Love vs. trust
Who doesn’t love Jesus, right? He’s kind, he’s powerful, he stands up to injustice, and would do anything for you. But do you trust him?
I recently listened to another preacher who pointed out that it’s easy to say we love Jesus. But there’s a difference between that and trust. If you trust your doctor you’ll follow his advice. If you trust your mechanic you’ll maintain your car according their instructions. Do we actually trust Jesus?
- Do we trust him when he gives instructions on how to forgive?
- Do we trust him when he gives guidelines on how to serve?
- Do we trust him when he flat out tells us to love our enemies?
- Do we trust him when he says that real life can’t be found without taking up our cross daily (i.e. dying to the self-directed life)
- Do we trust him when he upholds a counter-cultural, sexual ethic?
- Do we trust him when he calls us to live with radical generosity?
- Do we trust him when he challenges our beliefs about people who are different than us?
- Do we trust him when he says things like “turn the other cheek” and “go the extra mile”?
- Do we trust him when he demands that we surrender our entire life to him?
Do we trust that his teaching is really, truly the best way to live? Or do we trust our own intuition, or our own appetites, or our own traditions, or our own tribe. To trust him means to trust that he is speaking the truth, and that he desires what is best for us. Do we really trust him, or do we just content ourselves with “loving him”? Because if that’s the case, we may not be loving the real Jesus. The real Jesus is after all the one who said,
If you love me, keep my commands.
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
It appears that Jesus equated loving him with trusting him. Do you trust him? Or do you merely “love” the parts of him that fit your lifestyle. In which case, it might be time to ask, “who’s really the god in my life?”
Does God take vacation?
Have you ever had a crazy-busy season of life after which you just wanted to take a vacation and get some rest? That’s kinda what it can be like around a church office the week after Easter.
We just finished the biggest event of the year, with four gatherings and almost 1500 people. We wrapped up a week-long Spring Break camp that turned our normally quiet building into a hotbed of activities, games, fun, learning, and very loud groups of kids. And we pulled out all the stops for a powerful, multi-sensory Good Friday experience. It’s enough to make our staff want to take some much-deserved vacation.
Which got me thinking. Does God take vacation? Jesus made this statement during his ministry on earth.
My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working. John 5:17
Apparently God is NOT taking vacation just yet.
Ever wonder what God does when he works? Is he fixing things? (sorta) Is he building things (sorta) Is he solving problems? (sorta) The short answer is, he’s working on you. And me. Yep, we’re his project. And he wakes up in the morning thinking about you, thinking about how to get you closer to his original design.
That journey, from who we are, to who God longs for us to be, that’s the journey of transformation. And that’s the journey we’re committed to walking with you. Our mission at Seneca Creek is “To develop fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.” IOW, to help you experience God’s transformational work in your life.
One of the ways we try to help is through our Rooted Experience and Converge Groups. (I know, shameless plug here.) So as you think about where your life is, and where you long for it to be, just remember that God longs to work in you and on you. And since one of the best ways to participate in that work is in community, why not consider signing up for Rooted, or (if you’ve already gone thru Rooted) for one of our Converge Groups for this Spring. It just might be one of the best choices you make in 2018.
God is always at work. He’s not on vacation. Are you giving him room to work in your life?
P.S. Speaking of work, I worked on a list of resources to share last Sunday, then forgot to mention it. So if you have questions about the Resurrection, or if you know someone who does and you’re trying to help them, check out this list of resources.
Revisiting the election from last fall
Last fall as the election loomed over our nation we launched a series called, “Vote for Jesus.” It’s time to revisit that concept.
While the series was preached in the context of a turbulent national election, it’s far from a seasonal idea. In fact, I would suggest it’s a central idea to what it means to be a Christian, or a follower of Christ if you prefer.
Many of us have heard the concept that becoming a follower of Jesus is a simple as praying a prayer and then going on with life. Sadly, for many, that’s been their experience. Life just goes on as it did before with nothing more than an emotional memory.
But what if there’s more? What if, in fact, Jesus invites us not just to “pray a prayer” but to elect a new king. What if Jesus’ invitation is not simply to a collection of facts, but to a new kingdom? What if Jesus’ words about “belief” and “faith” are more than intellectual ideas like algebra or astronomy, and more about allegiance to a new king?
That’s the main idea contained in a book I’ve been working through. (Salvation By Allegiance Alone) And I have to say, the author is speaking words of truth. He suggests that what’s often missing in our understanding of Jesus and his invitation is the idea of “enthronement.” As in, a new king has ascended to the throne, and we’re invited to give him our complete and total allegiance.
Back to the “Vote for Jesus” series. That vote, then, means he’s my new king; a more personal and pervasive role than a president for sure! It impacts areas like my marriage and family. My finances. My community of friends. My intellect and education. My struggles, battles and strongholds. And my life goals and direction.
So regardless of which ballot you cast last fall, would you vote for Jesus today? Would you make him king? In every area of life? That’s really what Jesus invites us to do.