Finding Intimacy in Christ

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Intimacy is defined as closeness or friendship with another; it is a state of familiarity. When we value another’s friendship, we desire intimacy with him or her as we share our lives, hopes, disappointments, and dreams. When we call someone a friend, we spend time getting to know him; we talk to our friends often. Moreover, we cry with our friends during both good and bad times. My closest friend is Jesus; we talk and listen to each other daily. He has seen me through some of the most challenging times in my life, while never condemning me for the mistakes that I have made (Romans 8:1). As I get to know Him, my Christianity matures and it causes me to love others the way He has loved me. My goal is to emulate him. Without intimacy with Him, I can never hope to become like Him. Although I have not arrived at perfection, I nevertheless press on to win the prize for which God has apprehended me (Philippians 3:14).

My friendship with Him did not develop overnight. It continues to develop as the years pass. When I began to understand that He wanted a relationship with me, I realized that I did not know how to get started. But, I soon realized that because He is a friend, I could talk to Him in as I would any of my other friends. My conversations first took the form of formal prayer. I then realized that my conversations could be informal. Currently I often talk to Him about my life and about His expectations for me. One of the greatest parts of our friendship is that He listens to me and is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He says that He even knows my thoughts from afar (Psalm 139:2). And He says that He is acquainted with me in every way (Psalm 139:3). God even knew me before I was formed in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 1:5). How could I call Him my friend, if I never spent time with Him? I get to know Him through His word, the Bible, and through prayer (intimate conversations with Him). I also write in my journal as a form of communing with Him.

Jesus wants us to commune with Him, to dine at His table. If we just open our mouths to talk to Him, we will show Jesus how much we love Him, and He will show us His abundant mercy and grace. If we abide in Him and allow Him to abide in us, we will produce fruit that will remain (John 15:5). He is waiting patiently for us to become His friend, for this glorifies Him! He “Searches the entire earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him .”(2 Chronicles 16:9)

I daily ask Christ to “Search me and know my heart. Try me and know my anxieties, and if there is any wicked way in me, lead me in the way everlasting.” He is faithful to answer my request (Psalm 139:23-24).

For personal reflection read Psalm 139.

 

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Showing Thanks in the Midst of Despair

imageThe Bible, via the Apostle Paul, in Phillipians says rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. During our lifetimes many of us have had difficulties, seasons of despair when all seems hopeless. Just know that Jesus still hears and answers prayer. This season may be difficult for some of us, but God wants us to be thankful for all of the blessings He has bestowed upon us. How can we ever be helpful to others if we have never suffered either difficulties or traumatic events? Not to minimize these events, but God is calling us to His son. He wants us to call upon Him in the day of trouble and to know that he is near. During this Thanksgiving season many of us are grateful for good health, for employment, and for our families. Many of us, however, have deep seated hurts and anguish that keep us from moving forward. God, in His word gives us the tools to work through these daunting circumstances.

The Bible, in Phillipians 4:6, says for us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication to make our requests known to God so that the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We must focus on those things which are excellent and praiseworthy. Let’s look forward to those things which lie ahead.

I am reminded of an old hymn that says “Have a little talk with Jesus/ tell Him all about your troubles /He will hear our fainted cry/ He will answer by and by/ feel a little prayer wheel turning/ will know a little fire is burnin’/ you will find a little talk with Jesus makes it right.” Jesus just wants us to come to Him and He will give us rest for our weary souls. King David, in Psalm 7:8 says, My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”┬áThus, during this Thanksgiving season, have a conversation with Jesus. He will heal all wounds because He is the friend of a wounded heart. If everything is well, show Him your gratitude. If it is not, tell Him all about it, and he promises to give you rest for your weary soul.image

I pray that God will strengthen you with endurance and patience to run your given race.

For further reflection, please read: Psalm 27; Phillipians 4: 1-8; Matthew 11:28-30; Colossians 1: 11-14image