractions and the natural rob me of laying hold of “His riches in glory.”

Serving God and having your interest in His Kingdom is absolutely for your benefit. Exodus 23:25 & 26 tells us, “You shall serve the Lord your God; He shall bless your bread and water, and I will take sickness from your midst...I will fulfill the number of your days” (Amplified). He will bless your daily resources, and He will protect the health of the one serving Him and extend his life. The blessing flows with the “serving” of His Kingdom.

You won’t have to pray for His blessing when your interest is in His Kingdom, for the abundance of that Kingdom will water and overflow every arena of your life. Giving God the first place in our lives is absolutely to our benefit. When we put the Kingdom of God first, then that Kingdom will dominate our lives.

In God’s Kingdom is unending supply — there’s never a shortage there. Stay in the interests of the Kingdom, and you will stay out of shortage.

Part 2 Coming Next Month...

Is What You See Greater Than What God Says? - by Nancy Dufresne

I'm reminded of a testimony of healing I heard years ago that I often think about. A woman had gone to the doctor and was told that she had a growth in her breast, so they set up another appointment for further tests. At her next appointment, they did an ultrasound on her. With the ultrasound equipment, the doctor was able to display an image of the lump in her breast on a screen. As he did, he turned the screen toward the woman so she could see the lump.

He pointed to the screen as he explained to the woman what they were seeing. When she saw the lump pictured on the screen, she spoke quietly in her heart to the Lord. “Oh Lord, if only I hadn’t seen it. Seeing it makes it more real.”

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The Lord spoke back to her, “Is what you see greater than what I say?”

How that question checked her! She caught herself, realizing her wrong thinking. “No, Lord,” she answered, “what I see is not greater than what You say.”

Then she reminded herself of what He had already said in His Word. Quietly to herself, she rehearsed His Word. “Your Word says that ‘Himself took my infirmities and bare my sicknesses.’ Your Word says that ‘by Jesus’ stripes I was healed.’ ” As she lay on that examination bed, she quietly refocused her attention on the Word instead of on the screen.

As she lay there, continuing to put her attention on God’s Word and worshipping Him for it, suddenly a wide, bright circle of light appeared on the screen. Everyone in the room saw it. Slowly that bright circle of light began to close in and grow smaller and smaller around that lump. As the circle of light grew smaller, it completely encased the lump, and when it did, the circle of light disappeared, and then the lump was also gone off the screen! The lump had dissolved, and she was completely healed!

That miracle happened for the woman because she redirected her attention away from what she was seeing and toward what God said. The Word was greater than what she saw, and when she focused on the Word that was greater, what she saw changed.

How often we are surrounded by circumstances that are so visible, hear things that are so audible, or feel things that are so tangible. Yet, we must always remember that what God says is greater than anything we may see, feel, or hear.

Don’t believe anything more than you believe the Word!

Just because circumstances may be so loud or so tangible, that doesn’t change the truth of God’s Word! His Word is greater!

As Christians, we live by words — God’s words! Those around us are living by what they feel, see, and hear, but not us! We live by words! Since God said it, that’s what we hold to, regardless of all we may feel, see, and hear. Living by what God says gives us the best life. It’s such a joy to know that we aren’t destined and doomed to live by circumstances that are constantly changing, but we get the privilege of living by what God says, which never changes.

One key to enjoying the kind of life that God authored for us involves our attention. When that woman had her attention on what she saw, she was troubled. But when she turned her attention from what she saw to what God said, she partook of the best flow — the flow of the Word, the flow of healing.

We must practice holding our attention on God’s Word when circumstances are so loud and boastful all around us. We don’t get good at anything without practicing – that goes for spiritual things as well as natural things.

Many think they have faith problems when they really have attention problems. Your faith is connected to your attention. Where your attention goes, your faith goes. Some frantically struggle to get more faith, when they really need to discipline their thought life to hold their attention on the right thing instead of on the wrong thing.

Let’s practice every day on the small things of daily life – holding our attention on God’s Word instead of on changing, shifting circumstances.