Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Relationship that Matters Most ~ by Amy Vest

Deep in each of our hearts there is a longing so deep that nothing on this earth can satisfy… Do you know what I am talking about? 

The exciting thing is – God placed that longing there and He meant for it be satisfied!  He alone can fill it.

By His grace, I have experience this for myself and my life has been completely transformed!

I was just a typical little girl and did the things typical little girls do – played with dolls, tried to cut my own hair, and loved ice cream cones!  I grew up in a home where Jesus was loved, the Bible was read, and church was attended.  I heard the Gospel – the amazing News that Jesus died to save me from my sins and make me right with God – and the Lord drew my heart so that I received Him as my Savior from my sins and surrendered my life to Jesus my Lord as a young woman. 

Jesus transformed my life – I had a peace that I was forgiven from my sins and right with God, joy of being able to walk with the Lord and in His Truth by His strength, and the hope of heaven when I died.

The Lord continued to open my eyes and draw me to see that I was meant to go deeper in my own close and personal RELATIONSHIP with Him.  Not just know about Him, know and love that He lived in me, and pray every so often, but to have a real WALK with Him.
As I received His grace to respond and follow Him, I made Him my priority, began really seeking to know Him, and spend time with Him - I came to know Jesus as far more than the One I heard about in church, read about in my Bible, or even prayed to - He became more and more REAL to ME.

It was as I tasted Jesus for who He really is, experienced His love, heard His voice, saw Him real in my circumstances... that I had found what my heart had been longing for...and that Jesus is the Best Friend I could ever have!  He changed my life.  I found what I was longing for – like Psalm 107:9, “He satisfies the longing soul.”

I was satisfied in the Lord and His love for me, as I came to know His heart more, I knew I could trust Him in every area of my life, and I was filled with purpose to live for Him and be pleasing and beautiful to Him - not because I HAD to, but because I knew Him, and WANTED to, because I loved Him.  Since then, life has been an amazing journey with the Lord that I would not trade for anything!

Jesus is calling you to a deep and personal relationship with Him.
This relationship with Him is what you were created for, called to, and cannot be satisfied apart from.  Jesus came to earth to die on the cross and take the punishment for your sins so that if you trust Him to save you and give your life to Him, you can be forgiven from your sins, be made right with God, and have this amazing relationship with Him!  He is what you are longing for!  Oh, how He satisfies!

Jesus is more wonderful than words can explain!  He is kind, patient, holy, wise, loving, forgiving, holy, merciful, just, pure, perfect, gentle... We could go on talking about how amazing He is forever!  There are simply not enough words to express His goodness.  The more you know Him, the more you will discover the wonder of who Jesus is and the joy of knowing Him!  As you do, your life will be transformed forever.  You were created to experience this for yourself!  Jesus wants to be real to YOU!

This relationship with Jesus is a relationship you are called to embrace and grow in every day that you live.  Jesus is pursuing your heart. (I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
Jer. 31:3) As you trust in Him to save you from your sins, yield your life to Him as Lord, and walk in His grace to receive His love and respond with love to Him (AWe love Him because He first loved us.@ 1 John 4:19), you will discover the deepest fulfillment in the world!  Just as your hands grow warmer, the closer you hold them to a bonfire, the more this joy in Jesus will grow, the closer you become to Him.

Are you ready for this - or more of this - yourself?
We could talk for hours about this topic, but here are some sweet aspects of your walk with Him*:

1. Hunger -
We must recognize that there is a hunger for Jesus that is deep in each of our hearts.  Realize that when we try to fill that hunger with other things, it will always result in emptiness!  But, when we look to Jesus to meet that hunger, we will be satisfied.  This is something I see again and again in my own life! 

2. Helps - There are things that are beautiful helps in growing in our relationship with Jesus.  These include: walking in His grace, embracing His love, keeping Jesus as #1 in your heart and life, reading His Word - the Bible, spending time talking with Him in prayer, having a daily personal devotions time with Him, sharing fellowship with other Christians, listening to solid teaching, and more!  We must walk in them and treasure these as helps to know our Jesus more!

3. Hindrances - It is so important to seek for the Lord=s grace in detecting the things that hinder your walk with Jesus, including: self, world, sin, idols/love robbers, distractions, and other things.  These can be things that are wrong, or they can be good things that are taking Jesus= place in your heart.  It is always helpful to me to ask, AIs this distracting me or drawing me away from Jesus?@  This is something that I need to constantly be asking myself.

4. Hope - Because of who Jesus is and His faithfulness to His promises, as you seek Him, you can expect a deepening relationship with Jesus that results in the fulfillment and joy that you are designed to find in Him alone!

Practical application suggestions:

~Take time to pray and tell the Lord your desire.  He hears and will answer.                      

~ Share with the Lord your hunger for Him and ask Him do make you desire Him even more.

~ Choose one thing to help your walk with the Lord to focus on each day.

~ Ask the Lord to reveal to you the things that are hindering your walk with Him - ask the Lord=s grace to remove them or put them in their proper place.

~ Daily remind yourself of the hope you have in Jesus and knowing Him as you pursue this relationship with Him for the rest of your life!

~ Watch Him become more and more real to you - resulting in the longings of your heart being satisfied!

Recently, the Lord has shown me afresh the importance, joy, and peace of looking to Him as my #1 relationship - my God, Savior, Lord, Friend, and ALL!  Nothing and no one compares to Jesus.  Only Jesus brings the satisfaction that our hearts crave!  I need Him every breath I breathe and every step I take.  You and I have the incredible opportunity to grow in our relationship with Him every day of our lives.

Friends, I long for you to know Jesus yourself - and to grow in knowing Him for as long as you live!  How I desire for you to really experience the joy of a living relationship with Him!  This relationship with Him is the greatest thing in the world!  Jesus is what you are longing for and He alone will satisfy you!  AHe satisfies the longing soul...@  (Psalm 107:9) 

He stands with arms of love wide open, beckoning you, and waiting for you to come to Him! 

Will you receive His grace and respond?

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”  John 6:35


*The first conference video session AJesus is Your Best Friend@ (posting on February 14th) will give so many more thoughts on this most important topic!

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