Being a follower of Jesus is more than just celebrating that He died for our sins and knowing that we will escape the fiery pit of Hell. Being a follower of Jesus is about living in the Kingdom NOW! "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..." Too few of us have been trained in methods of seeking God's kingdom, and thus we live, according to Henry David Thoreau, "quiet lives of desperation."
But what if I told you that it was possible to break out of that life of quiet desperation? Jesus declared..."I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly!" To be sure, most people would agree that there are things we can change and things we cannot change. Seeking the kingdom, is definitely something within our control. But how do we begin? I think the place to begin is by "bringing every thought captive to Christ."
Eric Liddell, of Chariots of Fire fame, suggested that the place to begin was by getting God's Word into our minds so it can filter down to our hearts and then work its way out to our hands. He suggests four sections of Scripture every believer should commit to memory; Exodus 20:1-17 (The Ten Commandments); Psalm 23 (The Lord is my Shepherd…); Matthew 5:3-10 (The Beatitudes); and Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer).
Now, you may think you cannot memorize Scripture. I assure you that you can. It may take some time, but remember, Scripture memorization does not need to be done quickly. Try this… start with Psalm 23. Copy it on a piece of paper. Read it aloud to yourself as a part of your morning routine. Read it again (aloud) at night as part of your “getting ready for bed routine.” Just before you read, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Commit to doing this for forty days, and I guarantee that you will have the 23rd Psalm memorized before the fortieth day. Then move on to the second passage and the third and the fourth! Remember, it’s not a race; it’s about endurance. When you memorize Scripture in such a way, you will find yourself thinking about God’s Words more often. Thoughts impact actions, and actions define character.
As we allow the Word of God to occupy our thoughts, our actions will be influenced and the result will be a transformed character. Transformation is what we are after as apprentices of Jesus. Transformation leads to that abundant life Jesus referred to when talking with His followers. I hope you will accept this challenge to “seek first the kingdom of God.” I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. Please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. My prayers will be with you!
Grace and peace,