Seated on a sunlit mountain side in Israel, surrounded by crowds of followers, Jesus Christ spoke of many things; love and anger, prayer and fasting, worry and faith. His sermon on the mount has been the topic of Christian teaching for over two thousand years.
That long ago day on the mountain Jesus told them, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
My question when first reading these verses in the Gospel of Matthew was, “how do I go about seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness and what things will be mine if I do it?”
In 1977 I was a brand-spanking-new believer in and follower of Christ. I had questions about everything. Many people offered answers and opinions. Never being one to leave well-enough alone, I invited myself to the home of a Christian woman who had earned my respect with her actions and words. “What does it take to find God’s kingdom and righteousness?” I asked.
Wisely, she did not share pat answers, telling me how to mimic her walk as I expected she would. Instead she sent me home with a recording (tape..it’s what we used in the ’70s) and a study Bible from her library. Today I cannot recall who recorded the message. All I know for certain is that the theme and focus was,
“in everything Put God’s Word First Place”
In modern society the new and the now are what’s trending, so how can two thousand year-old texts possibly be relevant in 2017?
How can God’s Word ever be irrelevant?
Not long after that another friend presented me with a new Bible and a small loose-leaf binder (journal). This woman, who will forever hold a warm place in my heart, began teaching me how to Journal God’s Word and implement the scriptures in my life.
As I prepare this study to share with others I can bear witness to the fact that being a doer of the Word and not a hearer only; putting God’s Word FIRST in life, means grace and favor will cover every aspect of your days and life will, as Jesus promised, be abundant indeed.
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. _John 1:1-4 (RSV)
Where your walk with Jesus is today does not matter in the least. Jesus came to be the light in your life today, tomorrow and forever eternally. Because of Him you can move forward from this moment and your path will be illuminated by the magnificent light of Christ, the Son of God.
Calling yourself a Christian means you believe in and rely on Christ, accepting Him as Lord and Savior. Calling yourself a Christian also means recognizing Christ as the Word of God incarnate.
In the beginning was the Word…He was in the beginning…
A prayer to begin:
Father, God look upon me, be merciful to me and show me favor, as is your way to those who love your name.
Establish my steps and direct them by means of your Word; let not iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppressions of man, so I can keep your precepts, hearing, receiving, loving and obeying them.
Make your face to shine with pleasure upon me, your servant, and teach me your statutes.
Father, this you have promised by the mouth of your holy prophets from the most ancient times—that we should have deliverance and be saved from our enemies.
That covenant you sealed by oath to our Father Abraham, to grant that we, being delivered from our foes, might serve you, fearlessly, in holiness and right standing within your presence all the days of our life.
In Jesus name, Amen
Do what you Love
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” _Deuteronomy 7:9
Your Journal is about YOU. Your Journal is your soul print, uniquely your own. No other will be exactly the same.
Your Bible is God’s covenant of LOVE with YOU. Your Bible is your “Owners Manual” conveying God’s plan for your life. No one else in all of creation will receive exactly the same inspiration, direction, comfort or counseling from God’s Word.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” _Hebrews 4:12
Your Journal can become your dearest friend, your closest confidant, your prayer partner and your biography. There is nothing else I know of that will bring you nearer to your Lord and Savior than keeping a Journal of God’s Word.
Keeping a Journal of your journey with Jesus and God’s Word is suggested by the prophet Habakkuk, and if you really think about it, much of our Bible was written either as a means of recording God’s interaction with his people or in the form of prayers, praise, or correspondence. That’s inspired journaling.
“Then the Lord answered me, “Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly”. _Habakkuk 2:2
If you haven’t started to Journal God’s Word yet, there is only one place to begin.
At the beginning.
What you will need:
- Your Bible
- A loose-leaf binder (probably similar in size to your Bible, since it will be easier to carry them together)
- A pen or pencil and highlighters if you love them.
- A quite place to be alone with God
- At least a quarter of one hour free from interruptions.
What you won’t need:
A cell phone, tablet, laptop or any other distraction
What you must do:
Open your Spirit to God’s Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Rest in the Presence of The Lord and listen for his guidance. The most powerful words any believer can utter, “Here am I, Lord.”
What you must NOT do:
Try too hard. Journaling God’s Word is about what God want’s to teach you. It is not about what you need to do to get God’s favor and grace to flow in your life. Jesus paid it ALL so that you can receive, not earn, the Love of the Father.
Journal God's Word - copyright Ellen Lebsock 2017