Weather report from heaven: Sunny and bright with an abundance of light, and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture: “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”- John 17:22-24
Insight: Every year I write a series on “Practical Christianity” because I think it’s critical to our relationship with God to learn how to apply what the Bible teaches to our own lives in a way that we are able to put it into practice for great benefit. If we can’t practically apply the many lessons and truths found in the Bible into our own lives, then it is most likely we’re not going to make a big impact on the world around us, which is exactly what the Bible tells us should be the result of the Holy Spirit living in us, as John 14:12 says “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” We should make an impact! But how do we do that?
Well, when I was a baby Christian, I used to pray to God that I wanted to have a personal relationship with Him. I wanted to know Him in a real and tangible way. Because I didn’t have a close relationship with my earthly father, this was a critical point for me. I needed to know Him, so I asked Him often if this was possible? I prayed for it and I read scriptures that told me this was in fact not only possible, but it was in fact His desire for me! He wanted to be my friend. I was never even friends with my earthly dad, although I wanted that so bad. So wow, was this a game changer for me. There are many scriptures that speak directly to this but one of my favorites is John 15:15 which says “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
I have continued to grow in my relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit for the last 18 years and here are a few things I hope will help you as you seek Him that I have learned: 1. We must seek Him ( Matthew 7:7 Jeremiah 29:13 ) but when we do, we will find Him. 2. We change all the time, we are emotionally unstable many times and often driven by our circumstances when we approach Him, but He never changes. ( Hebrews 13:8 ) 3. Reading the Bible is the best way to get to know God. 4. Praying to Him and listening for a response, and then obediently following what He says is the best way to live a life that is free from self-inflicted wounds of which I have brought many upon myself. 5. God is good, He loves us more than we can ever imagine, and His plans are better than our plans, even when we can’t see it.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for calling us your friends and allowing us to get to know You on a personal level through reading of scripture, praying and listening to You. You are worthy of all of our praise. Amen!
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