When someone asks you what you’ve achieved in life, what do you say?
If you’re like me, I naturally tend to rattle off my education, jobs, awards, and if I get desperate, even my mediocre college GPA. I wonder what Jesus thinks about my so-called “accomplishments?”
Jesus didn’t have a formal education. He didn’t have any “Rabbi of the year” awards, or have a profitable woodworking small business that we know about.
We know he was poor. We know that he wasn’t much to look at. We know that he had a small band of friends he called disciples. We know he was hated. We know he was abandoned, and executed by the state. That doesn’t sound very successful, does it?
And yet, he’s the most well-known, most discussed (God)man to ever walk the earth.
Jesus was born into a culture built on achievement, and a society founded on keeping and obeying religious laws. Everyone was living their lives based on achievement – what laws they were keeping, what their status was, what their reputation was in the community. Now that I mention it, it sounds kind of similar to our culture today in that sense, doesn’t it?
But when Jesus came he changed everything.
So Jesus came and said – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35.
How does someone tell if we have a relationship with Christ? It’s not how much Scripture we have memorized, it’s not how many Bible studies we have done, it’s not even how much we listen to Christian music it’s only “if you love one another.”
Jesus initiated a new way of thinking. He brought about a community centered around how we love each other, rather than what rules we keep. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the currency is how much love we give away. Jesus came and said, it’s not about what you have achieved, it’s about what I have achieved for you. So make your greatest achievement be how much love you have shown others.
That is where Life Groups or Small Groups come in. That is why they are important. In these groups folks get to know each other, care for each other, and love each other. We have a place to belong. And when we invite others into our groups or talk to others about how we are caring for each other in our groups that gets back to what Jesus said – “by this all will know…if you love one another.” When people without the love of Jesus in their hearts see people pouring out love to others, Jesus is made known in the world.
And next time someone asks you your list of achievements – tell them how much you loved. Because that is what the Father is looking at.