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Invitation to a Greater Life

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There’s nothing more compelling than getting to know our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, we can get a glimpse of him when we read the Bible, pray, and cultivate our eternal relationship with him. We know he was humble, sinless, unselfish and a servant leader, but what else? How did he physically walk on water? Did he have a favorite food? What amazed him? I suppose some questions will remain a mystery until we get to heaven, but perhaps a better thought to ponder is that Jesus knows us very well.

 

No Need to Hide

Jesus knows us intimately. Although we are imperfect people who fail many tests of faith, Jesus loves us. His faithfulness comes infused with love and compassion. He knows us and loves us with an unrelenting concern for our practical and spiritual needs.

 

Invitation to a Greater Life 

Take Matthew for example. He was a despised tax collector. He had no outward qualification to become a follow of Christ or become the writer of one of the Synoptic Gospels, but Jesus knew him and saw beyond his outer state.

I find it comforting to know that Jesus sees more in us than we see in ourselves. Jesus sees our potential and not our problems. Jesus offers love when love is hard to find. For Matthew, the most famed figure of the day walked by and said, “Follow me…” (Matthew 9:9).

 

Faith that Follows 

Jesus words were brief, but they spoke volumes. His words were a personal invitation that conveyed acceptance, trust, and friendship. In the book, “Encounters with Christ,” author Mark Moore stated, “When everyone else saw a traitor, Jesus saw a teacher.” Moore continued to remind us that the Gospel of Matthew “attempts to reach the very people who had ostracized him.”

Matthew was interrupted with an invitation. It was an invitation that changed his life. Matthew “picked up his cross” without hesitation.

 

Two Ways to Amaze Jesus 

Jesus sees faith and lack of faith. The Bible recorded two occasions when Jesus was amazed by both extremes. He was amazed by the faith of a Roman officer who requested healing for a slave (Luke 7:2-10). Jesus was also amazed by the lack of faith from the people in his hometown (Mark 6:4-6).

Jesus knows us, too. He knows my struggles, my fears, and insecurities. To sum it up, Jesus knows when my faith waivers. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather amaze Jesus with faith. Faith touches Jesus. It provokes me to die every day to my self-centered priorities, but how?

 

Our Path to a Greater Life

Mark Moore explained that today’s church enjoys celebrating the resurrection, but there’s less focus on what preceded the resurrection. Yes, it’s awesome to remember that we serve a risen Lord, who through the cross removed the penalty and power of sin, and made way for eternal life. But Moore encourages us to remember the crucifixion. The crucifixion brought spiritual death to sin and spiritual resurrection better known as a new life in Christ.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (Romans 5:5-6)

Moore beautifully compared Christ’s death with our daily spiritual death. He explained that the crucifixion is not a past tense event. Although the crucifixion of Jesus gave us spiritual life, our daily crucifixion brings life to those around us. In summary, the salvation of our soul is due to Jesus death, and the death of ourselves becomes the hope for others.

 

Accept the Invitation

We need to remember that Jesus sees our faith no matter how weak. Weak faith is not the absence of faith. Like Matthew’s example, Jesus knows our hearts and our potential. When our day is interrupted with a whisper from Jesus that calls out, “follow me,” it’s time to stop and allow God to crucify our busyness, pride, and our selfishness to accept his invitation to a greater life.

Blessings!

Marisa Shadrick

References

 Moore, Mark E. Encounters with Christ: A Call to Commitment. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub., 2001.

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