Just as Jesus lived in a relaxed, loving union with the Father, we are invited to a similar relationship with him. “If you remain in me as I remain in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He promises that if we do this, “fruit” always follows. Jesus doesn’t say that we cannot do things without him. He doesn’t say that we can’t lead or build a ministry without him. He does say that, unless these behaviors flow out of a relationship of loving union with him, they are worth nothing. I name God’s invitation to us loving union. Love captures the way we remain. Union speaks to the depth of the connection. It is helpful to think of the level of our loving union on a continuum that ranges from 1-10. Use the brief assessment that follows to get an idea of where you fall on. Read more.
We measure our attendance and our giving in our churches. Sadly, we don’t measure people’s transformation in Christ. (This is much more difficult). Genuine transformation takes place when people: Intentionally develop their own relationship with Jesus and do not live off the spirituality of others. Seek to discern and follow God’s will in all areas of life. Cultivate a deliberate rhythm and sustainable pace of life that enables them to be consistently attentive to Jesus. Grow in their ability to love well, evidenced by humility, vulnerability, approachability, and an increasing capacity to forgive. Live in community for the sake of their own formation and others. Bear witness to Jesus Christ in their workplaces and homes out of their own on-going transformation. Serve and give to others out of the overflow of their life in Christ. This is my short list. What other markers might you add?
Jesus’ leadership flowed from a deep centeredness of loving union with his Father. His activity flowed from a total dependence and unceasing communion with him. He invites us to a similar relationship with him: “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John15:5). I call this loving union. Love captures the way we remain. Union speaks to the depth of the connection. Top 12 signs I am in loving union with Jesus 1. I am relaxed and unhurried. 2. I am deeply aware of God’s great love. 3. I appreciate and love one person at a time. 4. I am content amidst suffering and setbacks. 5. I praise and promote others easily and joyfully. 6. I am generous with my time, money, and gifts. 7. I listen for God’s voice and will throughout the day. 8. I forgive and let go. Read more.