Without Jesus {All I Have to Gain}


Sometimes I wonder if we think of our Christian life in resumé terms. If we bullet point our deeds, actions, capabilities, gifts, all on pristine paperstock. And when we get to Judgement Day, we picture handing it over and anticipate hearing the words we’ve longed for.

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve made tallies of others and compared them to my own as I wonder where I fit in this Church we are building here for His glory.

Why would I do that when none of it matters, anyway. Not really. For none of that truly shows what God sees within.

Because when it comes down to it, I’m a sinner. A failure. I’ve made more mistakes than successes. I’m only saved through His grace. And I’m certain you’re not too far ahead or behind…

What God’s looking for is if I’ve prepared a place for Him and His Son in my life the same way He’s prepared a place for me.

It’s not about me and what I can do. It’s about embracing what they’ve done for me and what I can become as a result.

Plain and simple: I’m nothing without Jesus.

I’m nothing in this Act until He takes center stage within me.

He is everything…my everything.

Friends, I need to strive to live like I believe that. I need to live in the reality that I have nothing to gain except His favor. And the only way to do that is actually so simple it’s complex:

I need to invite Him in,
let Him take residence in the primary room of my soul,
and let Him lead the way.
For there’s no telling what He could do in and through me.

There’s this song that’s been haunting me lately. I’d like to share it with you this Music Monday and hear your thoughts on it. Here are the lyrics that linger long in my heart:

You could memorize
Become a Mennonite
You could speak in tongues
And raise the dead to life
You could build a big church
Call it ministry
Teach ’em all they need to know to run a family
You could sell it all
Be burned at the stake
But what in the world have you to ever gain
Without Jesus
If all I ever get out of laying my life down
Is thorns in the shape of a crown
On the brow of a man from Nazareth
And if all I get is what Jesus did,
And said, and put within my heart
Then I get it all
I have it all
Everything is mine

Friends, don’t you think that says it all?

Everything is mine when I’m His.

This song is worth a listen, if only to help you think about what He did for you and what you are with Him. Subscribers, CLICK HERE to listen in.

Without Jesus

Shane and Shane

How about you, friend? How do you embrace your place in The Church? What do you count as gain? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,


What Kind of Friend am I? {The Longing of Jesus}

The Bench

You are My friends if you do what I command.
I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master’s business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit
—fruit that will last—
and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:14-17

The sermon wouldn’t leave me. And I told her as much. For there is plenty I want to achieve…do…be…in these verses alone.

Today, I wanted to help her see what I’m learning. What I’m striving for. She listened so well. Nodding in all the right places. Smiling with each new discovery. Encouraging me as I made my way through the text. Success seemed imminent.

Her soft, worn hand enveloped mine when I was through. And as she searched my hazels for my soul, she said plainly:

“This seems overwhelming to tackle all at once. Don’t you think? I’m guessing, though, we can get to the heart of things by answering one question posed here…”

The pause was planned, I’m sure, as I scanned my Bible quickly, trying to come up with the question before I heard it. She said finally,

“What kind of friend are you to Jesus?”

Her grip firmed when my defenses rose. And it took all I had in me to meet her gaze and allow this question to sink in to my marrow.

She tilted her head skyward as she recalled her childhood best friend. The time spent, the laughter spilled, the secrets kept…and my heart warmed as I thought of those in my lifetime who have been in this category. We both became lost in thought as we reflected on how close we’ve allowed another to come…

I believe it was Aristotle who said friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. And I can’t begin to fathom why Jesus would want to have that kind of relationship…with me.

Still…He says plainly: He chose me. Has held nothing from me. And longs to call me not a servant, but a friend.

It seems He could care less with how much I could do for Him, rather He aches to be one with me.

The King of all Kings. The Son of The Most High. My Jehovah in every way, calls me friend.

And she’s right. It’s worth asking: “What kind of friend am I?”

Friends, I know what kind of friend He is…and I wonder…could I be the same for Him?

Could I hold nothing back? Make my presence known to Him each day? Could I stand boldly in His corner when the bullies come and try to denounce His name? Could I be so encapsulated by the very thought of Him that I think of nothing else but loving Him?

Could I know Jesus, the way He knows me? Enough so that I prove Aristotle was right?

Could I give my life –all that I have– simply for the very thought of His?

She’s right, you know…it’s worth asking. For it is at the very heart of things. And above all else, it’s worth striving for.

How about you, friend? What kind of friend are you to Jesus? What kind of friend do you allow Him to be for you? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,