Thursday, February 28, 2013

Relishing the Warmth of Christ's Presence ~ by Janny

Thanks for being here - a place we can take a moment to think of our lives where they find their truest context – IN HIM! I’ve brought in a little extra of my Canadian context of this morning’s chores to show you too. Somehow being from northern Saskatchewan, warmth and love ring synonymous to me. In the summer I love to be in a rocking chair on the front porch just as the morning sun reaches the pillars of that spot. But in the winter, to be by the fireplace in the lounge room is to feel warm too.

Beloved, we live in an ageless climate of harsh cold lasting beyond the winter season. The elements confronting us are complex. Our generation faces its own immense struggles. There is only One Person that can come to our aid – in soul, intellect, and emotion – to help us navigate through the frosty mine field of these issues. That Person is God Himself.
Let’s go snowshoeing to reach three transformational aspects to having a soft, tender heart warmed to God, in God, through Jesus Christ.

The Desire:
Friends, can we ask God in the quietness of this moment for a treasure, to desire of Him one thing? If we ask for nothing, we’ll leave this screen with just that. In the plea of our often hard pressed hearts let’s ask “to behold His beauty.” (Psalm 27:4) He is LIGHT AND LOVE. In His brilliance we can see diamonds in the snow. In His warmth the ice on our eyelashes melt. In Jesus’ appearing we “ know the Love of Christ that passes knowledge.” My sister and I were looking up “to know” in Greek. It goes beyond the science of things and lists the sparkling *KNOW* you and I were meant to live in, thaw in every day. Sit in the sun of the love of God put behind each of these words: allow, be aware, feel, have knowledge, perceive, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand. As secularists form society’s culture through the arts often centering on their view of love, the kingdom of heaven shines a glow on this Love of God. It is a love, deeper than the pain of losing a friend, deeper than the sting of cutting words, deeper than the hurt of others’ sin, deeper than the suffering of long term illness, deeper than fear, rejection, disappointment, guilt, abandonment. Jesus is our refuge, so warm, sheltering and safe. Christ’s sacrifice made that place, that relationship possible for us. It is completely tension-free. There we don’t measure up or pretty face the truth.

Honesty is floor and walls of His Presence and yet what JOY we find there. We can go there, live there, dwell there. (Psalm 91). It can be said of us IN HIM, “God is known in all her palaces for a refuge.” Psalm 48:3

 The Decision:
At 15, I needed a refuge. My climate changed drastically. We moved. My peers, hardened through chilling indifference to God and the glaciated thoughtlessness of social acceptance, called me to join them and their ways. The easiest thing was to succumb to the numbness that had already moved into my extremities. But was I called to live as an icy piece of a frozen backdrop or was there some way to live warm? In the midst of that lonely decision, our wonderful Jesus called to me promising to generate heat within no matter the temperature drop. He promised to be my never-failing Friend every moment my decision to love Him would make me different. I had been so afraid to be different.

The Difference:
I wanted to reach my full potential - impressive achievements, higher education, status quos, status changes, award-winning performances - just like everyone else. But were we meant to exist in frozen traditions or in the LIGHT of the Son of LIFE?

This winter the phrase “the Lord appeared” caught my attention in my OT reading . Each appearing was a defining moment. Abram covenanted with God. Moses became Israel’s deliverer. Solomon received wisdom. In the NT, guys with nondescript backgrounds stood out with the stunning statement attached to their names, they had been with Jesus. Who knew we would reach our full potential, live ALIVE and WARM through a RELATIONSHIP. Not check offs on a page or goals, but through knowing the LOVE OF CHRIST.

Life is hard, but it doesn’t have to be cold. We know of a warm place. “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell safely by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders.” Deut. 33:12 

Precious friends, let the loving warmth of the Lord Jesus’ relational transformation infiltrate your life by renewing your mind. Meditate through Eph 4. Remember: Life is not about being different. It is about a personally knowing Jesus and sharing His love with a world that needs to be loved. If you are warm enough you’ll begin to enjoy the winter and see the beauty in the coldest climate.


  1. Beautiful testimony and exhortation, Janny!
    Thank you for sharing!

    "Jesus is our refuge, so warm, sheltering and safe. Christ’s sacrifice made that place, that relationship possible for us." This is so good!
    I really need to remember this every day.

  2. Janny,

    So nice to hear from you, and on such an important topic too! Jesus is our refuge! I recently memorized Psalm 71:13 which goes, "Be Thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort." Through the day, I feel like I need to go to Him for help, because I can't do it on my own! I need to ask him to "fill my cup" and renew me with His strength every minute of the day. I must resort to him continually! How wonderful it is to have a Saviour in Whom I can continually resort!

    In His amazing love,