Tag Archives: Jesus

The Lover you can’t live without.

So, it’s Valentines Day. A day set aside for expressing love for someone in special ways. Sending a card, giving chocolates, presenting a  bouquet of Roses, and going to dinner are all popular ways to show your love to that particular person……..or so i’ve been told.

I never sent someone a Valentines Day Card, a bouquet of roses, or anything like that. Trust me, I would like to! But I have received a love letter beyond Romeo and Juliet’s wildest dreams. That Love letter was written by the very hand of God! He has worked throughout history to bring about the redemption of mankind, and then writes multiple letters (which we now call books) so that we might know his heart and his love for us. Paul said in Ephesians 3:16-19:

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Now don’t misinterpret my thoughts here. I am not trying to compare our relationship with Christ to the incorrect romantic philosophy of this day and age, rather I am wanting to help us see that Christ truly loves us and desires to have a relationship with us. Jesus said in John 17:3

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Eternal Life is to know God!  To know God, in a deep and intimate way, is to have Eternal Life. Here is the first part of what Matthew Henry says about this verse:

Life eternal lies in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ; the present principle of this life is the believing knowledge of God and Christ; the future perfection of that life will be the intuitive knowledge of God and Christ. Those that are brought into union with Christ, and live a life of communion with God in Christ, know, in some measure, by experience, what eternal life is, and will say, “If this be heaven, heaven is sweet.’’

To know God and Jesus Christ who he has sent, implies that we have a relationship with Him. A relationship is to be developed, cultivated, nurtured, and strengthened. Jesus displayed the intense and intimate relationship he had with the Father through his desire to please the Lord, and his intimate prayers in John 17 and Luke 22:39-46. David showed his intimate relationship through the many Psalms he composed expressing his ardent and vehement love for the Father!

Not only has Christ died because he loved us (John 3:16), but he actively pursues us and calls us to Himself. According to Ephesians 1:11 we have been ordained to be the Children of God before the world began and the Holy Spirit draws those whom he has chosen to a life changing relationship with him. It is the Spirits work to draw us to God, and reveal to us the Word of God in our daily life.

So why can we not live without Christ, the lover of our soul? Simple, because “in him we live, and move, and have our being” Acts 17:28, and according to Galatians 2:20, we have identified with the death of Christ and no longer live to ourselves, but Christ is the one living through us. Those who do not have a relationship with Christ have not experienced true love. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9. How sad it is to see others who do not have that abiding relationship in Christ and are not able to enjoy the love that Christ shows towards his chosen.

But this is something even more traumatic – we as God’s children have a tendency to be content with our relationship with Christ.

We do not go great depths to draw closer to Christ. When a husband ceases to pursue his wife as the love of his life, their relationship becomes a sad example of many marriages today. It is also a bad case when the wife ceases pursuing the husbands love. In the Old Testament, God referred to the people of Israel as adulterous prostitutes, primarily because of their infatuation with idols and the pagan rituals of the countries that surrounded them. In Ezekiel 23:29-30 God speaks to Ezekiel about the sin of Israel and Judah.

“Your lewdness and your whoring have brought this (God’s Punishment) upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols.”

Many Christians, like Israel, have ceased seeking the love of Christ and have sought love, pleasure, and fulfillment elsewhere. Christ’s love for us is still abiding, but his heart is grieved because we do not seek to know Him in all of His fullness. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Are we diligently seeking the Kingdom of God? Are we seeking to know the ruler of that Kingdom? Jesus Christ DIED so he could redeem from the slavery of sin, those whom he has chosen, and allow us to become joint heirs in His divine inheritance. Why do we not seek to know Christ more than we do? Why are relationships with Christ becoming stagnent? Maybe because we have traveled back to those muddy and wormy bogs of personal pleasure and self content, rank with sin and immorality, and have failed to continue drinking from the spring of Living Water. I think we should take the admonition from James 4:8-10 pretty seriously.

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (ESV)

So as you think about the love of your life, don’t forget the one that died because he loved you. He shed his BLOOD to redeem your soul, all he asks is that you believe and live for Him.

So the best thing that you can do for your spouse this Valentines Day, is to seek to know Christ more. As a result, all other relationships become more intimate and sweeter, especially with your spouse.

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Living Mirrors

It might be your friends, your siblings, your spouse, but they can all be living mirrors.

There are no two ways around it. When we are dealing with people, we are going to face difficulties. Difficulties, stem from differences in personality, the way we were raised, preferences, character, our nature, and  sin such as pride, arrogance, lust, and un-thoughtfulness. The question is, when you face these difficulties in relationships, what are you going to do with them? Are you going to navigate your ship directly into the storm and work through the difficulties, or are you going to steer around them, avoiding them at all cost? *

In addition the Lord impressed this question on my heart. Why is God allowing me to go through a struggle with someone? What purpose does he have in it? Asking these questions has allowed me to gain some insight about myself. In Matthew 7:3-5, Jesus talks about judging others. I am quick to judge and make assumptions about other people, but Christ revealed something to me that hit me like a ton of bricks. God can use other people to reveal sin, and character flaws in our own lives. For example, I may hate the fact that my friend is inconsiderate of other people. But instead of allowing bitterness to grow in my heart because he was inconsiderate to me or someone else, I realize that I am also inconsiderate of him, and other people. He is mirroring a flaw in my own life.

Here is some commentary on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:3-5. Jesus here is talking about the logs and splinters, and how that relates to judging people. I am very quick to see the splinter that is in other people’s lives, but not as quick to see the log in my own. But get this, splinters come from larger objects of wood……..like logs! Follow my logic here? I think Jesus was teaching here that before you go judging someone else about a specific sin, look first at your self, and you will find that same sin exists in larger proportion. In other words, people can be mirrors in our lives.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (ESV)

So for us to begin seeing Christ in others, we must begin shining forth the glory of Christ. But before this is possible, we must receive the instruction of 2 Corinthians 3:18:

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (NASB)

When we gaze on the immense Glory of the Lord, our lives will become a reflection of Christ and will naturally shine forth for others to see.

In conclusion I will say that when I face difficulties in a relationship, I must go to God and rely on Him to give me grace to make it through those difficulties, and work through them with that person that we may become more like the Lord who died to have a relationship with us wretched beings. Be a mirror, and reflect Christ to those around you!

*Thanks to Pastor Telfer for the illustration.