Growing

Have You Met Jesus?

You’ll know him when you see him. His eyes are blazing with love. Jesus can read your thoughts, your heart. He can bind your wounds and remove your scars.

Don’t be afraid.

“Someone who gets this close can’t be trusted,” your soul might say, or, “That sounds too good to be true.”

But it is true. Jesus is the Son of God—the God who thought of you at the beginning of time, who formed you in your mother’s womb.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Jesus waits patiently. He’s not pushy. He watches you go through your day, smiling over you and waiting for you to enter a conversation with him.

“How was your day?” he’ll ask. “Can I help you with anything?”

“What’s troubling you?” he’ll want to know.

“I have something to give you!” he’ll excitedly share.

If you want to, answer back. Talking to Jesus can be in your head or out loud. It can be fancy language or plain language. He doesn’t care. He’s your friend.

Think you don’t deserve this kind of friendship…or that it’s not possible? Think again.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

If you want, Jesus will talk more to you in the Bible. It’s God’s Word.

Words have power; they are alive. Think of the transformative power of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

The Bible is like that, only bigger. It is a saga, a drama of sorts. It starts with God’s creation of the world, continuing in the Garden of Eden as Adam and Eve turned from God.

But don’t stop reading there. Plunge in and you will see the redemptive plan unfold. It took many generations of waiting, but God was faithful. He sent Jesus.

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John’s books of the bible) tell Jesus’ life story.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him” (John 3:16-18).

Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph; he was a carpenter and a teacher. Yes, he knew earthly things because he lived in the flesh like you and me. He was God and man in one person…a mystery.

In stories told on hillsides, debates inside the temple, and one-on-one conversations, Jesus revealed himself and his Father.

“Therefore Jesus said again, ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ ” (John 10:7-10).

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14).

You’ve heard of the cross. It was an instrument of torture in Jesus’ time. He died on one. And he would do it again—just for you, just for me.

Jesus endured it all: physical beatings, rejection by his friends, cruel mockery, piercing of his head with a crown of thorns, nails driven through his hands and feet. On top of all this, he bore the sin of the world (past, present, and future) on his shoulders.

How could a man carry all of this weight, unless he were truly God?

Cry if you must. Feel the chills on your spine. Let your mind ponder, or bow your head for a moment. This is weighty.

No one else loves this way.

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:2-12).

You can look up now. Death was not the end: Jesus is alive!

He miraculously rose to life on the third day after his death. Sin, shame, and sickness could no longer touch him—nor can they touch us.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Those who know Jesus as Lord and Savior are destined to be with him forever in heaven. All sins are forgiven. All sadness and sickness are wiped away. This is truly the greatest story ever told.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father,from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21).

Accepting Jesus as Your Savior

Scientists use a principle called “Occam’s razor” to explain that the simplest explanations for events are usually the correct ones. Welcoming Jesus into your life is like that.

Don’t overthink it; it is a mystery. Like a child, you can let your mind, will, and emotions (your whole soul) turn to Jesus. He is trustworthy and good. He loves you.

First, believe that Jesus is the son of God. As your first act of faith, accept this tenet and say “yes” to his message.

Sit back and watch as he moves in to your very soul, making you brand new.

Receive his love and get to know him better. Enjoy the extended honeymoon, for it will last a lifetime!

If he leads you, trust and participate in life changes that will bring you joy, peace, strength, and freedom.

Tell others what you have experienced! They need to meet Jesus too.

For God so loved the world…

Photos (in order) courtesy of Unsplash photographers Gareth Harper, NeONBRAND, Aaron Burden, and Pro Church Media

Editor

Abundant Home is designed to highlight God's love for us through family relationships. Our first relationship is with Jesus Christ, who promises, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).

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