Meet the Real Jesus! God wants you to know the love of Christ. He wants you to drink deeply of His love and discover the beauty, the reality of His only begotten Son, who is "beautiful beyond description."
The Bible says that God loves you and delights in you so much that in spite of your shortcomings and sins He bursts forth in heartfelt song! If you are a Christian, the wrath of God is no longer upon you. He's not mad at you anymore--He's on your side!
In fact, Scripture says He not only saves you; He also sings over you! "On that day they will say to Jerusalem, 'Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing'" (Zeph. 3:16-17).
Believe it or not, God enjoys you. He not only loves you; He likes you too and wants to spend time with you. He wants you to follow Him out of sheer delight, captivated by the compelling personality and character of His one and only Son.
The real Jesus is full of life and joy, and He loves you extravagantly. In the deep recesses of every heart, Jesus whispers, "Come. Stop trying to fill the hole in your heart with things that cannot satisfy. Drink of My love and find true life." A love relationship with Jesus is the foundation of your very life.
Jesus is the Bridegroom who ravishes His bride, the church, with His love. This same Jesus ravishes you with His love. Jesus wants a full-time bride--not some part-time girlfriend!
To see yourself as part of a bridal party is not about gender but position. He longs to be with you as a bridegroom longs to be with His bride! It is this joyful Jesus who, as a bridegroom, beckons you to follow Him as His beloved bride.
Who is this person who calls you to Himself? It's the festive Jesus who enjoys celebrating a wedding feast; the servant Jesus who prepares a seaside breakfast for His men; the masculine Jesus whom brawny fishermen follow unashamedly. It is the pure Jesus whom hypocritical leaders despise and the joyful Jesus whose infectious smile melts the hearts of the multitudes.
THE JESUS OF MY FIRST LOVE The Jesus I am describing is the Jesus who won my heart when I was much younger. After 20 years of emptiness, which included 12 years of religious schooling, I discovered that true Christianity is not based on religious rules. It is based on a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ.
Up to that point in my life I had searched everywhere for peace and purpose. Then someone introduced me to Jesus. Scales lifted from my eyes and I realized that Christianity was not about performance or production--it was about a Person!
I was overwhelmed by the real Jesus of the Bible, and I embraced a relationship with the One who created me and laid down His life for me so that I could experience His abundant life (see John 10:10).
Over time, however, I strayed from my love relationship with Jesus. The tendency after experiencing a true revelation of Him is to replace intimacy with ministry, passion for the Lord of the work with production for the work of the Lord. While Jesus was calling me back to emulating Mary, I was stuck mimicking Martha (see Luke 10:38-42).
I needed to discover Jesus again. I needed to leap off the treadmill of performance and pressure, back into the loving arms of the smiling Shepherd I once knew.
In the closing hours of her life, Eileen Wallis (wife of one of England's premier prophets and church leaders, Arthur Wallis) gave me this counsel: "Enjoy Jesus, Larry. Take time to simply enjoy being with Him."
How about you? Are you enjoying your relationship with Jesus Christ, or have you slipped from sheer delight in Him to drudgery, activity and more and more ministry?
If your hunger to spend time communing with Jesus has decreased, if your experiences of God's faithfulness are limited to stories of the past, or if you continually struggle to win victory over battles that stand in your way, you may need to rediscover Jesus.
Rekindling Your First Love Jesus once spoke to a group of believers who had become settled in their relationship with Him: "'I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.
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