THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
STAGES IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
People usually experience three stages in their relationship
with Christ -- emotional, intellectual, volitional. These
have to do with the heart, the mind, the will. The stages,
which overlap, can come quickly in succession, or take
long periods of time.
first stage is when one meets Christ and is touched by the
Spirit. He has an emotional experience, a high. In
the parable of the sower, he is the one who received the word
with joy. But unless he moves strongly into the second stage,
he can fall away because he has no roots.
second stage is when one begins to live Christ. He gets to
know Christ more. He prays, reads the Bible, undergoes formation,
studies aspects of the Christian life, begins to share Christ,
serves in ministry. He has an intellectual experience,
a deepening, a greater understanding of what the
new life is about. He is entering into discipleship. In the
parable of the sower, he would be one whose faith takes root.
But many of those in this stage still fall away. They strive
to live by the Spirit but are overcome with the works of the
flesh. They are the foolish Galatians.
third stage comes as a decision of the will. He has totally
turned over his life to Jesus. He has been honed by trials,
persecution and suffering. He is determined to endure. He
denies self and embraces the cross. He accepts the loss of
all worldly things and even consider them rubbish. He is
consumed by zeal to proclaim the gospel. He is deliberate,
determined and dogged. He has decided to follow Jesus all
the way, without conditions, knowing full well the challenges
and pain that come, and there is no turning back. Because
of his intimate relationship with Jesus, he has grown in knowledge
of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. He understands
and practices mercy. He is an authentic servant leader and
a holy warrior. He is a prophetic witness. In the parable
of the sower, he would be one who has deep roots, has endured
trial and tribulation, has overcome worldly anxiety and
the lure of riches and craving for other things, and
bear fruit a hundredfold.
are those in the second stage who have not truly experienced
the first stage. He is the one who is catechized and sacramentalized
but not evangelized.
who reaches the third stage continues with the second, and
have occasional instances of the first. God continues to touch
the heart, the mind and the will -- the total person. Until
he becomes another Christ. He then is a saint.
all the saints come marching in.
 The Biblical understanding of “heart” involves
 As in the case of Saul who became Paul. An implacable enemy
of Christ and the Church, Saul was converted by Jesus himself
on the road to Damascus, and after some days was already proclaiming
Christ (Acts 9:19b-20). He would soon be the great apostle Paul.
 Galatians 6:16-21.
 Galatians 3:1-4.
 Philippians 3:7-8.
 I Corinthians 9:16.
 Philippians 3:13b-14.
 Matthew 13:11.
 Mark 4:14-20.
 The antidote is total trust in Jesus.
 The antidote is embrace of the evangelical virtue of poverty.
 The antidote is a rejection of consumerism, materialism,
hedonism, as well as of seeking power, position and perks in
the work of the Kingdom.