We have three dogs. They want to be in our presence all the time. Currently, it is 7 am and they are at the outside door and the instigator, our Terrier mix is barking to get in the house. The Beagle is whining and the old Rottweiler; she is just sitting at the back door looking forlorn. We do not want to be where they are, but they want to be where we are.
Sunday the pastor discussed us painting a picture of our lives “including” God in our picture. We paint a picture of righteousness, a picture of good things and adventures, including God. We want to include God, which is only smart. Nevertheless, it is our picture and we are “including” God. How about if we turn around the idea of who is “including” whom? How about we find out what God wants to paint and fit us into His picture?
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD,…….
Proverbs 8:14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. 15 “By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. 16 “By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly. 17 “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. 18 “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness. 19 “My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, And my yield better than choicest silver. 20 “I walk in the way of righteousness, In the midst of the paths of justice, 21To endow those who love me with wealth, That I may fill their treasuries.
Our dogs are smarter than we are. The dogs want to be in our picture. They know instinctively to be in our picture. We are the source of all that is good to them. We pet them. We feed them. We treat them nicely. We give them a good place to sleep, and boy, can they sleep! In addition, we clean up their messes. For our dogs, everything good is found near us. They know whose picture to be in and are satisfied!
Our dogs are pretty smart. We are their source!
So, we ought to let God do the painting and we fit into His picture.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Jesus said in; John 6:35 “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
He is the bread of life. He alone is our nourishment. He is our sustenance. Learning how to be around Jesus is not our sustenance. Jesus is our sustenance, our food.
God has given us natural examples through what we can see and understand so we can grasp what we can’t see that is made by Him. We have examples in the natural so we can understand the supernatural. For example; we have an earthly father so we can at least grasp the understanding of a spiritual Father, God.
In the natural we feed our children good nourishing well rounded meals on a continuing basis and if they eat them they are sustained and aren’t hungry. In the spiritual, God has given us our food. Jesus is our food, our nourishment. We have available the meal of Jesus, the knowledge of Jesus. He is discussed constantly in the Bible. But we must take in, eat, Jesus, eat the Bread of Life.
Watching a great food commercial on TV for a restaurant is not the same as eating the food in the actual restaurant. The commercial may make us really hungry, but unless we go to the restaurant, order the food and eat it, we are still hungry. The commercial shows how wonderful and tasty and satisfying the food is, but unless we eat it we are still malnourished. Actually tasting and eating the food is the reality. We can be told about Jesus, us and Jesus, how to eat Jesus and how good Jesus is, but we are still hungry. We still have to taste the food of Life, Jesus.
We may know about Jesus, or know about us or even about us and Jesus, but we need to actually know Jesus the Christ.
Jesus is an experience through faith. Faith cannot be taught. Faith is increased and fulfilled by experience; experience and time with Jesus.
Manna was given by God to the Jews in the wilderness a long time ago and if they ate it they were filled. Looking at the Manna or being told about the Manna did fill the people, eating it filled them. So Jesus is given to us, but we must eat to be filled, nourished and understand Him. Jesus is the actual experience. We then grow in Him by eating, experiencing Him.
We need to know Jesus, Him alone. Jesus said He is the way to the Father.
John 14: 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
John 14:18-20 continues: 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
There is a reason we need to know Jesus. He is the Lord God Almighty. He is the everlasting God. He is trustworthy. He and He alone is our strength. He is our Hope. He is our high tower, He is our light. He is our rock. He makes us stand. He is our cornerstone. He is our cap stone. He is our light. He is our bread. He is our health. He is our Shepard. He is our Sacrifice. He is our provider. He is our peace. He is our source. He is the beginning. He is the end. He is the way. He is the truth. He is the light. He is life. He is the Lamb of God. He is the light of life. He is the light of the world, He is the redeemer. He is always present.
Because I asked Jesus to come into my life; He is my Big Brother.
He does not give us these things. We are not to seek these things. He is these things. Nothing is outside of Jesus the Christ. These are not independent gifts from God that we seek. Christ is these things.
So learn and teach Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. The “Go To” and “Go With” Guy for God. God has put all things under His feet.
Paul said in letter to the Philippians 3:10-14 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Knowing about someone is not the same as spending time with them, and knowing them. The Old testament advertised Jesus, In the new testament we are in the restaurant and ready to eat, so eat Jesus, experience Jesus, spend time with Him be taught Him.
Instead “we would see Jesus,” the Christ. Know Him.