I’ve been walking through this life seeking a better understanding of my relationship with Jesus. Every relationship requires something, but this one less than all others. Relationships with people are hinged upon things such as honesty, dependability, what you have, what you can do, even appearance and manners. If you’re always taking without being able to offer something into a relationship than that relationship doesn’t grow. In fact often with most people of the world a relationship like that will disappear. This comes naturally because we are selfish and in order to recognize this we need to have it shown to us.
This concept has been adopted by most of society, we are taught to share, and be nice to others early in school, at home if you have siblings often told these same things. But as we get older and objects become more personal and valuable we lose the sharing concept and lean towards good manners, and rightly so, if someone is rude to me why should I be nice to them or let them use my things and break them.
More than likely if someone mistreats me they will do the same to my things, if they don’t respect me or my things why would I want to be around them. Soon we start treating people the same way they treat us or worse. We start treating people like that from the beginning as a way to protect ourselves.
Now this idea is why I have a need to better understand my relationship with Jesus. See the way of the world has taught me to protect myself by turning my heart of flesh to stone. To only be concerned with me and mine, even to a point of deception, by saying things like, I’m not selfish, look what I do for my family. This whole new selfish concept begins so gradually and it’s all around us that we just fall into the same pattern, we don’t notice it happening.
When I really and truly heard the Gospel my eyes began to open, I noticed the anger, hate, and selfishness that controlled me. I heard and saw many other people around me the same way and thought how gross, how ugly, I don’t want to be like this, there has to be a better way. I remembered my mom always saying do to others as you want people to do to you. Then this voice inside me, which was the sinful man said, yeah why don’t people do that, if they did then I would, but since they don’t then I won’t. Finally came a point in time when I needed to know how I could find joy and peace, see when you’re always protecting yourself, when you don’t trust anyone, when anger and hate control you, peace and joy allude you. I see people with these things so how do I get them.
First I tried making sure I didn’t need anyone, you know be completely self-efficient which only worked for a period of time. This became very tiring and exhausting to the point of needing help. So in order to maintain this idea of self-efficiency I turn to man made things. Things like pills, alcohol and anything that pleased me and at any cost and that cost was everything.
There are two real important facts to see at this point, one is I only thought that I was being self-efficient, and two what my mom shared with me about “doing to others”. Those things I was using to defeat the exhaustion became ideals and dominating sin, and mom’s message was actually God’s word. I want to share some of God’s word with you now and hope to see and hear that you also see the need and seek for it, so you can have joy and peace that comes with a better relationship with Jesus.
The first verse I want to share to help explain why I think my life has gone in this direction is Isaiah 55:11 “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
Notice a couple of things here, so God sent his word to me through my mom. It will not return empty and it will accomplish what God wants it to. So make sure you share God’s word with everyone you can so that each person you know can have the opportunity that you now have.
The next verse I want to share is Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” This can also be found in Matthew 7:12 and is the verse that God gave to me as a child through my mother. Now I’m not a child anymore and many years have gone by, but in Isaiah 55:11 it doesn’t give a length of time on how long it takes for God’s word to accomplish His desire just that it will.
The next verses I feel led to share is Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
If you remember at the beginning of this paper I mention all relationships required something and that the one with Jesus required less than any. I also talked about being self-efficient so that I could have peace and joy, and that didn’t really work out too well.
In these verses we read that Jesus does require some things first is “come to me” meaning trust and believe that He is God (FAITH). Second He mentions a knowing of us being “weary and burdened” and that if we allow Him to teach us He “will give you rest” and in the last verse in Matthew 11 He says it’s easy. So you see this relationship requires less, it’s for those who are tiered of struggling on their own, or found that what they have tried doesn’t work. And He does give us joy and peace otherwise known as “rest”.
Written by Brian Ferguson, Colony of Mercy graduate and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.
The Daily Bible Reading: Malachi, Luke 24:36-53
Think about this: “It was becoming clearer and clearer that if I wanted to come to the end of my life and not say, “I’ve wasted it!” then I would need to press all the way in, and all the way up, to the ultimate purpose of God and join him in it. If my life was to have a single, all-satisfying, unifying passion, it would have to be God’s passion.” ~John Piper
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths. ~Proverbs 4:11 (NKJV)