It took God employing hardship for me to embrace the inescapable reality that everything I did in ministry was done in allegiance to, and in pursuit of, either the kingdom of self or the kingdom of God. This truth is best exegeted for us in Matthew 6:19-34. (Please grab your Bible or click the link to read the passage.) I'm convinced that this passage elaborately unpacks the thoughts, desires, and actions of the kingdom of self. Notice the turn in Matthew 6:33, where Jesus says, "But seek first the kingdom of God." The word but tells us this verse is the transition point of the passage. Everything before it explains the operation of another kingdom, the kingdom of self. This makes the passage a very helpful lens on the struggle between these two kingdoms in everyone's heart.
I want to examine four treasure principles that emerge from this passage that I find helpful as I seek to examine the motivations of my own heart in ministry.