Seek Ye First The Kingdom

“Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness.” Matthew 6:33

Although I gave my life to Jesus when I was in the 7th grade, I’m afraid I didn’t understand a lot about what that meant for a very long time. I believe the main reason I did this was to keep from going to hell. I was a pretty good kid, so it served me naturally to do what I wanted to do to serve me, and to judge those who weren’t following the rules I thought we were supposed to follow. With that false narrative, I also believed I would be rewarded for doing the right thing and He would like me better. I was one of the most legalistic Christians around, and for a long time, those lies served me well.

You can’t imagine the relief when I truly learned of a better way, life in His Kingdom. My life was transformed as I grew deeper into His Kingdom. The Lord created us all so we strive for little queendoms and kingdoms. Then He sent Jesus to give us a vision of His Kingdom and abundant life. It seems the trick is to run my queendom as He runs His, by the same principles and truths. It blew my mind that this life was immediately available to me and that He would grant me power and wisdom for the journey.

I have spent the last 15 years with the vision of living life to the fullest in His Kingdom through relying on Him. The Bible calls that ‘abundant life’. After that vision, I developed an intention to obey the teachings of Jesus. Grace and forgiveness have been welcomed partners along this journey, but the joy and peace that I have found has been real everyday. Solitude, silence, study, worship, sabbath keeping, sacrificing, and surrender are a few of the disciplines I continue to practice as I strive to become more like Jesus. I find my identity in Jane in whom Christ dwells as I seek to live as “that person” right now, already in Eternity.

And you wanna know the best part? This Kingdom life is available to every single one of us, right now, where we are. My hope is you will join me in Kingdom living as we serve our unchanging and powerful God.

Jane is a follower of Christ and lives for His Kingdom. She coaches women’s basketball at the University of Nevada, Reno and has 3 fun-loving shelties.

“God saved us for something.”

“God saved us for something.” Those words rang in my head all day Sunday. I kept asking myself…What is holding me back from God’s purpose? Three words that Pastor Dan spoke helped me start this process of identifying God’s purpose for my life. It all starts with genuine worship of the only One worthy of our worship. Pastor Dan said John 4:24 says what it looks like to worship God fully, in both spirit and truth. If we are to worship God in that way we have to understand that worship is “a response to who God is and what He does.” How can I do that? Three words jumped out at me in Sunday’s message.

God, What is it You want out of my life? Romans 12:1 is a good place to start to understand that I am to present my body as “a living sacrifice.” That’s a big deal.

Is my life being saturated with thoughts about God? The best way to do that is to regularly dive into God’s word. God’s word is living and is God’s primary answer to everything! If you are praying regularly and not hearing from God, maybe He wants to speak to you through His word. When I realized that, it changed how I read Scripture and how God speaks to me. I encourage you to try it.

Am I living a life of sacrifice Pastor Dan says: Sacrifice is giving up something I love for something I love MORE. So what do I really love? I love football: college, pro, high school, whatever. God has repeatedly called me to do things on my normal football Sundays at the church to help me let go of something I love (football) for something I love more (God and His church). That’s why you see me on most Sundays serving: because God has asked me to start sacrificing for Him. You may think that giving up football is not a sacrifice but it is to me! I lived for football and would spend hours every day watching games or reading about teams!

If I can really get these 3 core principles of genuine worship down how amazing would my become? The cost of following Jesus is NOTHING compared to the cost of not following Jesus. Our lives become infinitely greater when we enter into a relationship with Him.

God created us to live an amazing life with Him: a life on purpose. I’m ready. Ready to get out the audience and into the army. Thanks Pastor Dan for a great message!

13497766_10100149304574735_7871103180094266523_oStephen loves working with Grace students, and in his spare time is a dietitian. He’s married to Elise, and they are expecting their first baby next year!