Tuesday, June 2, 2015
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My wife and I knew we were going to be spending our lives together a long time before we announced it to the rest of the world. But our schooling demanded that we have a long courtship and a long engagement, which honestly we're grateful for unto this day. Except for the two summers we had to be apart a lot. They were tough! You know what helped though? The letters.
Last year I got into this suitcase where those two summers worth of our love letters are stored. Oh, man - melt down! I'm sure I've never written so many letters in such a short time, before or since then. And I've never pounced on a mailman like I did during those days when he would probably be carrying a letter from my honey. Whenever she would talk to me on the phone, she wanted to know a couple of things. "Did you get what I wrote? Did you read it?" Well, you bet I read it about six times. And, no, there was no new information in the letter each time I read it. I just wanted to be with the person who wrote it by reading what she had written.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Heart of Your Relationship with Jesus."
There's a beautiful picture of what's supposed to be the heart of a relationship with Jesus, and actually a disturbing picture of how it breaks down. It's in our word for today from the Word of God - Luke 10, beginning at verse 38. "As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' ‘Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"
The heart of a relationship with Jesus? Mary knew. Sitting at the Lord's feet listening to what He says. Mary wanted to spend time with Jesus. Meanwhile, Martha is busy! What does that say? "Distracted" is the word the Bible uses. From what? Well, I guess from being with Jesus. Distracted by all she was doing to serve Him. Does that sound familiar at all?
Jesus made it clear what our priorities should be. He said Mary was doing what was needed; what was better - being with Him. Now, how do we do that today? Jesus probably isn't going to ring the doorbell and drop in for dinner tonight, but our relationship with Him is very real. It's very eternal, but for now it's from a distance like mine was with my future wife during those days of our summer separation.
So how was I able to be with her when I couldn't be with her in person? By reading what she wrote me. Now, Jesus' love letter to us you know is the Bible. In Psalm 119:72 it says, "The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold." Did you notice "from your mouth"? Lord, I'm reading this as if you're sitting in that chair across from me telling me that; saying it to me. Jesus said to His disciples, "You are clean because of the Word I have spoken to you." We're supposed to read His Word as if it's coming straight from His lips as a way to be with Him.
If you have a quiet time or a Bible reading time, it isn't ultimately about a book; it's about a person. It's really Jesus' time. See, the Bible doesn't care if you show up. It won't miss you. It's a book. But Jesus cares. When I realize that it's Him, I want to be there. I don't want to miss that time. It changes everything.
I enjoy reading those old letters from the love of my life, but I don't need them any more because I have her in person. When you're with Jesus forever someday, you won't need your Bible any more. But for now, you're with Him when you read what He's written to you. And He's asking you, "Did you read what I wrote?" I hope you can tell Him each day, "Yes I did."