A few Sundays back, my pastor asked us to consider what Jesus might say if He were to write a letter to each of us. He then shared what he thought Jesus might say to him in a letter. It was so real and so humble that I asked for permission to share with all of you.
First, let me tell you I love you. I think you know that in your head. In fact, you talk about it regularly. And with a deep belief that I love you. But I see deep inside, where you question at times whether I really LIKE you. As if I love you because it’s my job, my obligation, my role because that’s what the Son is supposed to do. Did you read that statement the leper made in Mark 1:40, and then how Mark describes my response. I was “moved with compassion.” It comes from the gut. I can’t help it. It’s a deeply emotional response from Me. I feel compassion. Deeply feel. Not because I have to or am supposed to. It’s in my makeup. I can’t help it.
So what’s your hang-up? Is it that dirt in you that you know I don’t like? Is it that if you were in My place you wouldn’t love yourself? Is it that you think I’m just waiting for a reason to be disappointed in you? Or is it that deep, deep down in you, you’ve lost the emotion and power of the story of My death…FOR YOU.
Do I wish you were more set apart for Me? Yes. Do I wish you desired more to be pleasing to Me, and your actions and thoughts followed suit? Yes. Do I wish you would hunger more for righteousness? Yes. Do I wish you would do more relationally with those that don’t know Me, so they could experience what you already have? Yes. You could type this letter from now until tomorrow thinking of things you’ve done or not done to disappoint. You could build an ironclad case for why I should just move on and leave you behind. But if you did, would it help you to believe the gospel you talk about regularly? Would you love Me more…or just hate yourself more?
If there were just one thing I would ask you to do over the next weeks, it would be to carve out time (hurts me to say it like that), and let’s just talk. Tell me what bothers you. Tell Me how you feel about My Father. Tell Me what you wish you could be if I would grant you the power. Pray. It’s that simple. If you need to carve out the time…then carve it out. Try going to bed with Scripture on your mind. Spend some time on behalf of your family. Learn to listen. I know…you’re wired in a way that makes that difficult. And you’ve certainly not cultivated that ability. But listen. Ask yourself what I want for each day. Talk to Me about your needs. I know what you worry about. Do you trust me?
If there were just one thing right now I would do for you, it’s this. I’d let you experience in a way you’ve never experienced, the fullness of joy that comes from the deepest of relationships. You know Me. You’ve tasted, and still do taste, my goodness. But you know there are things in you that have become barriers, ugly walls, wretched offenses, that by their very nature repel Me away. And I know you don’t want that. Will you trust Me to remove them, to give you discipline, to reshape and enlarge your heart? My biggest concern with you right now is not that I equip you or empower you to be the pastor of CCC. My biggest desire right now is that you be the son of My Father I’ve created you to be. I’ll take care of CCC. I will give you everything you need for that. Pursue Me, whether that’s by chasing hard, by walking consistently, or by resting and having your Sabbath in Me.
I hope you get the picture…I love you. Not because I have to, but because I get great joy from our relationship. You do to. There are just some things that need to be left behind.
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