Yesterday we looked at Francis’ profile of a lukewarm believer. Today we move on to someone who is unequivocally obsessed and completely in love with Jesus. Someone who:
- Gives freely, loving those who hate them and who can never love them back
- He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14 ESV)
- Isn’t consumed with their safety and comfort. They care more about the Kingdom than being free from pain or distress.
- Lives a life that connects with the poor
Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’(Matthew 25:40 ESV)
- Is more concerned with obeying God than doing what is expected. Their actions don’t always “make sense”.
- “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)
- Knows that the sin of pride is always a battle
- But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14 ESV)
- Does not consider service to be a burden but takes joy in loving God by loving his people.
- “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12-13 ESV)
- Is known as a giver, not a taker.
- Thinks about heaven frequently, orientating their life around eternity.
- But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20-21 ESV)
- Is characterised by a committed, settled, passionate, love for God.
- “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV)
- Is raw with God, they don’t attempt to mask their sin and failings.
- Has an intimate relationship with Him, they love God’s word and are nourished by it all day.
- Is more concerned with their character than comfort, knowing that joy is something to be cultivated and a gift from God.
- Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV)
- “A person who is obsessed with Jesus knows that the best thing he can do it be faithful to his Saviour in every aspect of his life, continually saying “thank you!” to God. An obsessed person knows there can never be intimacy if he is trying to pay back God or work hard enough to be worthy. He revels in this role as child and friend of God.
- “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:35-36 ESV)
You might say that this isn’t realistic, and no-one can really live like that but many do and the rest of Jesus’ disciples are expected to.
You might say your aren’t called to serve the poor. No, you’re commanded to.
If we love God as we should, giving Him everything and doing all of the above will be a joy and not a chore.
Francis asks a question that challenged me, perhaps more than any of the above:
What are you doing right now that requires faith?
What am I doing in my life that requires me to step out of my comfort zone, look the unknown in the eye and trust that God is entirely in control?
Most days the answer is not a lot. And that scares me.