Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What does intimacy with Jesus look like?

John 15: 9 – 15 (MSG) "I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love. I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.

Just before Easter last year, I used my morning quiet time to reflect on Jesus and the last few days he spent with his disciples before he went to Calvary. One particular morning, my focus was specifically devoted to the fifteenth chapter of John. Reading through, I closed my eyes and imagined myself at the scene, trying to focus in on the tiniest detail. Entering the room, I envisioned the room’s décor. Inhaling, I wondered what smells would be lingering from within as my ears strained to hear side conversations.

Opening my eyes, I tried to visualize what was happening until my eyes met Jesus in verse nine. Suddenly I went from the upper room to my kitchen table. With compassion in his voice Jesus spoke.

“Sheri, I have loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourself at home in my love.”

“Um… wait… woah…” I was speechless and a wave of peace washed over me.

Jesus continued, “If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love.”

I must admit that “intimately at home” sounded so comforting especially that morning. I allowed the truth to wash over me feeling the warmth of His arms wrap around me like a comfortable blanket on a cold winter morning.

Picking up my dictionary, I thumbed through until I found the word “intimate”.

IN'TIMATE, n. A familiar friend or associate; one to whom the thoughts of another are entrusted without reserve.

He wants me to remain “intimately at home in his love” because he has remained intimately at home in the Father’s love by keeping his commands. He tells me “these things” (v.11) so that I (actually all of us) may have joy. Joy. Think about that. This doesn’t sound to me like he wants to bully me (or all of us) into keeping a bunch of rules that are out dated or are no longer relevant in today’s society. He wants to protect me from the pain and scars of this broken world. God sent Jesus into the world so that through him I (we) “can have real and eternal life, better than I (we) can ever dream of.” (The Message John 10:10)

Going back to the picture, I can see myself being “at home” with Christ. There in the picture, I feel loved, safe, at peace, and I can talk freely without reserve. All too often after conversations with people I try to analyze (over-analyze actually) everything by interviewing myself with questions like: 

“Did I say that the right way?"
"Did I sound stupid?"
"Is he/she going to look at me differently because of what just came out of my mouth?” 

Believe me, all of these questions have run through my head. But in this picture with Christ, I can see myself bringing him the broken pieces of my life and trusting him for restoration. I am without reserve because I am “intimately at home in his love” and it is the best feeling in the world.

What do you see as you look into the picture?

No comments:

Post a Comment