Tuesday, October 23, 2007

defining RELATIONSHIP with Jesus

a lot of people define a relationship with Jesus as simply having an emotional conscience moment and asking for Jesus to help, and then engaging in a vague obedience of his general precepts.

That is a far cry from what is offered.

He says "my sheep hear my voice; I will be with you always; I will send my Spirit to teach you all things."

It's not "Jesus-take-the wheel" it's "Jesus I wanna be possessed!"

So here are a few catalysts and questions to help broaden our experience of Jesus relationally. We kicked these around in our small group tonight and it was provocative. The questions aren't just meant to be answered, but to be mulled over and reflected on.

  1. How does Jesus communicate with you? You can't have a relationship without personal communication. Is it through scripture; prayer; nature; art...? When was the last time you heard something specific for your life?
  2. If you could spend a whole day with Jesus one on one what would you do? What would he do and say? Would you feel comfortable being his friend for a whole day or would it feel like a day with a stranger? Why?
  3. What is your favorite Jesus-scene in the Bible? What is your most disturbing moment? Do you think there may be other sides to Jesus you haven't explored yet or are afraid or annoyed by? Is Jesus still dangerous and unpredictable or have you domesticated him?
  4. What roles are you comfortable and uncomfortable with that we see in the Bible as people define their relationship with Jesus: slave, servant, child, adopted heir, ambassador for, friend, companion, bridegroom, lover of your soul...? Why do you cleave to some roles and avoid others? Does this limit the growth of the relationship?
  5. What is fresh and new in the relationship? What significant experiences have you had with Jesus in the last month...week...day...hour? Is Jesus a monthly, weekly, daily, or hourly friendship?
  6. Which disciple of Jesus do you most / least identify with? What does this say about you? What are perhaps some new ways of having friendship with Jesus that you should explore?
  7. What does Jesus effect the most / least in your life: how you spend time; how you spend money; your sexuality; your parenting; being a spouse; your emotions; your mind; your actions; your attitude; your mouth...
  8. What would Jesus most encourage you about? What would he most likely confront you about?
  9. Do you believe Jesus is lonely for you? Do you believe he longs to be a part of your world? When do you let him in? When do you kick him out?
  10. How could / would you prove that you are bringing more quality and quantityto your relationship with Jesus?

These questions help us to look at the depth of our faith. There are lots of shallow places to root ourselves in [experiences, momentum, morality, good works, legalism, etc.] But Jesus calls out to us to be in a much more intimate and dynamic relationship than mere religion. He wants to have a relationship with us that is exponentially more dynamic than any other relationship we ever had or will have. As a pastor I am trying to open people up to a holistic faith that penetrates and saturates our whole being. There is no arrival, but the journey can be FANTASTIC is we will simply engage it with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength.

is that your best...I think you can go farther.

don't starve your soul, he is everything you want and everything you need


Mary said...

Thanks for posting it... really good stuff!


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