But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
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For together with what has been said, He puts also yet another reason for feeling confidence about such things, saying,
Seek the kingdom of Heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Thus when He had set the soul free from anxiety, then He made mention also of Heaven. For indeed He came to do away with the old things, and to call us to a greater country. Therefore He does all, to deliver us from things unnecessary, and from our affection for the earth. For this cause He mentioned the heathens also, saying that the Gentiles seek after these things; they whose whole labor is for the present life, who have no regard for the things to come, nor any thought of Heaven. But to you not these present are the chief things, but other than these. For we were not born for this end, that we should eat and drink and be clothed, but that we might please God, and attain unto the good things to come. Therefore as things here are secondary in our labor, so also in our prayers let them be secondary. Therefore He also said, Seek the kingdom of Heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you.
And He said not, shall be given, but shall be added, that you might learn, that the things present are no great part of His gifts, compared with the greatness of the things to come. Accordingly, He does not bid us so much as ask for them, but while we ask for other things, to have confidence, as though these also were added to those. Seek then the things to come, and you will receive the things present also; seek not the things that are seen, and you shall surely attain unto them. Yea, for it is unworthy of you to approach your Lord for such things. And thou, who ought to spend all your zeal and your care for those unspeakable blessings, dost greatly disgrace yourself by consuming it on the desire of transitory things.
How then? says one, did He not bid us ask for bread? Nay, He added, daily, and to this again, this day, which same thing in fact He does here also. For He said not, Take no thought, but, Take no thought for the morrow, at the same time both affording us liberty, and fastening our soul on those things that are more necessary to us.
For to this end also He bade us ask even those, not as though God needed reminding by us, but that we might learn that by His help we accomplish whatever we do accomplish, and that we might be made more His own by our continual prayer for these things.
Do you see how by this again He would persuade them, that they shall surely receive the things present? For He that bestows the greater, much more will He give the less. For not for this end, says He, did I tell you not to take thought nor to ask, that you should suffer distress, and go about naked, but in order that you might be in abundance of these things also: and this, you see, was suited above all things to attract them to Him. So that like as in almsgiving, when deterring them from making a display to men, He won upon them chiefly by promising to furnish them with it more liberally;— for your Father, says He, who sees in secret, shall reward you openly; Matthew 6:4 — even so here also, in drawing them off from seeking these things, this is His persuasive topic, that He promises to bestow it on them, not seeking it, in greater abundance. Thus, to this end, says He, do I bid you not seek, not that you may not receive, but that you may receive plentifully; that you may receive in the fashion that becomes you, with the profit which you ought to have; that you may not, by taking thought, and distracting yourself in anxiety about these, render yourself unworthy both of these, and of the things spiritual; that you may not undergo unnecessary distress, and again fall away from that which is set before you.