Jesus is the founder and finisher of our faith. Our faith. NOT our actions! Oh, our actions naturally flow as we get to know Jesus more and more, and entrust ourselves to Him more and more. But our actions are a byproduct of our faith. Yet, how much time do we spend focused on, teaching, and striving to correct our actions? It’s like watering branches hoping for fruit. Jesus begins and ends (created, cares for, and directs) our faith! Faith is the only thing He cares about because that drives everything else. He doesn’t have us in a behavior modification program! (Thank you, friend Sherri, for that beautiful description.) If you read Jesus’ interactions, He doesn’t talk much about behavior compared to the heart. Oh yes, He talks quite a bit about behavior, but it is never from a list of to-dos, as though He expects us actually to do them. When He talks about behavior, it is always to drive us to despair at how badly we fall short of the standard. “Go and sell everything you have and then come follow Me.” “Unless your behavior surpasses that of the Pharisees, you have no part in the kingdom of heaven.” “If you lust, you have committed adultery in your heart.” “If your right eye offends you, cut it out!” These are all indictments to show us that we cannot do this thing. Why? To drive us to despair! Why? So we know the only place we can turn is to Him. Oh, God, what a turnaround from the focus of throngs of His followers, with their seven step-plan to a better prayer life… and all seven steps start with the letter “P”! Jesus did not come to give us a program—He came to give us life, abundant life. I’m overwhelmed by His generosity, intimate kindness, and love for me. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter, gives me life.
2 looking to Jesus, the founder [originator]/author [captain, chief leader, prince] and perfecter [finisher, who brings to completion] of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2.