7 days with Jesus - Living in relationship

This post is part of the 31 Days with Jesus Bible study - but don't worry, you can join from today, or you can start from the beginning. Your 31 days can start any time, at any point. Just use the search bar on the right and search "31 Days" and you'll get all the posts. It starts with A Journey to Jesus.

Read Matthew chapters 19 to 21

We are a week into the study, have you been following along? If you are just joining us then welcome, Jesus wants a relationship with you at any time.

Are you beginning to see the difference between the relationship Jesus wants with you and following a religion?

Are you still holding back, or feel like somehow you are lacking some connection?

The rich young man in chapter 19 wanted eternal life, he wanted to be a part of the kingdom and come into relationship with Jesus. Jesus checks off his lifestyle to ensure he is living in obedience and yet he was still lacking, why?

This young man placed something above his relationship with God, in this case it was his wealth. He held it tight, and as much as he wanted that nearness to Christ, he was not willing to give it up. Jesus' words in this chapter do not mean that we must give up everything we own to be able to follow him. I know he clearly tells the young man to sell his possession and give everything to the poor, but that is not a commandment to us.

If we think Jesus wants us to give everything up then we miss the point. Think of your spouse, a parent, child or friend that you have you have just invited out for dinner; they had just been saying that they had not spent enough time with you recently. The problem is they have a list of reasons they can't make the time for you. You are not as important as the food shop, latest TV show, book they're reading or class they're attending.

Jesus does not want to be placed on a long list of things you do, he wants to be of first importance, he doesn't want to be a relationship in your life, he wants to be the relationship in your life. Is there something that God is calling you to put down, give up or let go of because it is getting in the way of your relationship with him?

Are you willing? It is not that the young man was rich, it was that he was attached to his wealth. Jesus doesn't need us to give everything up, but he wants us to be willing to if he asked, do you see the difference? Whatever is getting in the way of your relationship needs to be moved down the priority list and this may mean giving it up completely.

I was a Christian for 8 years before I stopped smoking, I'd tried many times but had never quite managed it. Then one year I felt convicted that if I was going to run a ministry, speak at events, meet with and encourage others, I could not be nipping out behind the building for a cigarette and breathing smoke all over people as I prayed. Along with this conviction came a friend who, not knowing my conviction, gingerly approached me to say that she felt God had told her that I should stop smoking. She was relieved to find that God had gone there before her and it was confirmation to me that this was indeed a conviction from the Holy Spirit.

I stopped and never picked up a cigarette again, what I thought in the past to be impossible was possible when God helped me. God makes possible what man cannot do in his own strength. (19:26)

Do you know there is something you need to put down or give up, but it seems too hard? Is there something you are holding on to too tightly? Do you want Jesus to be the relationship in your life?

Let's Pray...
Lord, I thank you for these reminders of how much you want me in relationship with you. I know that there are things that get in the way and hold me back from allowing you into every corner of my life. I want you to be the priority in my life, and ask that you would show me what is in the way and give me the strength to move it.
Amen

Sharing with God's girl who believe in growing together in Christ

3 comments:

  1. It is interesting - the comments you make over holding onto things tightly and how that hinders our relationship with JC. The mental picture that this conjured up in my head was 'if you want to pick up something or hold onto something else you must first open your hand and let that 'something' go to allow you access to the 'other thing'. So if you are holding onto porn, wealth, coverting and want a relationship with JC then you need to open your heart and let it go - but remember God can help you with that. Whilst you do not dwell on it in this study, it is noteworthy that again in the same gospel JC states that if we have faith our prayers can move mountains - how many 'Christians' underestimate the power of prayer? a friend of ours recently posted on FB needing prayer for a friend of hers in medical crisis - with humbling results. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

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  2. And isn't it true that once we give up bad habits or material things for God, we realize how insignificant it is. Good thoughts here. We need to be reminded of the things that make up our relationship with God. ~Pamela

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    1. Thank you for your visit and your comments Pamela - it is funny how what was once so important is easily forgotten in God's light.

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