Recently, I heard a sermon by David Platt, President of the International Mission Board. Platt’s message was titled "The Characteristics of God.” In his introduction, he asked, “How is your heart before the Lord?” The silence in the room was gut-wrenching.
But this is a very important question, isn’t it?
At Roosevelt, as we start our “RCC Values” sermon series to bring home to our congregation what we are about as a local church. In fact, while you’re reading this blog, in the words of David Platt, I want you to stop and ask yourself the same question: “How is your heart before the Lord?” I believe this encompasses what we mean by Jesus Devoted. The reality is if we are not devoted and committed to Jesus in our Christian journey, then how can we expect our spouses, our children, our friends, our neighbors, or anyone we come in contact with to experience Christ in a real, deep, and meaningful way?
Living in Phoenix, especially in the summer, we experience a lot of “dry heat.” I’m originally from the East Coast where humidity adds another layer of hotness that’s unbearable! Trust me, dry heat is much better; nevertheless, heat is heat! I believe our spiritual journey can be described as “dry heat” or even worse, heat with humidity at times!
The Bible has language for this. John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Abiding in Jesus is synonymous with resting in Jesus, which implies that we are devoted to him.
But what does this devotion look like? I submit to you here ways to be devoted to Jesus:
· Praying for and with the people of God
· Going deep into the Word of God
· Living in Authentic Community
· Finding ways to serve in the church and beyond
· Worshipping the Lord in all that we do
Granted, there are more ways to be devoted (such as fasting, evangelism, giving), but here is a start. As we commune and spend quality time with Jesus, our relationship is real and vibrant.
My prayer is that Roosevelt Community Church would be a people who reflects the example we have in scripture by being Jesus devoted!