Yesterday was my first day back into normal routine after two weeks of holiday hustle. And it felt really good. Because as much as I wanted to stay focused on the Lord during the Christmas season, my soul felt divided. It seemed as if I had one foot in the red and green festivities, and the other foot in His throne-room.
Don’t get me wrong. We made some sweet memories and enjoyed family get-togethers. But I felt divided. Because there was just so much. So much to look at and plan and organize and eat. So much to buy and put away and clean. Oh and the cookies! There were so many cookies!
All that to say, I’m excited about fixing my eyes onto Him at the start of this new year.
Last year at this time I set out on a quest (sounds so Narnia-ish) to memorize the Sermon on the Mount — all 107 verses. Forty or so people joined in the journey and…we didn’t finish. *sigh*
As we approached Matthew 7, excitement had died down and many were discouraged at their progress. So we took December “off” to regroup. Because discouragement or burden is not the point of memorizing Scripture.
During our break from structure, one word kept resting in my spirit: Grace. Grace.
We can’t rise early enough or memorize enough Bible verses to hear Him say, “Oh good, now you’ve reached the point of righteousness to save yourself.”
He calls us righteous based upon one criteria and one criteria alone. Faith. When we believe God it is accounted to us as righteousness. (Galatians 3:6) Doing a bunch of supposed holy things or quoting a ton of verses does not make us righteous.
Remembering the “why” behind any spiritual discipline like Scripture memory is key to endurance. And the why to this Sermon on the Mount journey? We as humans are needy for wisdom and truth that comes from outside of our finite understanding.
I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
So I’m back at it — meditating on Jesus’ life-giving, love-evoking words from the Sermon on the Mount. And whether you join us in this specific journey or not, I encourage you to start the year by choosing a passage to memorize — to marinate in. Because His word is life to our thirsty soul.
Fill me, Lord…
How do you personally “fix your eyes” on Him?
What verse or passage could you commit to meditate upon at the start of this new year?
For those jumping back into the Sermon on the Mount with me, I’m taking the rest of this week to review Matthew 5:1-11. Who’s coming with me?