Posts tagged ‘relationship’

Clinging

As a loincloth clings to a man’s waist, so I created Judah and Israel to cling to me, says the Lord. They were to be my people, my pride, my glory—an honor to my name. But they would not listen to me.  Jeremiah 13:11

As an obstetrician I would give the newborn infant to the mother immediately after the birth. The baby would instinctively put his arms out as mother reached out to take ahold of him. The mom would hold her infant and look into his eyes and caress his cheeks. She would then put her baby to her breast as he would cling to her. This act of bonding illustrates how God created us to love and be loved. 

You see, God is a lover. He created us to love. He created us to cling to Him as He holds us tightly with loving arms. When we do not cling to Him, there is a God-sized hole in your heart and a “you”-sized hole in God’s heart. When I read Jeremiah, I can feel God’s deep sorrow as His beloved people in Judah and Israel were no longer clinging to Him. He describes them as greedy and seeking only the desires of their own hearts. They had stopped clinging to Him to pursue other lovers. I can hear God’s anguished cry as they went further and further away from Him until they couldn’t even hear His voice any longer.  

I can relate to this picture. When things don’t go my way, I can get discouraged. This is when I am tempted to stop clinging to God. And there are times I pursue other avenues of relief from whatever pain I’m having, whether it be mental, physical, social, or spiritual. But I have never found peace down any other avenue of life. There is no one, no possession, no thought, no promised cure, no diet, no medicine, and no desire that can give me the peace that passes all understanding like clinging to God and feeling His embrace. No wonder I feel alone every time I leave God’s embrace! 

It’s a simple message. But it’s a life saving, life fulfilling message. Cling to God! Whatever that looks like for you, cling to God. For me it looks like reading His Word every morning, listening to His voice as I  journal the thoughts HE gives me, listening to praise music, observing His creation, and seeking fellowship with others who are clinging to Him. We all cling to Him differently. But cling we must do if we are to hear His voice, know His will, and find peace in His arms.

What Role Does the Bible Play in Your Life?

You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15

I was raised in the church and taught to read the Bible every day. This is great advice as it can certainly enhance one’s walk with God. The problem arises when I feel like I have to do this in order to be saved. Doing things to be saved does not save me, even doing good things like reading the Bible! And so when I read 2 Timothy 3:15 today, I was encouraged once again to focus on my real need in life – a relationship with Jesus.

Paul tells Timothy that he has been taught the Scriptures, knows the Scriptures, and has been given the Scriptures for one thing and one thing only. The role of Scriptures in Timothy’s life, and in our lives today, is for wisdom to receive the real focus in life – Jesus. The Scriptures were written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit for one purpose – to lead us into a trusting relationship with Jesus. Salvation is given to us by grace when we trust Jesus with our lives.

It’s so easy for us to make salvation about what the Bible teaches about death, the second coming, the judgment, the law, etc, etc, etc. What the Bible teaches gives us the wisdom for life replacing a selfish worldview with God’s worldview that then can help us accept salvation as we trust in Jesus. Once I grasped this reality, I began to love reading the Bible. As a kid, reading the Bible was something I had to do if I wanted to be a Christian. Today, reading the Bible is something I love to do because I feel closer to Jesus. When I read the Bible today, I hear God speaking to me. My trust in Jesus then grows.

However, the really amazing thing about God is that He reaches out to you differently than He reaches out to me. Some people have a close, abiding, trusting relationship with Jesus who read the Bible much less or much more than do I. So I have learned to keep my focus on Jesus and not on the amount of Bible reading that you do, or that I do. 

What role does the Bible play in your life? What wisdom does it provide for you? Is it part of your relationship with Jesus? Or is it just another rule you feel like you have to follow in order to be a Christian?

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