I used to think of the Lord as far, far away in the sky, far away from me, way out of reach, God I could pray to but God who would always keep His far, far away distance from me and from all of humanity. I didn’t believe and receive and know and experience His love for me. Nor did I believe His care, His compassion, His kindness, His tenderness, etc. I thought of Him as a long-distance-away God I needed to obey – or else. Now, I know and experience the truth.
Today, I have a closer-than-imaginable, ever-growing, ever-deepening, eve-more wonderful, ever-more personal, ever-more personal relationship with Him. And oh, how gracious, how generous, how gentle He is with me! And that is just a tiny, tiny, tiny description of all He is in my life. As my Lord, as My King, as my Father, as my Savior, as my God!
I am learning more and more about Jesus as I spend more and more time alone with Him praying, seeking Him, reading the Bible, singing to Him, praising Him, worshiping Him, hearing Him, obeying Him, drawing ever closer to Him as He draws close and closer to me. I am learning more about Jesus. And learning more from Jesus. Growing, growing, growing in my relationship with Jesus. Continually.
Gracious Jesus. Generous Jesus. Gentle Jesus. And, oh, this is an infinitesimally small description of the endless wonderful, marvelous, awesomely amazing aspects of the character of Jesus, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Savior of the world!
Loving, kind, merciful, patient, tender, true, loyal, faithful, strong, all-powerful, all-knowing, great, good, wise, sacrificing, humble, so humble, and on and on His breathtakingly beautiful characteristics go. Sure, God can be tough. Stern. Fiery. Angry. Wrathful. He will convict. He will chasten. He will hold back blessings when we need to repent. He will correct us. Refine us. Purify us. Prune us. Test us. Allow hard stuff in our lives as He conforms us to Himself. But always, He is love (1 John 4:16), He is lovely, He is good, so very, very good. The Good Shepherd. The Great Shepherd.
Friend, the Spirit of Christ lives inside those who turn from our sins, believe in Jesus as Lord and in His death and resurrection, truly turning to God and His ways. Yes, the very Holy Spirit lives in us! And through us! The Lord then is not far away at all! He is alive in us! RIGHT INSIDE US! Oh, hallelujah!
And God so loves us and so wants us to be in forever fellowship with Him that He gives us 24-7 access to Himself through repentance and faith in and our lives being devoted to Christ as Lord! He is God who wants us to be with Him and Him with us forever and ever, oh yes! Through Jesus! Through Jesus we can be! Wholly His. His forevermore!
I hunger for Jesus more than imaginable. I thirst for His nearness, I crave His closeness, I long for His company, I am desperate for His fellowship, I chase after Him beyond belief. I want more and more of the Lord, more of His love and more loving Him. I am starving for more of the Lord! And so I run after Him! So I seek Him! So I cry out to Him! So I pray to Him! So I dig deeper and deeper into the Bible! So I praise Him day after day! And cry out to Him! In love! In need! In desperation! In repentance as needed! Crying out to Him, for more, more, more of my beloved Jesus!
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
My gracious Father. My generous Lord. My gentle King. My Jesus. My blessed Savior. My precious best friend. My highest love, greatest love, first love, number one priority, the love of my life, here, on earth, and forever! My “portion” evermore!
“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
Please don’t be caught up in religion and religiousness and man-made traditions. The Lord died on the cross and was raised from the dead to give us the opportunity to have a RELATIONSHIP with Him here on this earth and forevermore instead of spending forever apart from Him in torment in hell and the lake of fire. He wants us in His company! He wants us in His fellowship! He wants us in His Kingdom! He wants us in His intimate fellowship! He doesn’t want a long distance between us and Him! Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead to bridge the distance between us and God, the separation created by sin that causes us to not be able to be in His company because of our sinfulness and His holiness. Jesus died to bring us to God the Father! He is God! He is the Father! He is one God in three, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7)! Oh, how He longs for us to be with Him forever and ever!
‘For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” 1 Peter 3:18
Generous Jesus. Gracious Jesus. Gentle Jesus. In His generousness, in His graciousness, in His gentleness, He calls us to Himself. And, when we humble ourselves and turn from our sins, when we cry out to Him for mercy, when we place our trust in Him as Lord, when we genuinely devote our lives to God and His ways, then we are His forever and ever, to know Him and to be with Him and to experience Him and to enjoy Him and to praise Him and to worship Him and to serve Him and to glorify Him – for all of eternity. Without end! Oh, yes!
Do you know the love of Jesus? Up close and personal? Do you experience His generosity, His graciousness, His gentleness? Do you have a deeply personal, intimate forever relationship with Jesus? May this be true for you, oh friend, oh yes!
“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”” John 6:35-40
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30