Abiding in the Irresistible Christ

by James Madsen, Pastor of Discipleship

What do you find irresistible? The chance to hang out at the lake? A quiet nook where you can read? Your favorite ice cream or Netflix show? Your phone? Here’s one more question: Do you find Jesus irresistible?

Our answers will vary, depending on our perspective. When our life is running like a finely tuned sports car and we’ve got it all under control, Jesus can seem superfluous, unnecessary. When we are clinging to a behavior that we know is hindering our relationship with Him, we often spend extra energy resisting Jesus. But when we grasp the gift of grace offered by Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection, our hearts are drawn to Him. The more we recognize our need for Jesus, the more amazing grace becomes to our hearts!

Jesus offers us more than just the forgiveness of sins. He offers to us the full privileges of being a child of God. These blessings include everything our hearts need: acceptance, belonging, purpose, security, identity, and unconditional love. These are ours through faith in Jesus.

Sometimes we can think the primary role of spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible reading are for us to become better people. But spiritual disciplines are about connecting our heart to the heart of Jesus. We are called to abide in Christ, which means that we are in relationship with Him. Like a branch is connected to the trunk of a tree, we know that true life is found only by being connected to Jesus. The fruit of our connectedness with Jesus is seen in our transformation and our love for others.

As we learn to receive life from Christ, Jesus becomes more precious to us, and we see and welcome our dependence on Him. We find that His ways are better than our ways. The more Jesus is the center of our lives, the more irresistible He becomes—and increasingly this abundant life in Christ flows out of us and to the lives of those around us.

I encourage you this summer to spend time alone with Jesus. Read through the Gospel of John. Notice the relationship between believing in Jesus and finding a meaningful life. Talk to Jesus about your life. Practice some of the dangerous prayers we’re learning about. Read a book on prayer, like A Praying Life by Paul Miller, to grow in your understanding of abiding in Jesus. The Jesus-Centered Life by Rick Lawrence is another excellent book on learning how to find life in Jesus. Or if you just don’t know when you would squeeze in time for spiritual disciplines (or you know you are addicted to your smartphone), I highly suggest reading The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction by Justin Whitmel Earley.

Jesus extends the invitation to each one of us to come and find rest in Him. Sit at the feet of Jesus this summer and hear His voice calling you His beloved!