There’s a homeless guy that hangs around my coffee shop & if you just took a quick look at him, you’d think that he’s insane. He looks kind of gruff, unshaven, sometimes not so clean & generally unkempt. As I get to know him, he’s less and less scary to me – in fact, I think he’s quite gentle and polite. Some people probably think that he needs to be committedsomewhere.
Perhaps committment is the solution to much of the insanity in which we live. Think about it:
a committed relationship with Jesus infuses our daily living, helping us to forgive, make right choices, think right thoughts, become more mature & effective and Jesus helps us love better & more everyday.
being committed to our job or school helps us to get a consistent paycheck or grades that are necessary ingredients for daily living & future success
being committed is another way of being planted: no roots = no fruit 🙂
In the Bible, there are all kinds of things that happened because of faith (blind eyes healed, miracle provisions, raising the dead, family restoration, giant killing, etc). Whenever I read Hebrews 11, I’m always really stirred up and motivated in my faith because the chicks & dudes in this chapter are AMAZING!!! But here’s a simple essential to make our faith effective: genuine love.
In Galatians 5:6, Paul says that faith works by love. So whenever I’m not seeing the results of faith in my life, the real question doesn’t always rest on the quality / quantity of my faith, but moreso the reality of my genuine love. Perhaps the evidence of our faith is directly related to the sincerity of our love 🙂
Once upon a time, in an ancient & almost forgotten century, there was a movie called When Harry Met Sally. In the movie, there are these brief interviews with couples who have been married for eons. What has lingered in my memory from these interviews & from watching couples who are old & have been married since before time, is often the rich texture, the broad understanding & genuine respect that these relationships evidence. There’s something very alluring & appealing to seeing these long-term relationships. With all of this being said, I don’t really consider myself to be much of a romantic person (skip the roses, chocolate & I’m unable to muster the interest to endure watching Pride & Prejudice, no matter who the actors are). BUT, what I do like are the results from these long-term committments.
So here’s my point: the results we often crave in our lives (significance, love, fulfillment, intimacy, satisfaction, achievement, etc) are often nothing less than the consequences of committment, a word that is often disdained in our modern culture. Perhaps when Jesus talked about abiding in Him to bear much fruit / results, just maybe He was talking about being committed to Him in a deeply personal & daily relationship. Just a little food for thought ,)
I had this totally delicious conversation w a friend today about abiding in Jesus. It was a thoroughly delightful conversation because we talked deeply about what it means to abide in Jesus as He talks about this in John 15. Here are some ideas related to abiding:
being present – I love getting to give Jesus my total attention for no other reason than He is nothing short of riveting
receiving – for me this is tricky because of my independent nature, but the more I receive from Jesus, the more I want to receive
access – when I abide in Jesus, He has unlimited access to all of me & even though it can be painful on occasion, I find that letting Jesus have total access to all of my life is nothing short of sublime
So how does this relate to being fruity? I’ve found that the better I abide in Jesus, the better the fruit / consequences in my life. I’m less impatient, more kind & gentle, I’m more generous and I’m a better human. Fruit is a reflection of the root ,)