Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15)
My beef with the sinner’s prayer is that it can make us think that life with Jesus is all about a one-time decision that gets us into heaven. Not so. The Jesus way of life is about living ever-more fully into his likeness, and there’s no better way to start looking like the Master than to obey his commandments. The gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are the curriculum. Do what he says, imitate his example, and seek his active leading in your life. That’s what it means to love him.
Jesus said, “”I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:9)
Jesus was surprised by the centurion’s faith. The centurion was a soldier of the Roman Empire that occupied Jesus’ Jewish people militarily, dominated them economically, and threatened pious Jewish faith with Roman deities.
Yet Jesus didn’t write off Romans as people-who-don’t-get-it. He met this centurion where he was at, as an individual, as someone in whom the spark of faith can be kindled. And Jesus was surprised.
Who are you tempted to write off? People of another race? Political party? People who hold different biblical interpretations?
Meet them where they’re at. You might be surprised.