It is perhaps the greatest and most generous compliment which can be given. When someone says it to you, you can’t help but be moved. It speaks volumes about the heart of the giver and one’s value as the receiver. Just saying it makes one feel good. What am I talking about? The simple phrase, “I would do anything for you.”
Sounds so noble! The problem is…it’s seldom true. Not literally, at least. It’s not that we mean to deceive, it’s just the expression is far easier to voice than it is to fulfill. Implied within this phrase is a promise that always comes with a price. There is a cost to fulfilling it. Always. The only way you can make good on it is to sacrifice. Time, money, energy, involvement, compassion—it will always cost you something.
How many times have we said or implied these words to Christ? It makes sense that we would say them… my goodness, after all he’s done for us. Our sense of gratitude for the salvation of our souls runs deep. How can we ever repay him?
“Jesus, I would do anything for you!”
How can we know? Simple! Take a moment and evaluate your obedience. How much of what Christ has asked of you are you actually doing? Obedience is the proof of your love.
In the book of John, Jesus said these challenging words, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).
Let me say it again, obedience is the proof of your love. It says far more than your words could ever express. In fact, your obedience says it all!
This is on my mind because I’m thinking a lot these days about the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. Here’s the gist of what he said – “go and make disciples.” He went on to say the way we accomplish this is by baptizing and teaching people about him. In other words, his command is to replicate ourselves! This is the mission. This is his “big ask” of us. Bring people into his Kingdom. Leverage your influence. Speak up! Bring the missing home to heaven!
“Jesus, I would do anything… but that!”
What is the “that” that’s too much for Christ to ask of you? What would Jesus ask you that would be just too much?
“Jesus, I will obey you and make disciples… but don’t ask me to…”
· Talk about you at work
· Invite my neighbors to church
· Worship at a different hour to make seats available for others
· Work in the nursery, or with children, or with students
· Give sacrificially to support the church’s ministry
· Watch and listen to someone teach your Word on video
· Join a Life Group
· Be ok with the preacher dressing casually
· Worship you with music that isn’t my favorite style, or volume
· Be friendly to people I don’t know personally
· Arrive at church before it begins and wait until it ends to leave
· Give so the church can launch more sites
· Turn the church over to younger people to keep it relevant
· Serve communion to others or help people find seats
· Put a sticker on my car (ok… I just had to throw this in)
“Anything but that!”
So where is it for you? Where is the line? What’s too much for Christ to ask of you? Did it make the list?
“Anything but that!”
Let’s not just obey Jesus in theory. Let’s do so in our practice.
“Yes Lord, I’ll even do that!