Planning for faith. Kind of a strange idea, really, because faith is so … unplanable. It’s a strange thing about which it is hard to explain or organize or categorize. I mean, if you’ve got it, you know what I’m talking about.

So, how to go about planning a faith story? Because I’m not interested in more steps or more doctrine or more rules. That’s not really faith, anyway. That’s religion, and that’s not what Jesus came for. That babe we just celebrated a few short days ago, who grew into the world-changing, life-giving, hope-offering man who now, glorified and with the Father … he’s who I’m interested in. He’s who I’m seeking. He’s the one in whom my faith rests.

He. The Three. The mysterious, the divine, the beautiful kingdom of Him. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Call it radical, or fanatical, or foolish if you like. But I’m His, totally and completely, and I want to live this year like I believe that.

I could come up with a list of disciplines, or a daily checklist (rise early, pray, read, drink eight glasses of water, serve). And all of those things, the reading and the praying and such, are important and great and holy. I’ll be doing lots of that this year. But it is so tempting to reduce faith to categories and to do’s and I don’t want a reduced faith. I want my faith to grow.

I don’t want more to do’s. I want more to be’s.

Everything in me yearns to be faithful. I want to live, to be, a fabulous faith story this year. So, out of all the things I could choose, the big things and the hard things and the small things that might be considered great faith stories, I’m going to choose one.

The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5,6,7. That’s it. This will be my scripture this year. His words, in all their red-lettered beauty.

Blessed are the merciful …

Let your light shine …

First go and be reconciled to your brother …

Give to the one who asks you …

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven …

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness …

Do not judge …

Do to others what you would have them do to you …

These are the words from his lips. This what he offered those who sought him when he lived his life here. And as I seek him this year, these are the words he offers me.

Join me, if you wish, as I plan this year to live a faith story that is bathed in his very words.

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