A Little Jesus on the Side

How many times have you ordered a wonderful entrée at a restaurant, then as the waitress pivots to walk away you add: “and a little Ranch on the side, please,” or_______ (fill in the blank)? I wonder if sometimes I treat my daily walk of faith a little like that. Instead of savoring a hearty spiritual meal of quality time with the Lord that will sustain me throughout my day, I order my day by diving into my chores first. Then, sometime later, when a problem comes along, I tack on a quick prayer like a side-dish, hoping it’ll make the mess I’ve created, taste more palatable. Yet, we scratch our heads and wonder why our day went so badly—why we didn’t accomplish anything of eternal value? Greater still, is the frightening possibility of coming to the end of our days with a life that was mostly void of true spiritual fruit. 

I’ve always thought one of the hardest scriptures to swallow comes in Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus says, “…Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And I will say to them. I never knew you, depart from me.” Whoa! There’s a bone to choke on. Just think! Jesus was talking about people who were doing amazing miracles in His name, yet He said He never knew them. It has me examining my own life. Could I possibly be one of those people? Just to be clear, I read further in the text looking at the verses before and after it and I see some clarification. In the verse before it, Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heavenbut he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”  And reading afterwards in verse 24 it says, “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 

Whew! I relax a bit now. I see that He’s saying that a true believer is one who not only claims to be Christian they live-out their faith by doing what God’s word instructs. They apply God’s word to their life and actions in every way which produces spiritual fruit. Or as it also says in verse 20, “therefore by their fruits you will know them.” However, after a brief sigh of relief, contemplation returns with new heartfelt palpitations for its’ application. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus is reminding me to give Him more of myself each day. Then He will know me as a friend knows another friend, because we will share our Spirits intimately with one another. 

Being someone who claims Jesus as my savior, yet many times only lets Him have a small portion of me, or a little Jesus on the side, hits hard with conviction. Time to fall on my knees.

No matter how we slice the sweet pie of God’s word, it often includes an intriguing ingredient that stirs our hearts to dig deeper into our own soul. But, like that tasty side dish, when we slather the sweet presence of God over the entire main course of our day, and life, instead of a little on the side, everything does become more palatable.  And as is says in Psalm 34:8, “…Taste and see that the Lord is good…”

Do you have a verse that stirs you to ponder it deeply? Tell me about it in the comments here.

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