Sunday, May 14, 2023

Walking with Jesus Christ

By Jeff Arnette


    In today’s article, we’re going to start a journey that I hope will help each of us develop a closer walk with Jesus. We will cover topics where we consider our view of God versus who he really is, the problem of cultural Christianity, our relationship to Jesus, our motives, surrender, the struggles of life, how to develop our character, and our relationships with others.

    The problems facing the church isn’t culture, an ever increasing hostility toward our faith, or even the declining numbers in our buildings. The problem facing the church is that we’re not fully prepared to face the struggles because we are not fully surrendered to Jesus.

    James 4:6-8 tells us that we are to draw near to the Lord and in response he will draw near to us. But it also tells adds that we need to purify our hearts because our attention and focus can be divided easily. It’s not that we’re bad people or even bad Christians but that life is hard. Being fully surrendered to Jesus is not a destination that we can achieve and never have to travel that path again. Being fully surrendered to Jesus is something that ebb’s and flows like the tides. One moment it can be high and within hours it has retreated so far that the rocks are exposed to the air. This happens throughout a Christians life.

    As Peter says in 2 Peter 1:12-15, I am not saying that you’re not focused or unfaithful to Jesus. I am confident you know these things and are established in them. Yet, I also know how easy it is to forget them. As long as the Lord allows me to be with you and do my work, I consider it my aim to stir you up by way of reminder of these powerful truths.

    So, what does it mean to be fully surrendered to Jesus? It doesn’t mean that we have to become monks, hiding from the world and focused entirely on the Word and prayer. Instead of being a recluse we become family and group focused setting aside our natural desires to put our survival ahead of everyone else. Instead of being monks who read nothing but Scripture we learn to filter all of life through the teachings of Jesus. Christianity at it finest is lived among those who need to the light of God’s word.

    Biblical surrender is a thinking surrender, carefully carved out through thoughtful self-examination and submission to Jesus. It is to become so completely preoccupied with Jesus that you hunger and thirst for more of him, to become just like him. Biblical surrender, simply put, is to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29) and fully embrace the freedoms Jesus offers. It is uncomfortable and requires a lot of work, but the reward is basking in the light of the Son and transformation into the image of Christ through the abiding word implanted in our hearts and minds (Rom. 12:2; James 1:21-22).

- Jeff Arnette preaches for the Central Haywood church of Christ, Clyde, NC.  He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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