Jesus doesn’t want you to be His acquaintance. He wants much more than that. Acquaintances keep terms and conditions. What Jesus wants (and deserves) is to have friends unequivocally devoted to Him.

Video provided by Igniter Media

Being a Christian isn’t about obeying Jesus sometimes, in some places, at minimal cost, to do some things. Jesus served us, paying the ultimate cost to save us. We’re asked to give up everything to follow and serve Him anytime, anywhere, at any cost, to do anything.

Surrender. Why do we often look at that word so negatively? Maybe it’s that we all have a deep-seated desire to stay in charge of our own life. Surrender means we have to lay down our plans and say ‘no’ to some things we really like. When we view it as living by a set of don’ts, surrender isn’t fun at all.

Here’s another word: Adoption. How do you feel about that word? For most people it evokes images of belonging and acceptance. We picture a child finally finding a home and being loved unconditionally, once again able to hope for the future.

Surrender isn’t just about giving up everything; it’s about gaining what’s most valuable. Topping the list of benefits is adoption and a brand new life of purpose and meaning in God’s family. Jesus said,

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

No one can truly receive Jesus passively. It’s not enough just to give intellectual assent to a list of gospel facts. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.” That’s quite the sobering thought!

Believing requires everything

The word ‘believe’ in the New Testament carries three meanings:

  1. Agree with your mind.
  2. Trust with your heart.
  3. Commit with your life.

Imagine a person receiving a check for $1,000,000 and then placing the huge cardboard check on the mantle above their fireplace just to look at. Everyday they pass by and admire it, and when company is coming over, it even gets a good dusting. But they miss out on so much because they never actually take it to the bank and deposit it. When we stop short of committing our whole life to Jesus, we never experience the wonderful benefits of being intimate friends with Jesus.

Where are you at with Jesus today? If you find yourself just being acquaintances with Jesus, make the choice today to discover what it’s like to be His fully committed friend. Don’t wait until you clean yourself up first. That’s His job. But first you’ll need to give Him everything.

*This explanation of the Greek word for believe πιστεuω) has been adapted from H.H. Hobbs, a Baptist theologian who lived in the early 1900s.

Photo Credit: Alex Holyoake