People set an artificial limit for what they must do for Christ—how much they must attend (Heb. 10:24-25), how much they must give (2 Cor. 9:6-7), how much they must be involved (1 Cor. 15:58), or how much they must change (Acts 17:30). This attitude betrays us. On the night of His betrayal, Jesus walked with His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. Then, after leaving even His inner circle of Peter, James, and John behind, “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will’” (Mt. 26:39). Jesus had lived His entire life for God to this point. He had taught, He had sacrificed, He had loved as no one had ever loved.
Yet the Father required one more thing—the hardest requirement imaginable. But Jesus did not respond with haughtiness or anger; He responded with acceptance, with humility, and with obedience, and so should it always be with those who wear His name.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:5–8).
The Lord expects far more than a conversion based on a passing fancy. The Lord requires a good life lived for God from genuine faith rooted in the gospel of Christ (Gal. 2:20). In this, He calls on us to do what God says as an inherent part of this new lifestyle we have adopted–not as a show, not as a proof, but as part of the ongoing commitment to God’s will in all things. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jas. 1:22). Such a life requires the greatest reverence for God, a reverence found not in the worldly extravagance of unbridled emotionalism nor in the unfeeling observations of mass staged ritual, but in the depth of a human soul humbly reaching back with all its might to honor and express thanks to a loving Redeemer.