Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

Putting God’s Kingdom First

By Gregg Harris
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #3, 1993.

Pin It

Gregg Harris


“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’” (Matthew 6:9-13)

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23)

Which of the following would be the more acceptable testimony in the church today?

#1 “Before I met the Lord, I was a lazy, irresponsible, smoking, foul-mouthed drunkard. But now I am saved and I don’t do those things anymore.”

#2 “Before I met the Lord, I neglected my family and abandoned my children to be raised by unbelievers, used the church only as a source of entertainment, ignored my neighbors, lived in constant debt spending borrowed money on unnecessary possessions, and sacrificed my freedom for a job doing work I didn’t believe in. But now that I am saved and I don’t do those things anymore.”

Imagine the discomfort the latter of these two announcements would create in a typical church congregation. We have a consensus that the sins listed in the first testimony are wrong. But no such consensus exists for the culturally acceptable sins listed in the second testimony. What is it that allows Christians to be apathetic toward some of the “weightier matters” of the Christian life? Why is there so little conviction of the Holy Spirit in some of the most practical areas of our lives? I believe it is because we lack a proper sense of the kingdom of God.

Thy Kingdom Come

Everything God’s Word has to say is summed up in the good news that the kingdom of God is at hand. The rock on which the church is built, is the revelation from the Father that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God. The true king is here. Everything else flows from that. The kingdom of God is the territory under the dominion of His Son, the king. And wherever King Jesus is in charge, things are done differently from the kingdoms of this world. Very differently!

I believe home schooling, family business, hospitality, neighborhood-based church ministry, and Christian civil leadership are practical expressions of the new way of life in God’s kingdom. When we repent and turn away from the ways of this world, these are some of the things we turn to.

A Kingdom of Righteousness

All kingdoms are built on relationships. God’s kingdom, based as it is on righteousness, is a kingdom of right relationships. Satan’s kingdom is based on broken and distorted relationships. This should cause us to question the way the world does everything. As Christians we should expect our king to provide a better way to do everything. Everything from making a living and training up our children, to feeding the poor and ruling the nations, deserves to be examined in the light of God’s word. To do less is to continue blundering about in the darkness.

God’s ways are not merely different. They are far superior. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than man’s.

Better Ends & Better Means

God’s kingdom is superior in every way. First, His ends are better. He consistently feeds, clothes, nurses, educates, establishes justice, and so on. Satan never does this. But God’s means to these ends are also better. He calls His people to love one another in very personal ways. Husbands must love their wives, parents must care for their own children, neighbors must care for neighbors, and rulers must be the servants of all. In other words, God’s kingdom is a kingdom of right relationships that produce right results.

Big, impersonal institutions, like the public schools with their factory atmosphere, have no place in God’s kingdom—because here, relationships are as important as results.

If home schooling, family business, and hospitality are more compatible with God’s kingdom than public schools and international corporations are, then anyone with a true sense of the Kingdom of God will eventually feel convicted about his “worldly ways,” repent, and turn to the ways of God’s kingdom.

Think about what happens to the kingdom of God when Christian parents neglect their own children and presume that unbelievers will train them. What happens in the kingdom when a family disregards God’s counsel concerning debt? What do you think takes place, or fails to take place, when Christians do not practice guest room and meal-time hospitality? Righteous relationships and righteous results are aborted!

So, repent of more than just your smoking, drinking, and carrying on. “Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness” and everything you need will flow to you through the right relationships—the personal relationships—the family, church, and neighborhood relationships—that make up God’s kingdom.


Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

Time4Learning University of Nebraska High School

Articles by Gregg Harris

Is Homeschooling for Everyone?

Is Your Homeschool too "bookish"?

Putting God's Kingdom First

The Final Word

An Age-Integrated Church

The Franklin Effect

Popular Articles

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

Bears in the House

Teaching Blends

Getting Organized Part 3

Critical Thinking and Logic

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Who Needs the Prom?

Character Matters for Kids

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

AP Courses At Home

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

Myth of the Teenager

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Start a Nature Notebook

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

Combining Work and Homeschool

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Whole-Language Boondoggle

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

The Charlotte Mason Method

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Laptop Homeschool

How to Win the Geography Bee

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

The Gift of a Mentor

Classical Education

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

University Model Schools

The Charlote Mason Approach to Poetry

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

Shakespeare Camp

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

Phonics the Montessori Way

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Teach Your Children to Work

Narration Beats Tests

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

A Reason for Reading

The Benefits of Debate

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

Montessori Math

The History of Public Education

I Was an Accelerated Child