© 2004 Debbie Turner Chavers
More than a few months ago, I attended a teaching sermon and made copious notes with reference to who had spoke. Making a lot of notes is normal for me. It is my habit to write the name or initials of the one who spoke. But on this particular occasion, instead of writing the initials of the speakers, I found myself writing the name of the teachers as Mr. And Mrs....instead of Brother and Sister ?.
Once I left the teaching session, I pondered why I had written my notes in this manner. The teachers appeared to be a brother and sister of mine, in Christ, so I was puzzled by my written note formality.
As I thought on it, I realized that I had verbally acknowledged their kinship in Christ, but mentally, I knew there was not an established relationship between us, which transferred to my notes.
This train of thought led to a further pondering of initial salvation and the formality and informality of our eternal relationship with Jesus Christ and our heart acknowledgement of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So...here is my note written on my pondering.
I sensed my initial written formality was similar to my experience at a family reunion introduction. A gathering where you know that those that are present, are kin to you, but you do not KNOW
I noted an initial salvation experience can be similar as we pursue a relationship with Christ.
As we walk out our salvation in Christ Jesus, our initial response might look like my class notes.
Formality exists until we KNOW one another via shared experiences, time spent together, conversations shared. Intimacy is built and moves from formality to informality.
So at first, there is a general acknowledgement of the Savior as "my savior
A heart response of acknowledgement, a first look at His Beauty, a timid checking Him out.
Which may be followed by the thoughts..I am not sure, but I want to believe... Is He for real?
Will He love me?
He seems to be beautiful to me.
But what about His character?
Will He change?
Can I count on Him?
If we commit, we can make relational progress by lingering in His presence to get to know Him better by reading His word and praying.
Communication is vital to every relationship.
Salvation has occurred, but our knowledge of the gift and relationship received has yet to be understood and proved in reality.
If we choose to linger in His presence, our many questions of His beauty and character become clear.
You will begin to notice the peace, the tangible peace that is always
in His Presence.
You note the firm, calm way that He gathers and holds your attention.
How His every move is premeditated. Nothing catches Him off guard or unaware.
Pastor Joseph Prince has said that Jesus Christ is velvet and steel. I love that analogy.
I have found that to be true in my relationship with Christ.
So are you on a first name basis with Jesus or is He "mister" to you?
As you pursue a relationship with Christ Jesus, the level of your affection increases as you realize your needs and His ability to meet them. This getting to KNOW him will bring you from an acknowledgement of "Mr" to all that He is.
The attributes of a loving family, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit become known as he reveals his name and nature to you, as ABBA Father, Counselor, Provider, everything that you will ever need.
As the intimacy of your relationship grows, your love language grows as you learn more of His character response in everyday life.
So maybe.....Jesus Christ is still a first name title to you. I want to encourage you to commit yourself to a loving reality of eternal restoration for that which ails you, every unmet need, all eternal emptiness filled.
Step beyond the boundaries of unknown, untested, not wanted, not loved into the fullness of
YOU ARE LOVED.
You will be eternally grateful at the family reunion.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and ye have seen him.
**If you click on the art parable painting title you will be redirected to its website for more information about the painting.
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Scripture references from King James bible