Imagine that a devastating hurricane is approaching your area. Government agencies are broadcasting urgent warnings: “GET OUT! SEEK REFUGE NOW!” What would be the wise thing to do? Head for a safe place, certainly.
In a sense, all of us are living in the path of a devastating “storm,” which Jesus called a “great tribulation.” (Matthew 24:21) We cannot simply get out of the path of that tribulation. But we can do something to protect ourselves. What is that?
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ gave this direction: “Keep on, then, seeking first [God’s] Kingdom and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) How do we do that?
Seek first the Kingdom of God. This means that we should view God’s Kingdom as being more important than anything else. (Matthew 6:25, 32, 33) Why should we view it that way? Because humans are just not able to solve mankind’s problems. Only God’s Kingdom can accomplish that difficult job.
Seek his righteousness. We should try our best to live by God’s righteous laws and principles. Why? Because if we decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong, the results will be bad. (Proverbs 16:25) On the other hand, if we live by God’s standards, we not only please God but also benefit ourselves.—Isaiah 48:17, 18.
Keep on seeking first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness. Jesus warned that some might get sidetracked, thinking they can find security in making as much money as possible. Others may let anxieties of life overwhelm them to the point that they have no time to seek God’s Kingdom.—Matthew 6:19-21, 25-32.
However, Jesus promised that those who support God’s Kingdom will have what they need now and enjoy endless blessings in the future.—Matthew 6:33.
Even though Jesus’ disciples in the first century were seeking first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness, they did not see the end of all pain and suffering in their lifetime. But they were protected. How?
They lived by God’s righteous standards, and that protected them from the difficulties suffered by those who ignored what God said. Their strong faith that the Kingdom would come helped them to face even the severest of problems. And God gave them “the power beyond what is normal” so that they could cope.—2 Corinthians 4:7-9.
WILL YOU SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM?
Christians in the first century obeyed Jesus’ command to seek first the Kingdom. They preached the Kingdom good news throughout their part of the world. (Colossians 1:23) Is anyone doing that today?
Yes! Jehovah’s Witnesses realize that the time left before God’s Kingdom brings an end to this current system of things is short. So they do all they can to live by Jesus’ words: “This good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”—Matthew 24:14.
How will you respond to the good news? We urge you to imitate the first-century inhabitants of the Macedonian city of Beroea. When they heard the good news about the Kingdom from the apostle Paul, they accepted his message “with the greatest eagerness of mind.” Then they ‘carefully examined the Scriptures’ to verify what they had heard, and they acted on what they learned.—Acts 17:11, 12.
You can do the same. By seeking first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness, you will find refuge and protection now and enjoy lasting peace and security in the future.