Over-all – In His Presence, June 20, 2018
I was blessed to be raised by a mother that loved Jesus with every breath and heartbeat. Seeing Jesus in her every moment, through good times and bad times, was what I knew about Him and I loved what I saw reflected from her life and was immersed in fellowship and the teachings of Jesus. But…I didn’t know Jesus until He came into my life at 7:03pm on a Monday night in 1995. I was with Him and heard His voice. Thus started a love affair that burns more brightly in my life today than when it was lit 23 years ago. The apostle Paul’s first encounter with Jesus was similar and his response was captured in his letters: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection of the dead.” (Phi 3: 8, 10-11). We were so blessed by our devotional reading today from Our Daily Bread and know the Lord prompted me to share it.
“I’ll never forget the time I had the privilege of sitting next to Billy Graham at a dinner. I was honored but also somewhat nervous about what would be appropriate to say. I thought it would be an interesting conversation starter to ask what he loved most about his years of ministry. Then I awkwardly started to suggest possible answers. Was it knowing presidents, kings and queens? Or preaching the gospel to millions of people around the world? Before I had finished offering suggestions, Rev. Graham stopped me. Without hesitation he said, ‘It has been my fellowship with Jesus. To sense His presence, to glean His wisdom, to have Him guide and direct me – that has been my greatest joy.’ I was instantly convicted and challenged. Convicted because I’m not sure that his answer would have been my answer, and challenged because I wanted it to be. That’s what Paul had in mind when he counted his greatest achievements to be of no worth compared to the ‘surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ Think of how rich life would be if Jesus and our fellowship with Him was our highest pursuit.”
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalms 73:25-26)
Sounds pretty mushy, but the truth is when He hung on the Cross, I realize He was saying to me and everyone else: “Whom have I on earth but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” This was the reflection of the Father’s love for us and the light that shined through Jesus.
Although I know what it takes to be a man, when it comes to Jesus, I am like a child.
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”