(In 2017, I wrote this series for the 40 days prior to Easter to prepare our hearts and minds for the significance of Jesus’ resurrection. I’m reposting the series now for the 40 days after Easter to encourage us to follow through, living in the risen Savior and King.)
If you want to see a child’s priorities or “focus”, let them pack their own bag for an overnight camp.
Over the years, I’ve howled with laughter listening to some of our friends share their little adventurers’ packing lists: light sabers, water balloons, tons of books, a dufflebag of dolls, etc. Our crazy kids, too, would pack just about anything – except clothes. Of course, especially if it’s a longer camp, most parents help their children re-prioritize and re-pack. They have their focus, and we have ours. Yes, we want them to enjoy themselves, but we know that the purpose of many overnight camps involve and require more.
In Matthew chapter 4, the Lord Jesus had just returned from a 40-day “camp”, began His ministry preaching repentance for the Kingdom of God, called His first disciples, and began reaching out to the undesirables of the world. Now, He’s telling His disciples how to focus in order to follow Him.
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying…” (Matthew 5:1-2)
Over the next several days leading up to Good Friday, we’ll be looking at the Beatitudes on which Jesus calls His followers to focus for their coming journey.
There’s no doubt that the Lord wants us to have joy in the journey. Each one begins with the encouragement, “Blessed are…”. But if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s probably not the type of list that we would’ve made for ourselves.
Jesus knows that following Him will require more.
Join me as we re-look what it means to follow Him and some of His blessings on the way.
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