“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he [God] will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
2020 was one of the toughest years ever. We endured a pandemic. We survived a surreal situation. We watched the world literally spin off of its axis. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have succumbed to COVID-19 and millions more have been infected worldwide. We missed family gatherings and mourned the loss of family and friends from a distance because of COVID-19 protocols and safety concerns.
Our church facilities (not our churches) have been shut down, forcing us to gather and worship virtually. Job losses, unemployment, racial tension, violence, murder and mayhem have prevailed at unprecendented levels. The recent attempted siege of our nation’s Capitol building, the very seat of our democracy, was in many ways the capsulation of the madness we’ve had to manage and maneuver through.
And yet, the God we serve is still in control. We are still here! We have much to be thankful for and much to give God the glory about. The God we serve is a God of restoration.
Here’s what the Bible says about God’s restorative process:
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.” Joel 2:25-26
“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17
“Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” Isaiah 61:7
“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10
This is why I’m declaring 2021 as “The Year of Abundance!” I’m speaking abundance over my household and I invite you to join me in doing the same. Matthew 6:33 serves as our confirmation. We are admonished by Jesus to “seek God first” and by doing so make God and the things of God our priority.
Matthew 6:33 also bends us toward the first object of human pursuit: seeking God. The African theologians Origen and Clement of Alexandria note: “Ask great things and little things shall be added unto you. Ask heavenly things and earthly things shall be added unto you.” What is the chief aim of humans except to glorify God and enjoy him forever?
When God is first, God gives us everything we need. Whatever area we seek abundance in is added unto us. Health, healing, happiness, wealth, peace, comfort, mental stability, emotional well-being, protection from enemies seen and unseen — all these things are added unto us. That’s God’s promise and it’s one we can count on God to fulfill eternally.
Seek God’s Kingdom first. Seek God’s righteousness first. Seek daily to make God first in your life, above everything else. Then we will live in abundance. And 2021, with all of the challenges we’ve already faced in the first days of the year, will truly be our “Year of Abundance.”
Dr. Preston T. Adams III is senior pastor at Amazing Grace Christian Church in Indianapolis. Contact Pastor Adams via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @DrPrestonTAdams. For more information, visit agccindy.org.