“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. . .who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? . . .” – Jeremiah 31:3a and 30:21b
Jesus is like a lovesick suitor. Always calling. Always asking the question, “Will you marry Me?”. Always wanting me to say “yes”.
As He continues to show up in my life, I begin to believe He really cares. I realize He dreamed me, designed me, and made me. I already belong to Him. I just have to say “yes” to letting Him love me. There is some resistance, some fear, but over time, I begin to trust Him when He says He will never leave me or hurt me. He will never change His mind about me. All I have to do is say “yes”.
In the stillness
I never know when He will come.
I just suddenly realize He is there, and
He looks at me with tender eyes,
a gentle smile on His face.
Without words, I hear
“Just say ‘yes’ to Me.”
And I do.
“Yes” to relationship.
“Yes” to love.
“Yes” to doing whatever He asks.
“Yes” to being one with Him.
Jesus wants us to move into a more intimate relationship with Him. He is overwhelmingly in love with each of us. He’s just waiting for our “yes”.
“The Lord is so anxious that we should desire Him and strive after His companionship that He calls us ceaselessly, time after time, to approach Him. . .” – Teresa of Avila
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” – Matthew 6:22-23
When things start to look fuzzy, I realize my glasses need cleaning or updating with some fine-tuned lenses. I want clear vision, both physically and spiritually. I think of it this way:
If we look at the world through the lense of money (How much will it cost? Or how much will we make?), we will never see the world as God sees it. He loves the world without regard to cost.
If we look at other people through the lense of self-righteousness or superiority, we will not be able to discern right and wrong. We will have already made up our minds.
If we look at those around us through a lense of anger, we will never be able to show love or gentleness. We will be harsh and rigid in our judgments.
If we look at our environment through a lense of negativity, we will not be able to see good in others or accept them as Jesus does. We will be critical and untrusting.
Maybe we need to evaluate our perspective. We may find we need a new way of looking at things: God’s way of compassion.
God can give us a compassionate view. He can reveal prejudices and attitudes. He can give insight and understanding. Once we allow Him to correct our vision, our relationships will change and opportunities for new ones will open we cannot yet imagine. First we have to be willing to see things His way. He will do the rest.
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.” – John 12:46
Most people have an opinion or belief about Jesus. Some see Him as a compassionate man who once walked around Galilee and Jerusalem doing good things for people and teaching them to live better lives. Others claim a personal relationship with Him – believing He’s with them, praying to Him, asking Him to guide their lives. For some, opinions are based on hearsay or feelings; for others, they are based on research and reading. There is no doubt that the views of Jesus vary widely.
Here are some things people have said about Him:
- Some in the biblical crowd: “He is a good man.”
- Others in same crowd: “He deceives the people.”
- Roman centurion: “Surely this was the Son of God.”
- C. S. Lewis: “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.”
- John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
- Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
- Thomas: “My Lord and my God.”
- Bertrand Russell: “. . . clearly he was not so wise as some other people have been, and he was certainly not superlatively wise.”
- People of Nain: “A great prophet has appeared among us.”
- Temple guards: “No one ever spoke the way this man does.”
If Jesus walked into the room right now, what would you say to Him? About Him? Who is Jesus to you? It’s the most important question you will ever answer.
“The miracle of the gospel is Christ, risen and glorified, who this very moment tracks us, pursues us, abides in us, and offers Himself to us as companion for the journey.” – Brennan Manning
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16
Have you ever wanted to be extraordinary? To be stronger, wiser, and more insightful than other people? Maybe you are and you just don’t know it. Here’s a clue:
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, calling them out for bragging about which leader they were loyal to and then fighting with others about whose leader was more spiritual, had better ideas, or had superior credentials. Paul reminded them that when they behaved this way, they were acting like mere humans, just ordinary people (1 Corinthians 3:4). He goes on to tell them, as followers of Jesus Christ, they were much more than mere humans. Why? Because God was living within them.
He lives in us, too!
It is so easy to get caught up in intellectual debates or in following the latest teacher or preacher. It is tempting to get involved in political arguments or interpersonal conflicts. But, God is telling us we are better than that. We need to step back and realize our true role: To be occupied and controlled by the Holy Spirit. To be a holy temple for God himself. We are above the muddy fights. We are no longer mere humans. We are God’s ambassadors – His hands and feet and face to the world around us.
Knowing this challenges me to follow Jesus’ example of loving, helping, listening, touching, and, yes, sometimes confronting evil. He was not a mere human and His followers aren’t either. We are extraordinary, God- empowered humans. Let’s live it out!
“My job is not to solve people’s problems or make them happy, but to help them see the grace operating in their lives.” – Eugene Peterson