When you think of human priorities, little comes before food and drink. These are the necessities: without them, you die. Jesus is saying that those in His Kingdom hunger and thirst for righteousness. Kingdom people prioritize the King and the Kingdom in all of life.
Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matt 6:33 NIV
What is it to be hungry for righteousness? Not just to be right or to be forgiven (justified), but to be transformed – to be new on the inside. Not just free from the guilt of sin but free from sin, but becoming more like Him.
He transforms the inner world so that he can make you transformative in the world around you. You will see this theme of the inner life throughout the beatitudes – meek, merciful, pure. He is out to make you into a new creature: a new kind of human being, a Kingdom ambassador who is the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
What does this have to do with my work life? Many of us suspect that righteousness is a theological proposition, not a practical one. Will this help me care for my family, get a promotion, make that deadline, solve this problem, deal with my boss, or employee, co-worker or customer?
If we seek Him first, these things will be added. When we learn to put Jesus at the center of everything, he will move through us to make things right around us. He will make you into a new kind of boss, a new kind of employee, and a new kind of co-worker. It is practical in a myriad of ways. What’s more, he will extend his kingdom through you – this includes evangelism, but goes beyond it to extending Kingdom influence in the workplace. This is what it means when it says, “And he is the head of the body, the church…so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Col 1:18 NIV)