Writer: Andrew West
Three Stories One Thread
“Come and you will see.” John 1:39
This is the invitation before us. When the first disciples asked Jesus where He was staying, Jesus’ response was, “Come and you will see.” He could easily have given them His address, but instead He invites them into an experience. This is what it means to follow Jesus.
Jesus does not want us to experience Him in part, He wants us to experience Him in full, with the entirety of our being. He wants us to experience Him with our heads, hearts, and hands. This weekend we looked at 3 stories that pointed us to one thread, the goodness of following Jesus. Each story from the life of Jesus points us to a different facet of following Him.
Head: Matthew 8:5-10
In this account a Roman centurion appeals to Jesus to heal a servant. What is incredible about this story is the Centurion’s understanding of who Jesus is. This foreign centurion understood the authority and ability of Jesus far greater then Jesus’ own people. When we have a clear understanding of who Jesus is, it enables us to trust and follow Him with greater confidence. One of the striking things Jesus says in response to the Centurion is, “Let it be done as you have believed.” Every time I read this passage, I am reminded of how limited my understanding of God is and I wonder, if Jesus said to me, “Let it be done as you have believed” what would happen?
Heart: Matthew 19:16-22
Jesus once said, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” The story of the rich young man is a reminder that what we hold tight to most, will shape who we are. When we read this story, it can often seem as though Jesus was being unreasonable or asking too much. But really what we see in this moment is Jesus revealing the heart of this young man. The battle for our heart is a life long struggle. At times following Jesus seems easy and natural. Other times we will experience the subtle drift toward something else and still other times we will blatantly choose something over Jesus. The heart of God is not to limit us, but to point us in the way in which we were meant to live with Him. The more time we spend with God, the more our hearts begin to beat like His.
Hands: Matthew 25:14-30
For a long time, I read this parable and would always feel anxious after. Am I doing enough? Am I doing this right? Is God pleased? And the more I thought about this the more I realized I sounded like the servant who hid his talent in the ground. God wants us to participate in His Kingdom with Him. He has given us good gifts to use, to enjoy, and to encourage others with. This parable is a reminder that we are to put into practice what we know of God in our heads, what we have experienced of God in our hearts, and how we get to participate in His Kingdom with our hands.
There is a temptation to read through these stories and to want to make a list and learn more, be more, do more. And while that is not a bad reaction, we can also miss the point. The call of the disciples is the same call on us, to “follow Him,” to “come and see.” Jesus wants us to experience life with Him and to step into what He has before us. This is the great invitation before us and our prayer is that over this next year you will continue to allow Him to shape your head, your heart and your hands.
- Which of these three areas resonated with you the most?
- What area (head, heart, hands) do you wrestle with the most?
- What are ways that you could lean in and allow God to shape your head, heart and hands?
- Ask someone you trust which of these areas they see as a strength of yours.
- Spend some time in prayer asking God to reveal which area (head, heart, hands) He wants you to intentionally invest in this year?
- Make a plan and make room in your life to invest in one area God is calling you toward.
Possible Action Steps:
- Start reading the Bible.
- Read through the entire Bible this year.
- Ask God to reveal those things that are in competition with Him
For example: If money is something that has a hold in your life look for ways to actively be generous.
If time on your phone is a distraction, intentionally spend 20 minutes less on your phone per day.
- Begin serving somewhere.
- Ask God to show you where you can live out your faith at work.
Weekly Prayer Focus:
As we step into a new year, pray we would begin again by resetting our focus on Jesus.