I am going to start today’s blog with Mathew 7:17-19 and then modernize it a little. “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.” Now my modern interpretation, “Don’t talk about it, be about it.” Does your belief move you to do something, or is it just hollow words? In other words, does it go from your heart to your feet?
In church we have been talking about Christ being our friend. This has been a difficult concept but helpful for me. I am, for the most part, a person who likes rules and structure. For 18 years of my life, I worked in environments that told me exactly what the expectations were. If you succeed, here is the reward. If you fail, here is the punishment. I excelled in this system . . . when I wanted to. This seems like I was a good servant to the system. The reality, though, is that I like structure, because it gives me control. If I want to be lazy, I know exactly how much I have to do to not get in trouble. If I want to excel, I likewise knew what to do. In the end, I really didn’t believe the principles of the business. I was my own boss doing mostly as I pleased. I was willing to do whatever I was told, but I really didn’t care to do more. And honestly, most of the time, I didn’t know what more they wanted me to do.
In my mind, this is where most of us get stuck in Christianity. I am willing to do the minimal in order to make it into heaven. On the low end, for most, it means just saying the Sinner’s Prayer. On the high end, we do some charity here and there. And from time to time, we say things like, “God anything you ask me to do, I will do.” And for once, hope He doesn’t say anything to us. Being willing to do whatever God asks you to do, is being a basic servant. This isn’t a bad thing, but Christ calls us to a higher calling. This calling is to be His friend.
The path to friendship can be seen in John 15:12-15, “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. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
The essence of relationship with Christ is not in words, what we say is in our heart, or how we feel. It is in what we do. “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” What does he command us to do? “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.” From this, we see that Christ does not call us to a belief, but He calls us to an action. If you want to be His friend, then love those around you as He has loved you.
In Mathew 24: 34-40, Christ says, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
So in the end, it is not enough to believe in our heart that Christ is our friend. We must also believe it with our feet.
— Written by Jeremiah