When I was a little girl I met Jesus.
I wasn’t pressured into a relationship with Him, in fact my mom was hesitant, even tried to talk me out of it at first because she thought I was too young. But when it is a work of the Spirit, and not an emotional impulse, you can’t deny it.
I didn’t just “meet Jesus” in the sense that I was introduced to Him and that was it. No, the Spirit opened my eyes to the fact that I was one ugly, sinful, little girl. Yep, already by the ripe old age of five, my sinful tendencies were in full swing. But thankfully, I heard a preacher explain in clear terms how, even though I deserved to endure hell to pay for my own sins, Jesus stepped in to rescue me from that destination by going to the cross and paying for my sins Himself.
Once I realized the facts of the gospel, I could not rest until I surrendered to God, asking for His forgiveness and “meeting Him” in a way that turned my life upside down and inside out. I’ve never been the same. The first thing I wanted to do was share with everyone that I could. I had to tell them that this wasn’t just a story, but let them know that Jesus was a real and living person and you could actually have a relationship with Him!
I wanted to tell everyone that Jesus really would forgive you and give you a completely new life!
I remember sitting in church services, as the minister would be telling some long tale that was unrelated to Scripture, he would be going on with a long involved description of something, and I would look up at him with eyes pleading for him to just share Jesus. I wanted to stand up in that church and turn around and cry out to the people: “Do you know Jesus? Do you know that He’s alive and wants to live in you? Do you know Him?”
Many times I would grip my hands to the wooden seat beneath me, trying to hold myself in the pew, so I wouldn’t jump up to shout what I felt so strongly: “Do you know Jesus?”
I feel like that’s what I’m still doing today. I’m shouting out here in this little daily blog:
“Do you know Jesus? Do you know that He’s alive and wants to live in you?”
Just this morning I was amazed again as I read in Leviticus (yes, of all places, Leviticus can bring a jolt of joy) that He promises to “dwell” with us:
[box]Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. ‘I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. (Lev. 26:11–13)[/box]
God promises to dwell with and walk among His people. That’s something we should never grow nonchalant about.
[box]What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Cor. 6:16)[/box]
I’m not one of the Israelites who was in bondage in Egypt, but I was in bondage. I’m reminded of the horrific nature of that bondage every time I open my mouth and it hurts someone. Every time I struggle with godless anger. Every time I’m tempted to indulge my sinful appetite.
I was in deep bondage—even though I was only five.
But God set me free. He broke the bars of the yoke of sin and gives me the grace and power to “walk erect,” to walk in freedom.
I don’t know where you are spiritually, but because I care about you, I want you to know that God has a rescue plan for those of us who are in need.
The word gospel means “good news” and this is the good news—Jesus Christ came (God in flesh) to suffer the penalty for my sin, for your sin as well, in order to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, so that we could (through His atoning blood) enter into relationship with Holy God!
Please click here to read Romans 8.
The Apostle Paul mentions in this chapter that Jesus Christ was the offering for sin and those who are in the flesh cannot please God (that’s you and me—all of us!). I am completely unpleasing to God in my natural state, but when I approach God, acknowledging my sin—confessing that I deserve the wrath of a Holy God, and with that confession, seek His forgiveness—then I can experience what I John 1:9 declares:
[box]“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”[/box]
When you read the word “unrighteousness” think of crawling through a mud hole; you know, getting really filthy. When I’m really filthy, all I can think of is getting a good, hot bath. Jesus wants to clean us up. What I mean by this kind of “filthy” is, think of the most rotten thing you’ve ever done. That’s you and me. He came to rescue us from our worst state. He came so we don’t have to stay in that filthy condition.
Wow, clean from my naturally “filthy” state, that thought just feels good!
[box]“God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sins” (1 John 4:9 –10).[/box]
The work that Jesus did on the cross was necessary to rescue us from the penalty of sin. But that’s not all, there is another exciting and personal aspect to having a personal relationship with God.
Shortly before Jesus’ death, as He was preparing the disciples for his departure from earth, He gave them this promise:
[box]“When the Helper comes whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me . . .” (John 15:26).[/box]
[box]“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment . . . When He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth . . .” (John 16:7-13).[/box]
This “Helper” that Jesus mentions is God’s Spirit.
Once we’ve confessed our sin to God, asked for and received His forgiveness, the Holy Spirit then “takes up residence” in our soul, He “fills us” (Romans 8:9).
Talk about having a personal relationship with God—living within us—THAT is PERSONAL!
Because of our fallen, sinful, and completely depraved condition, we are in need of a Savior who could “purchase” or redeem us from that state:
[box]“Conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:17-19).[/box]
Jesus came to do this. He is the Redeeming God.
But redemption also has a broader aspect than just our salvation or “rescue” from eternal damnation (as HUGE as that is!) and tomorrow we’ll look at what else He has in store for us.
What about you? Do you have a personal relationship with God?
Are you still in a “filthy” condition, needing to be washed clean?
Also, do you know someone that may need to hear the gospel today? Please print off this blog post and share it with them. Post it to your Facebook page or send it by email to someone you love.
I’m praying God uses this “shout out” for someone who needs to know that: Jesus is alive and wants to live in you!
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