With a slight deviation from the regular format, today I want to look at several Scriptures that outline some of the necessary components of developing a real and lasting relationship with Jesus:
- “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 (New Living Translation)
- “Pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (English Standard Version)
- “Be still, and know that I AM God,” Psalm 46:10 (English Standard Version)
- “Be silent and listen,” Deuteronomy 27:9 (New American Standard)
- “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good,” Psalm 34:8 (New King James Version)
Now, I must confess that I have committed one of the worst atrocities of Scripture application. I have “cherry-picked” specific Scriptures, and taken them out of context, for the sole purpose of underscoring my point. Taking Scripture out of context, to me, is like pouring 10 tablespoons of sugar into a cup of coffee… the coffee is still there, but it’s been manipulated to suit the preference of the drinker; made more palatable. For the record, this is not my intent.
If we look more closely at the five selected Scriptures, we begin to see a rough outline of directives that will help us know Jesus more intimately. In Revelation 3:20, He offers us an opportunity to begin this relationship. He has presented the invitation, acknowledging His desire to be joined with us in communion. His reference to the sharing of a meal had cultural significance, which is, unfortunately, lost in today’s fast-paced society. In His time, sharing a meal signified a time of fellowship and conversation, continuing in some instances for hours, days even. Imagine hours spent at your dinner table with family and friends… not just on holidays and special occasions… but every night. This type of depth in a relationship has the power to transform lives. This is Jesus’ invitation.
The references to 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Psalm 46:10 and Deuteronomy 27:9 are a little more self-explanatory. We’ve already touched on Psalm 46:10, and I will be devoting entire devotionals to the other subjects in the weeks to come. But, for now, just be mindful that praying, stillness (of mind, body and spirit), and silence are all critical if we wish to pursue a transforming relationship with Jesus.
The final Scripture, Psalm 34:8, is one that many gloss over, not understanding the true significance and power of its command. Our invitation to “taste and see” speaks directly to the application of The Gospel in our lives. Many of us go to church on Sunday and we read the Bible regularly. However, I truly believe that Psalm 34:8 calls us to more. It calls us to not only hear the Gospel, but to live it out; to actively taste the words and digest them with our lives. When we become active participants of The Gospel, we become active participants with Jesus. For each of us, the Gospel is only theory until it is applied to our lives. We can spend countless hours seeking knowledge; listening to sermons; reading books. But until this knowledge is put into motion, and actively lived out in faith, it's just knowledge. And the world is not changed by knowledge alone!
Review the Scriptures above. Spend time reflecting on their application. As a family, or with another person, spend time talking about different examples, or in some cases… struggles, you may have. Then, pick one of these Scriptures to focus on. Ask God to open your heart to new ways of applying the Scripture to your life. In your quiet time, meditate on the Scripture. In your silence, see what God reveals.