In 1998 the Lord gave me a key to success. He told me to look at both Matthew 6:33 and Luke 19:10 in the Amplified Version. Here is what the two verses say:
But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. (Matt. 6:33)
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)
Looking at these two scriptures together opened my eyes to something: Seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33) includes seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). When we win the lost, God will give us the things we need as well.
In other words, if we need money or provision, we should win the lost—and God will meet our needs.
Wow, Riley, is it that simple? Yes, my friend, it is. When we make it our priority to seek and save the lost, God will give us everything we need to get the job done.
How does it work?
First, if we are going to win the lost, we must be followers of Jesus. Jesus told His disciples, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19, nkjv).
Jesus had to show the disciples what following means. One morning a crowd was pressing in on Jesus (see Luke 5:1–11). Jesus noticed Peter’s empty boat, so He stepped into it—without asking Peter if He could—so that He could teach the people without being crushed. Peter went along with this arrangement, and when he did, his boat became a tool for the preaching of the gospel.
Then, after Jesus used Peter’s boat to preach, He told Peter to go fishing. Peter and the others launched his boat, even though they were tired. They had already fished all night and caught nothing.
What was Jesus trying to show these guys? He was teaching them that following Him means going where He goes, doing what He does, saying what He says. If we are going to seek and save the lost, we have to follow Jesus and be willing to do anything He asks us.
Second, if we want to receive God’s provision, we must allow God to use our resources. Proverbs 19:17 says, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and He will repay you!”
Peter let Jesus use his boat to preach the gospel, and Jesus repaid Peter far beyond all he could ever ask or think. When the disciples gave their time and strength and headed out for one more round of fishing, they caught a boat-sinking load of fish!
Much later, after Peter had followed Jesus for many months, the same principle was at work. When Peter needed money to pay a tax, Jesus told him, “Go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first; and when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money: take that and give it to them for Me and you” (Matt. 17:27, nkjv).
In John 4:36 Jesus said, “The harvesters are paid good wages” (nlt). What kind of wages was He talking about? Well, the answer is twofold. Jesus went on to say that the fruit they would harvest is people brought to eternal life. Glory to God! But did Peter and the others receive only a spiritual wage from that boat-sinking catch they made? No! They turned that catch into provision for mission. They used it to become fishers of men. Where God guides, He provides.
A pastor friend of mine recently told me, “Riley, your breakthrough might be in the mouth of the next fish you catch.” Wow! I’d say it’s time to fish!
When you follow Jesus and let Him use your resources to win the lost—you are guaranteed to succeed!