When we walk with Jesus, He talks to us about everything. It usually sounds like us, but there’s a difference–and we know it!
5 “Every word of God is flawless;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
What I have noticed is that people who follow Jesus up close and personal encourage those around them to follow Jesus up close and personal. In fact, they can’t help it; it’s just what they do.
Conversely, people who follow Jesus from a distance are not able to encourage others to follow Jesus up close and personal; ignorance, fear, accountability, and pride step in and prevent them from saying anything or looking for ways to show His love. They can show love, but it can easily be interpreted as a natural love rather than a godly love. I’m not saying that we have to say something about Jesus every time we help someone or show love to someone; it’s just that Jesus oozes from those who follow up close and personal. People see it.
The passage that Jesus uses to describe these two sets of people is Mark 4:1-20. We will look at verses 18-20,
18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
One set of folks wants Jesus as Savior, meaning that they don’t want to go to hell and don’t mind living a kinda-sorta righteous life–just as long as they don’t get too radical with it. Their eyes are on what the world is offering. There’s not a lot of room there for Christ.
The other set of folks has found a hunger and a thirst for Him. He smells good to them (2 Corinthians 2:14) and they desire to be close to Him. They will do whatever it takes for Jesus to run their lives. The first thing they do is:
- Start talking to Him. Not so much a “Dear Heavenly Father,” although there’s nothing wrong with that approach, but I’m talking the “He’s right there with you in the moment” kind of prayer: “Hey Jesus, I’m feeling a nudge to go talk to that person. Is that what You want me to do?” or, “I hear You, Lord. I told You that I wanted to get up a little early and read with You, but thirty minutes early? Okay…”
- Speaking of reading, the Bible can best be described as a treasure chest that a person finds buried in a field. He re-buries it, then goes off and sells everything he has to have the cash to buy the field, and then goes and digs it back up. Sound familiar? It’s Matthew 13:44. These people are willing to give up anything they have in order to find the treasures in knowing Jesus. He’s in the pages, folks! He is wanting to share with You great and unsearchable (can’t find it on your own) things. Don’t believe me? Take HIS Word for it, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” Jeremiah 33:3 (God’s phone number).
- They can’t wait to meet with other Christians and share what they have learned.
- They look for opportunities to meet with younger Christians and encourage them in their walk with Jesus.
Jesus loves us right where we are. We don’t have to clean up to come to Him. At the same time, He loves us too much to leave us where we are. He has great plans for us:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12
9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
Let’s work at being the set of folks that loves Jesus up close and personal. Trust me, you will not regret it!
Abba, thank You that You even want to have me close. Thank You for walking with me through every day and every night. Thank You for Your Spirit who resides in my heart. May He rule there, as well. Thank You for revealing Your wonderful truths to me. Keep’em comin, Lord! Amen.