I have some friends in prison that I try to write to fairly often. Today, I was reading a letter from one of them who trusted Jesus a few months ago. In the letter, they were remarking how Scripture has suddenly started to make sense. What was once like another language is suddenly clear. Now, they are hungry to read and learn all they can, growing in Christ daily.
I was overjoyed. I had the blessing of playing a part in this person trusting Jesus (though another had really done the work). As I read the letter I felt like John must have felt in when he said, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth" (3 John 1:4).
The truth is that the early days of trusting Jesus have seemed so distant to me lately. It isn't that they were not real to me, but that the passing of time had dulled my memory of how much joy I felt to fall in love with Jesus. I had let myself forget the newness of spiritual regeneration. I had forgotten the inexplicable joy that I felt when I first realized that my sins had been forgiven, that God loved me, that life had meaning.
These truths I have spent so much time being a pastor that I didn't spend enough time just loving Jesus. Don't think that I have been in sin or that I didn't love Jesus at all. It isn't that. Rather, it is as if I hadn't made time for the most important relationship in my life. Like a husband working so hard to provide for his family that he forgets to be there for his family, so I have worked so hard at being a pastor that I didn't make enough time to simply enjoy Jesus.
Reading the letter from my friend has reawakened my joy.
God still transforms lives. He takes the worst of us, all that is broken, and He gives us new life.
This is the Jesus who sets captives free and gives site to the blind. He loves the unloveable and defends the weak. He forgave me for everything I ever did wrong and has taken away my heart of stone to give me one of flesh that beats in time with His own.
Do you love Jesus?
Do you find yourself thirsting to know Him more?
Is the Holy Spirit at work in you, growing you in patience, goodness, love, and joy?
Perhaps you need to revisit the day you first met Jesus.
Either way, run to His arms and let Him make all things new.
I'm already overjoyed, I'd love to hear of another trusting Jesus today.