Theme of the Week: Saying Yes to Jesus
Bible Verse: “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” 1 John 3:17
Scripture Reading: 1 John 3:11-24
A friend and I were renovating my basement and spitballing thoughts on life in the Spirit. We’ve spent years helping one another comprehend Jesus’ seemingly unreasonable demands. We’ve spurred one another to adore and follow the one who walked these “impossible” roads first.
“Take up your cross” (not add a bit of Jesus to your life)
“Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you” (well, not everything… right?)
“Love as I have loved” (…easy peasy…ugh)
Thanks for setting a low bar, Jesus.
What if Jesus really meant those things, and everything else He said? What if taking up our cross, making disciples, and loving as He loved aren’t vague metaphors or sky-pie ideals? What if they are concrete blueprints for the kind of life Jesus intends to form in us? If so, that means major renovation and sacrifice.
We generally begin renovations for one of two reasons: 1. Things have deteriorated to the point they cannot be ignored for safety or aesthetic considerations, or 2. We’re gripped by what could be. The renovation Jesus has in mind for us is far better than what we might see on HGTV. His impossible demands are a blueprint for an eternal kind of life; for an abundant life, life to the fullest.
That day in my basement, my friend and I realized that the all-encompassing call to follow Jesus usually comes with a “payment plan;” we rarely “pay in full.” While hanging drywall we spoke about how the cost of discipleship is typically paid $50 and 15 minutes at a time. We reflected on how we often miss or hide from the next small step while searching for more dramatic and costly ones. Here too, our Lord went first. His perfect life unfolded one step at a time.
Imagine the grandeur of a life remade according to his blueprints. Say “yes” to the next 15 minute or $50 step today.
Prayer: Master Craftsman of galaxy and genome, teach me to trust Your plans for my life. Show me how to cooperate with You in the next step of Your grand reconstruction today. Your Kingdom come and Your will be done, in my life, as in heaven.
Reflection: Do you think Jesus is serious about the things He says… “love as I have loved, everyone make disciples, etc.”? What changes must be made in our lives and churches if we think He really means these things? What is His role in this grand renovation and what is ours?
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