As Karla poured coffee into the two cups she brought to the table, Stan asked, “Where’s Ricky?”
“He called and said he was running a little late,” Karla responded. “Something about his car would’t start and he needed to have a neighbor jump-start it. He should be here by the time you guys are ready to order.”
“Jump-start,” Stan said after Karla left the table. “Have I ever told you about how God had to jump-start me in moving from conversion towards transformation?”
“You may have,” I replied, “but if it’s worth repeating, go ahead.”
“When I first came to faith,” Stan said, “I had the wonderful assurance that I was not going to spend eternity separated from God, but I had a difficult time starting down the path from conversion towards transformation.”
“I think you’ve called that being stuck on conversion,” I commented.
“That’s right,” Stan replied, “and that’s where the jump-start came in. I tried on my own to get started on the path heading to greater spiritual maturity, but it was like my battery was dead, or at least didn’t have enough power to get me going.”
“So what happened?” I asked.
“God happened,” Stan said. “Through a book my pastor had written, he suggested that I could get a jump-start by really focusing on what God had to show me in His Word.”
“Any particular part?” I asked.
“Yes,” Stan replied. “The pastor suggested that I focus on the fifteenth chapter of John’s gospel.”
“The vine and branches chapter,” I commented.
“That’s it,” he replied. The pastor suggested I read it every day for thirty days, praying about what God had to show me about abiding in the true vine, Jesus.”
“And you did that?”
“I did,” Stan replied, “and that was the jump-start I needed. After about two weeks where I focused on and prayed about what God was showing me, I began to write about what I was being shown. That was the beginning, the jump-start, of daily journaling with God that has now gone on for many years.”
“And drawn you ever closer to God?” I said.
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “It was the jump-start I needed to move from the assurance of life eternally with God to the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son on this side of eternity.”
“And,” he continued, “I would suggest to you or to anyone who may have difficulty in moving from conversion towards spiritual maturity and transformation that the fifteenth chapter of John’s gospel is a great way to jump-start a faith walk!”
Just then Ricky showed up and asked what we would like for breakfast.
Bible verses to consider:
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:4.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.
And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of life eternally with you when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, for the opportunity to know you and Jesus ever more deeply in a personal relationship on this side of eternity. Thank you for wanting me to draw ever closer to you, and for your provision of all I need for that to happen. I confess that too often I choose not to draw closer to you because I choose to draw further apart from you. Please help me in following every step of your lead into the relationship you intend. Do what you need to do to jump-start me to go, and to continue to go, in that direction. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of spending eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If no, why? What is holding you back from accepting that by faith? If you do have the assurance of eternal salvation, how are you doing with the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son on this side of eternity? Do you need a jump-start to get you into an ever-deepening personal relationship with God? If so, consider focusing on the fifteenth chapter of John’s gospel as a great place to get started and to continue.