We have been talking about connecting, or bonding, with Jesus — and what that means for our lives. But one of the most important questions is: How do we become connected with Jesus? What does it take to become a branch connected to The Vine?
First, let me tell you what it isn’t…
It is not about accepting the facts about Jesus. So many people acquaint “faith in Christ” with knowing the important facts about Him (that He was the Son of God, come to earth, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He was buried, and rose again). All these are important truths… but the facts (and generally accepting them as true) do not equal faith. It is not the facts that save us – it is a Person that saves us. The facts carry no real weight unless we attach them to the Person that did all those things for us.
First and foremost… if we want to become bonded with Jesus we must come to Jesus – to a real Person who accomplished all those wonderful things on our behalf. A Person Who is ready and waiting for us to embrace HIM.
Second, we need to understand what is involved in connection with Him. Most people come to Jesus because they are a mess and need forgiveness for all the things they have done wrong. Jesus is okay with this. We NEED to start at forgiveness. It is a vital part of what Jesus provides to us.
But we can’t afford to stop there. God calls us to a much deeper experience than is found in erasing our wrongs.
God calls us into a real relationship. Now, this can mean many things to us… friendship, companionship, help in times of need, advice, counsel, rescue, and comfort. Jesus is all these things for us… but they come in a very specific arrangement.
Throughout the gospels we see Jesus calling all manners of folks to “Come, follow Me.”
His listeners knew exactly what He meant. Jesus was seeking a very special kind of relationship with people. He was calling people to commit to share life together, to live for each other, and to learn (and imitate) the ways of the one they were following. In western culture, this has little meaning to us… but in eastern (and middle eastern) culture this was known as Master and disciple.
It wasn’t a part-time job. It was a full-time commitment. It was a laying aside one way of life to adopt another, better way. It was a commitment of the whole person – to become a different person. All under the tutelage of the one you were following.
It was trust to the highest degree. It was commitment at the highest level. It was an all-out surrender – leaving one life behind to discover a new kind of life.
Does all this sound familiar? It should. It is the essence of the gospel according to Jesus.
It defines what it means to be connected, and bonded, with Jesus.
The truly Christian life is discovered in being unreservedly surrendered to, and bonded with, Jesus. He is not just a part of our lives. He is our life. And we treat Him that way!
To give Him less than our best, less than our all, is to treat Him as less than He deserves. Jesus gave all for us so we could give all to Him – and in the giving of all that we are, we discover all that we will ever need to be. That is His faithful promise to us!
Prayer Focus: Afresh and anew, God, I surrender my all to You… I choose to live a surrendered life — that I may gain all that You are, and have You work through me to Your glory.