2001-03-03 - It's all in the Relationship
The Lord's Prayer, Part 5
Matthew 6:9-13 After this manner, therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen
"No thanks, I don't really like religion."
"Me, neither, but I am really enjoying my relationship with Jesus Christ, and that is Who I would like to introduce you to. Would you like to meet Him?"
She gave me a strange look and said, "Sure." She didn't enter into a relationship that day, but the seed was planted.
I was working with the Amazing Grace Fair Ministries mission organization, drawing people into a booth to hear the plan of salvation. I only had one goal -- to plant the seed. If someone decided to pray and meet God for real for the first time, that was great, but God only called me that day to be a farmer.
I talk to people a lot about God, about His Son. When someone says, "Me and the man up there are just like THIS" (hand held up, fingers tightly crossed), I know that they really have no clue Whom they are talking about.
God. Father God.
He loves us so much. He has loved us with an everlasting love. But as much as He loves us and wishes to hold us tightly to His bosom, whispering in our ear, soothing all of our hurts and fears and sorrows -- there is one thing that is stopping Him.
Our sin. God is perfect and holy and just and totally without sin. Because of Who He is, and because of What He is, sin cannot live (dwell, abide) in His presence. Which is why He sent Jesus.
Jesus wasn't the guy who came to rescue us from an angry God. He didn't just come to show us how to live. He is God. God -- Who stepped out of Heaven to show us just how much He loves us. Each nail was accepted because of His love for us. "For He (Father God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, Who (Jesus) knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in (because of) Him (Jesus)."
Christ in me, hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27, rephrased)
No, He's not the man up there. He's my Father, who loves me deeply. My Father who cares for me. My Father who, like a mother hen, wraps His arms around me. And although the world around me is tenuous and things happen that would cause me to cry out in pain, I know that He is there, in control, wiping off my tears, hearing my petitions, taking care of it all.
It's not a religion. It's a relationship. A world of difference.
Father. I love You. You have taught me so much about You. You have taught me so much about me. As I look into Your book, You draw me closer and closer to You. I pray for the person reading this. I pray that he or she would know You. I pray that Your presence would be known by them. I pray that they would have a relationship with You that is real and growing. A part of their every day life. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You that You were willing to make my heart Your home. Sweep the corners, Lord. Make me more and more like You. Amen