Thursday, January 13, 2022

A Relationship Not an Acquaintance

A Relationship Not an Acquaintance 

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my Spirit. JOB 10:12 NIV 

When Roger Williams arrived in the New World seeking religious liberty, he was opposed by some Puritans unfriendly to his views. Fleeing to Narragansett Bay, he purchased land and founded a settlement that later became the capital of Rhode Island. He named it Providence. It was a word, he felt, that aptly described God’s ordering and overruling of his life. We often find ourselves in difficult circumstances. But in both personal matters and global affairs, we can trust the overruling hand of our sovereign God, who turns negatives into positives, valleys into hills, and questions into exclamation marks. We can trust the providence of Him who has promised to work all things together for good. Do you have a burden today? Worried about world events? Anxious about circumstances? A. W. Tozer wrote that the child of God travels in an appointed way. “Accidents may indeed appear to befall him,” wrote Tozer, “but these evils will be so in appearance only and will seem evils only because we cannot read the secret script of God’s providence.” 

For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD But His secret counsel is with the upright. PROVERBS 3:32 

A couple was driving home from their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary dinner, she in the passenger seat and he behind the wheel. Dreamily, the wife said, “Honey, remember when we used to sit right next to each other in the car?” The husband answered, “Well, sweetheart, I haven’t moved. I’ve been right here all the time.” Sometimes Christians remember the early days of their walk with God. They have memories of a more intimate relationship with God. Over time, that relationship became formal and distant. But God never wanted it that way; He desires intimate relationships with all His children. Abraham, the friend of God, found out just how close God wants to be. Before destroying Sodom, God said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?” (Genesis 18:17). God shared His plans with His friend and gave Abraham the chance to respond—which he did! Christianity is a relationship, not a religion; and relationships demand time together if they are to grow. If God wanted to tell you a secret, would you be available? If God doesn’t seem as close as He used to, guess who moved?  - Both are from Dr. David Jeremiah Morning and Evening 

It's really a difficult thing to know the old saying "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink" applies to a great many professing Christians. 

They come to Christ yet go on living like they really didn't.  They get into a funk and wonder where God is at. They might come to Church yet they don't get involved. They warm a seat, don't sing praises before them, and smile a little before leaving quickly. 

There's no living a life right in Christ that isn't lived in a right relationship with Jesus.  Jesus is not an acquaintance of yours or my life.  He's not the guy you call in emergencies only on the other end of a prayer line when desperation sets in.  

So who moved?  Yes that devotional is a good question too.  We come to Christ, and things go south.  What gives?

Jesus never moved.  That only leaves us.

What goes on in your day?  Is there any moments in your day where it's more than just you and your wants and desires?  Do you set aside all that in order to get to know Jesus more and better than yesterday?

A Church building isn't Jesus. 

A relationship with Jesus isn't warming a seat on Sundays. Nor is it treating Him like a person of menial labor. Like someone that you find thumbing through phone listings to fix what broke. 

Your deeds in the body won't amount to much of anything if you aren't living as God intended for you to live after coming to Christ for salvation. 

Are you setting your mind on things above and not on the things down here, as the Bible says to do?

Are you seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness, as the Bible says to do?

Are you being double-minded? The Bible says such people are unstable in all that they do. 

Are you in prayer at all besides maybe praying for the food you eat?  Do you mindlessly repeat the same words and call it a prayer?  You probably get irritated at automated phone systems when you want a real person to talk to. Jesus straight up blasted the Pharisee's and Sadducee's for things such as this.

Jesus showed in the four Gospels that a relationship with Him is what He wants. He does not want relegated to the same level as a plumber or a Mr. Fix-it.

What does your relationship with Jesus look like?  Are you at all concerned about the workmanship You were intended to be in Christ?  You get frustrated because of this or that not working out. Why? Was it God's plan or your plan?  You get depressed because of where your life is going yet again, is it because you are pursuing your dreams or God's direction?

When was the last time you were really interested in being what God has in mind for you?  

I am intentionally not jumping back into hobbies and other things in life right now because I need to be sure that the path that I am on is where God's will is.  I am interested in many types of vocation.  I am interested in various courses and classes to take that could mean a career change. Interested, but I refuse to commit until I know from God that that is what He wants of me.  My relationship with Jesus must come first. What He wants of me and for me to do must be my priority. In the lives of the Disciples we see they did that. 

What are your priorities? What ways in your life should be changed to show a right relationship with Jesus?

Where is your life headed?  Are you, as the Bible says to be, useful to your Master?  You will not have anyone standing with you when you give an account of your life before Jesus.  There's going to be nobody to point to that will be a valid excuse as to why you didn't invest in your relationship with Jesus.  

When was the last time you really had an honest outpouring of your heart to God?

When have you been honest with yourself?

If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, you are to be about the Father’s business. You have a responsibility to learn more about Jesus. You are to be living such a life that reflects Jesus to a dark world.  It's not to be hidden. 

If you aren't yet a believer in Christ Jesus, let today be that day.  You don't have to aimlessly go through life with no hope.  You can have a real relationship with Jesus that is beyond anything you could imagine.  You could be someone who's life shows it has a purpose beyond what is seen.  

Today is a day not promised. We read of deaths happening time and again that weren't expected.  We read of people dying in freak accidents. We see people falling ill at the most unopportune moments. We see lives changed in an instant. With all this uncertainty we need a relationship we can count on. We need to have Christians being Christians. Being the light of Jesus to a lost world. 

Put Jesus where He should be in your life. 
It may indeed mean giving up things in your life. Big deal. You won't need what you are likely giving up when what you gain is a life that is beyond imagination. I have seen God give me more than I could ask or think when I just let go of things.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. That's God's promise, that's not my words. 

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