Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The kingdom of God and His righteousness, simply put, is His rule, His reign, and His way of doing things.
Over and over again scripture bids us do the things we aren’t naturally inclined to do and lots of times we just boil Christianity down to good behavior. But, there are a few things in scripture that challenge me beyond “just shut up and be nice to people”. And I’m willing to bet there are times where you feel the same.
Can I just say that calling yourself a Christian really sucks if you aren’t going to be all in? It makes you feel good for a bit and then you are left wondering if there’s more. Worship is blah. Bible reading is blah. And then, you give yourself a little pep talk and you feel better…until you don’t feel better anymore and you find yourself just surviving again.
Here’s the deal. If you aren’t all in, then you aren’t in at all.
We were meant for more than just believing everything is going to be okay.
We were meant to be Kingdom Seekers.
There is a sick, hurting and dying world out there and still, there are times in my life where I know I mostly go to church to make myself feel better. It’s dumb.
We’ve got a limited amount of time here and we had better make it count. A phrase I adapted to my life in college is, “If we don’t take advantage of this thing called life we are all idiots.”
Do we need to build ourselves up? Yes. Emphatically, yes. But only so that we can pour ourselves out.
I want to share with you the 3 things that scare the pants off of me but I feel God is calling me to embrace in one way or another. Honestly, I want to delete this whole post and save it for another time when I’m feeling a bit more brave, but I’ve put it off for long enough. So here goes.
How many foster children and orphans live in your area? Now, how many people live in the same area who claim to be Christians? Are there more able-bodied believers than there are children in need of a home? Then why is this an issue? If we are so passionate about ending abortion, which I am, then why are we unwilling to provide the “unwanted” and “unloved” with a place to be wanted; a place to be loved? Matt (my husband) and I strongly desire to one day adopt out of the foster system and I will love those children as I love my own. This scares the pants off of me. But God already knows who they are. He already knows what they need. Please understand that I am not saying that this is something every Christian needs to do. I’m only saying it is something I believe every Christian needs to consider.
How much money are we spending on the stuff that we don’t even own? How much money have I spent on things I don't own? Seriously.
How much money would you be able to free up in your monthly budget if you only bought those things that you could actually afford? What if you didn’t have a car payment and instead, put that money towards getting out of debt so you could be free to do more for God’s Kingdom? What if you sold your house, downsized and started saving the money you would be spending to help others?
These are questions my family and I are asking ourselves. We don’t have a car right now. Long story. Could we go out and get a car that we can’t afford and make a car payment every month? Yep, but we believe God has other plans for that money and we trust Him to get us where we need to go. Quite literally. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t scare the pants off of me.
Why is it that when it comes to purity in our marriages if we struggle, we struggle alone and if we suffer, we suffer alone?
Based on the Gospel this should not be the case. We believe that our stories are valuable and should be utilized to help others walk through similar situations. We know that when we share these things it might be considered “too much” for some in the church and it may put distance between us and those who aren’t ready to have these conversations. But this consequence should not deter any of you or me from sharing our story with those it may help. Currently, we are working on something that will speak on the struggles we faced in our first years of marriage and how we fight to protect the sanctity of our marriage, today. (We'll give you the details soon.) It's a scary thing to be transparent, but it's also necessary.
Sheesh, I’m glad I got all that off my chest.
I know that as I walk through embracing these things in my own life God will call me to even greater levels of sacrifice and dependence. This is how the Gospel works. He must increase and I must decrease.
This is what it means to encounter Jesus.