Each week the Village News now features a different Bible passage (or other thought-provoking message relating to faith) so that readers can share their insight and/or opinions.
This new, interactive section allows those of various denominations and faiths to participate equally and respectfully, sharing their individual thoughts, commentary, viewpoints and/or insight on particular Biblical verses and themes.
In addition, the Bible passage selected for the following week will be publicized so that readers can e-mail their comments to be included.
All comments and insight shared will also go on the newspaper’s Web site (www.thevillagenews.com) so it can be reviewed and commented on further.
If you would like to recommend Bible passages for this discussion venue, please e-mail us at [email protected].
Seeking/Understanding God’s Kingdom
“(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: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Christians are told to seek the Kingdom of God and its righteousness above all things, but what is the Kingdom of God, and how can we achieve it?
Of Christ in You Ministries says:
“Jesus, the King of Kings, wants to reign as King in the inner kingdom of our lives. He encourages us to make this the first priority of our lives, allowing His righteous character to be expressed in our behavior.
“Such a focus on the Lordship reign of Christ in our lives will free us from undue material concerns as we trust God in Christ to supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19).
“God’s grace is sufficient (II Cor. 12:9), and we receive all that He has for us in Christ by the receptivity of faith.”
Of Christian Science says:
“In this passage, Jesus admonishes to seek the kingdom of God first, not just after everything else has failed. He tells us elsewhere that this kingdom is ‘within you’ and that we must seek it as a ‘little child.’
“This kingdom is the reign of harmony, health and happiness. We find it by glorifying God in our actions and thoughts. We find it by healing all the ills of the flesh within and without.
“This kingdom is not elusive but ever present. It is not found in material things – although we are promised that we will have all we need of what we need – it is found in spiritual unity with the divine.
“It is not ‘achieved’ by human action as much as it is demonstrated by powerful Christly humility which overcomes fear and anxiety.”
Pastor Art Blodgett
Of Community Baptist Church says:
“‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.’ Jesus speaks these words after encouraging his listeners to not worry about their daily needs, but to trust God to meet them.
“By telling them to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, Jesus reorders a most sacred priority, self-preservation, and replaces it with something even more important, a pressing concern for eternal life.
“What meaning can ‘his kingdom and his righteousness’ have without meaning something eternally more than all this world has to offer? It only makes sense to seek them first.”
Additional Pastoral Response to Forgiveness
Of Fallbrook United Methodist Church says:
“Jesus gave a teaching that is life-changing. Forgiveness changes the course of all our lives. We have a choice of planting two different seeds. One is forgiveness. It cleanses our emotions of past hurts, resentments, hate, and vengeance.
“Forgiveness is filled with grace, love, and goodwill. Every day becomes a new day of joy and hope.
“On the other hand, we can plant a seed of vengeance. Vengeance leads to more vengeance; it seeks to get even, to cause endless suffering and eventually to destroy.
“When Jesus told Peter to forgive 70 times seven, he was teaching that forgiveness is a continuous and endless process in Christian life. In forgiveness, the cycle of cruelty, revenge, and war will come to an end.
“Jesus gives us his ultimate example on the cross: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.’ (Luke 23:34)”
Next week’s passage for discussion:
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
Christians are told to live their lives by Faith. Faith is such a commonly used term in all denominations but is such a hard concept to grasp, even if one is raised as a Christian. What does faith bring into a person’s life?
To comment on this passage, please email [email protected].