Sam Crabtree in Practicing Affirmation focuses on eight but for this post, I’ll simply and briefly share four.
- Alertness. No one was more alert than Jesus. Think about the calling of Matthew the tax collector in Matthew 9:9-13. Matthew writes that Jesus saw him sitting at the booth; when individuals (including the disciples) would continually pass by, Jesus saw him.
- Hospitality. Jesus is the prince of hospitality. We read in 1 Timothy 3 that an elder must exude a hospitable spirit, which means a lover of strangers. Jesus is the chief elder who loved and loves sinners, even being called a friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19).
- Initiatives. Jesus acts. He is not passive. He does not wait to be cajoled, recruited, or talked into doing what needs to be done. Jesus takes initiative because love is action-oriented.
- Dependability. Nobody is more dependable than Jesus, for all the promises of God are “yes” and “amen” (i.e. “let it be done) in him, completely fulfilled (2 Cor. 1:20).
A prayer to pray:
Father, would you please help me to be an individual who is more alert to your Spirit working around me. I venture out into the day and fail to see that the hours of each day are a gift you have given to me to be used to make much of you. I need help to be more spiritually aware of your presence in my life and what you are doing all around me. May I see people as you do – people that you love and care for and long to have a relationship with – and may I show hospitality to my Christian brothers and sisters, as well as those who do not know you, understanding that love is a characteristic that marks me as one of your disciples. May I be an individual who seeks to take initiative in my own life to pursue you more faithfully because I love you, to kill sin more courageously and valiantly, and seek to show and share the love of Jesus with those around me with consistency and passion. Father, the confession of my lips and the actuality of my life are at times inconsistent. I struggle with being dependable and consistent in following you, to being mindful of the gospel of Jesus, to pointing people to the truth and person of Jesus and a whole host of other issues in the Christian life. I am grateful that embracing Jesus’ dependability and obedience ushers me into the family of God as a son of God, but may I more and more exemplify faithfulness to who you are and who you have called me to be. I need your grace. I need your Spirit. I love you, Father. Thank you for loving me.