Christ Didn’t JUST Come Down; He Moved In

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood…” ~John 1:14 (MSG). Think of a neighborhood you’ve wanted to move out of or wouldn’t want to move into. He didn’t just come to clean us up; He desires to dwell with us, long-term. The God of the universe moved into the middle of the mess we made for ourselves. That’s commitment. That’s love. {Lev. 26:11-12; 2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21:3}

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Biblical Intimacy Looks Like 2 Things: Sacrifice and Redemption

Cross Died Crown Love Heart Bible Thorns Shadow

I N T I M A C Y will look like 2 things: SACRIFICE and REDEMPTION. Growing close, deepening love, fully knowing and being known will look like restoration. It’ll look like the Word becoming flesh and moving in, like being naked and vulnerable…on a cross, like fighting death and hell to claim what’s yours.

3-Minute Video of How Our Intimacy with Others Mirrors Our Relationship with God:

Distance Makes No Difference

distant from god

Distance Makes No Difference

“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room,

I would not fear a million enemies.

Yet, distance makes no difference.

He is praying for me.”

I’ve tweeted, blogged, and posted this quote on Facebook numerous times; I pass it, daily, on my living room wall. I know what it means for me, but during family worship, I asked our kids what the preceding quote meant to them. I was floored by the following responses:

3-year old twins: *incoherent sentences verbalized in the direction of the wall (something about Jesus praying)*

Middle Son: It means that God is praying for us. (side note: I continue to be blown away that Jesus intercedes for us, whether through prayer or being the atonement sacrifice for our sins.)

Eldest Son: It means that even though we don’t see Jesus right there, He’s praying for us, and it also can mean that even if we’re spiritually distant from Him, He’s still praying for us.

That’s when I was blown away all over again! The Word says He is able to save to the uttermost — that’s at all times, in all cases, to all depths, from any distance — those who draw near to God through Him, since He ever-lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). Thankfully, the bible also tells us we can’t even come to Him unless the Father draws us (John 6:44), and it’s God who works in us both to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). So, even the drawing near unto God part is handled by Christ Jesus, the one who died, was raised, is seated at the right hand of God interceding for us (Romans 8:34). Whether we are drawing near to God or becoming distant from Him, the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings we cannot utter. He searches our hearts and intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27). Whether near or far, in seeming physical proximity or spiritual intimacy, distance makes no difference, God is for us, and if He is for us, none can be against us. Distance makes no difference, He is praying.

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seated at the right hand of god

He Is Praying.

ALL That Is Within Me

ALL that is within me...~Psalm 103:1

ALL that is within me…~Psalm 103:1

Today, I was reading a post from a blog I follow (iChristian) where Steve Rebus asked what the phrase, “I am loved” means to us. Out of the provided list, I chose the first one:

“The whole of me my body, mind heart and soul, that is my strength, my thoughts my deepest longings and all my emotions are loved by God.”

others included:

• God knows me AND loves me (not God knows me but loves me)
• I am loved for who I am. Completely, Utterly, For Ever.
• Others may dislike me, but God loves me
• I may hate myself, but God continues to love me
• He loves me for what I am and what I will be.
• He loves me because he understands me.

The first one stood out for me because I remember being so angry with God for not answering my prayers in the way I wanted Him to, for not being the God I wanted Him to be. My anger propelled me into a space of absolute honesty and kicked open the door for true intimacy with God. I came to a sudden realization that God could handle all of me, all of my emotions, all of my joy, all of my pain, all of my desires and disappointments, all of me. I’d determined I wanted to bless the Lord with ALL that was within me, as the psalmist says in chapter 103. Even when I was feeling empty, I felt God calling me to bring my emptiness to Him. Some days, all that was within me was anger, some days – just streams of endless tears. But the bible says, “all that is within me, bless His holy name.” So, I believed that even my honest anger would bless the Lord, that even my endless tears would glorify His name because that was all that was within me. That was all that I had!

God does an amazing thing when we allow Him to have ALL of us, when we choose to bring ALL of ourselves to Him to bless His holy name. He meets us there, there in the brokenness, there in the pain, there in the anger. God can handle all of you, and He wants you to bring your all to Him so that ALL that is within you can bless His holy name.

“Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. . . There is no chapter in our experience too dark for Him to read; there is no perplexity too difficult for Him to unravel. No calamity can befall the least of His children, no anxiety harass the soul, no joy cheer, no sincere prayer escape the lips, of which our heavenly Father is unobservant, or in which He takes no immediate interest.”

 ~E.G.W., Steps to Christ, p. 100