This coming Sunday, during the Memorial Day weekend, I have been asked to give some remarks (about 5-8 minutes in length) at a gathering at Veterans Memorial Park north of Fort Dodge, a gathering which will honor our veterans and their families. As I have been considering what to say, there has been a constant theme running through my brain: the need to be intentional in remembering. Unless something has a direct or strong indirect impact on us in some way, the normal behavior for humans is to, after a while, have something be forgotten.
For example, August 29th will be the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. How often in the days, weeks, and months following that storm did you think about those who were directly affected by that storm? Most likely, many times, but that was assisted by the constant stream of information we received about the aftermath and those directly affected. Now, how many times have you stopped to think about that whole situation within the last year? Maybe there have been stories about the continued rebuilding, which is still ongoing even 9 years later, but I have not seen them. It is safe to say, though, that the number of stories has diminished greatly. Why? Because people have moved on to other issues, circumstances, and events which have happened since then, having returned to their normal daily lives.
If humans are not intentional, they will default to a base level of living and just going through the motions of daily life. That is a reality.
The reason I bring this all up this morning is that in my Facebook feed this morning, I came across this quote by Graham Cooke from his “Permission Granted” book: “I feel it strongly in my heart on days that God is taking our hearts to a totally different place of intention, purpose, and design. It’s time for us to stop being casual about the Kingdom and develop a lifestyle of utmost intentionality because there is acceleration with intention.”
To my fellow siblings, those who along with me are adopted sons and daughters of God because they have believed the message of Jesus, I would like to ask this question: how will you be intentional about the Kingdom of God today? This is important for us to consider because, just like not thinking or actively remembering something that hasn’t impacted us directly if we are intentional about it, we will default to a base level of living which just deals with the daily occurrences of our normal, every-day lives, not really thinking about or remembering the Kingdom.
Jesus calls us to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” I read “intentional” in that statement. This seeking is active and it is intentional. It is not passive. And as Graham said, when we are intentional, acceleration occurs. It occurs because God knows He can trust us because He knows our first active priority is His Kingdom. Therefore, He will bring opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. God is not in the business of building our kingdom; He’s in the business of building His kingdom. And He wants to use us to do it and experience the incredible joy that entails.
So, who is that person whom you can impact with Kingdom today? What is that situation to which you can bring the qualities of the perfect Kingdom today? Who is that person to whom you can introduce the King? Who is that person upon whom God wants you to call down His goodness and kindness and then connect that with true nature of God? If we are not intentional in actively seeking these opportunities, we will miss most, if not all, of them. And we will miss the joy of seeing lives and situations impacted through an encounter with the extreme love, kindness, and goodness of God and His Kingdom.
And I don’t want any of us to miss out on that.