Today, I will finish up with chapter 1 of the book, Spiritual Grit, by Rick Lawrence.
When I graduated high school in 1983, there was a movement that started in the Christian churches that can still be seen today that asked be to ask the question, "What would Jesus do? or WWJD. There were posters, bracelets, bumper stickers, etc, everywhere.
Mr. Lawrence proposes that we ask instead, "Why did Jesus do it?" Asking why will better help us understand what caused Jesus to act the way he did but "What would Jesus do? lets us guess at what he might do and we base this on our beliefs and how we might act. He states the "key is to continue asking "why" questions until we reach the bedrock of Jesus' heart". According to Mr. Lawrence, these "why" questions compel us to explore Jesus' heart and passions whereas a "what" question only allows us to explore his head.
The heart of a person is where their passion or true concern/love lies. If we want a deeper, and more intimate relationship with Jesus, we need to understand His heart, or His passion.
Psalm 34:8 says,
During his final hours with them, Jesus told his disciples about a helper or "paraclete" that he was going to send them when he was no longer with them. Paraclete comes from the Greek word, paráklētos, that can signify "called to one's aid in a court of justice", a "legal assistant", an "assistant", or an "intercessor". In Christianity, this term is generally associated with the Holy Spirit and usually means advocate or comforter. In John 14:15-27, Jesus calls this helper our advocate, who will never leave us and will be in us. Jesus also says the Holy Spirit is His representative who will teach us and remind of us of everything Jesus said.
I found it very interesting that Mr. Lawrence explained that young Jewish boys studied the Holy Books beginning at age 6. At age 14, the ones who had demonstrated the highest academic potential were allowed to continue on, if they were able to find a rabbi and become his disciple or talmid. Due to a scarcity of rabbis, there was an intense competition to be selected and the talmid was chosen when a rabbi asked him to "take his yoke upon him". The talmid would leave everything to follow the rabbi and would essentially become a "mini me" of the rabbi.
We have had the same invitation from Jesus, and, if we choose to accept it, the Holy Spirit or Paraclete, will help us absorb the essence of Jesus and come to truly know His heart.
However, we must be willing to submit to the Holy Spirit's authority.
That is the end of chapter 1. I can't wait to get started into chapter 2. Thank you for following along with me.