“Perhaps you can see why it is astonishing to me that so many people try to define true Christianity in terms of decisions and not affections. Not that decisions are unessential. The problem is that they require so little transformation. Mere decisions are no sure evidence of a true work of grace in the heart. People can make ‘decisions’ about the truth of God while their hearts are far from Him.” [John Piper]
We all have seen and met people that have made “decisions” for Jesus Christ yet show no evidence in their life of actually loving the Savior. They make a “decision” to follow Jesus but they don’t actually fall in love with Him. Some may love the law, but not the Lawgiver.
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me…Mt. 15:8
What is in the decision if it is not followed by transformation? Receiving Christ, asking Jesus into your heart, getting saved, being born-again, making a decision for Christ… ALL look like something. All of these things come to naught if they are not intricately interwoven with the life-changing, life-transforming, regeneration of the spirit by the power of the One True God in one’s life. If there IS a life-changing, life-transforming, regeneration of the spirit in a person there WILL BE an overflow of growing affection for the Savior, flourishing and blossoming over the lifetime of that person. It looks like and feels like something. Affection. Warm affection.
I was challenged (AGAIN!) as I read this Piper quote as I thought back to the many times I have presented the gospel – I can’t think of a time when I included love of the Savior as part of what it means to make a decision for Jesus. Shame on me.
I hope as I move forward that my affection for Jesus will be evident in my attitude, my manner, my conversation and my Gospel-sharing.
Oh, what a beautiful thing to have a deepening affection for our Lord Jesus. May it never cease to grow. Affection. Warm affection.
Diane Hunt is a Biblical Counselor, Women’s conference and retreat speaker and author. She serves as the Director of Partner Care and Director of Women’s Ministries at America’s Keswick. She and her husband John have two married children and four grandchildren. She loves reveling in warm sunny climates and playing with her grandchildren.