Hope in Relationship - First15 - July 24, 2017
Hope in Relationship
We have a great High Priest who constantly intercedes on our behalf. The Son of God and Man loves you more deeply than you can fathom. He prays for you, that you might walk in the abundant life his death affords you. And in John 17 we get a glimpse into the fullness of his desire for all those who would believe in him. As we dive deeply into the riches of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer this week, may your heart be awakened and your life be transformed by the riches of God’s love.
Scripture:“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”>John 17:3
In John 17:3, Jesus states one of the most important and direct truths in all of his High Priestly Prayer. Jesus says, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Eternal life is knowing God intimately—not just knowing about God, knowing of God, or knowing others who know God, but truly knowing him yourself.
To be clear, consistently meeting with God directly is not a prerequisite for salvation. I can confidently say that I was saved as a young child, but it took years for me to discover the wealth of relationship available to me through Jesus. I went to church, heard about God, served him, and tried to live according to biblical principles, but I didn’t really know the God I was spending so many hours devoted to. I hadn’t really received his love for me. I hadn’t experienced the peace and joy of his presence. I hadn’t felt him speak to me or guide me directly. I wasn’t experiencing the abundant life that only comes from personal, intimate relationship with my Father.
The truth is that God longs to be known by you. Jesus didn’t die for the sole purpose of getting you to heaven. He sacrificed his life that you might truly live while here on earth. You are created to intimately know the God who formed you, saved you, and sustains you. And you will never find lasting peace until your life becomes wrapped up in the reality of his nearness and love.
The hope for all of humanity rests in relationship with the “only true God, and Jesus Christ whom [he] sent.” Nothing in your life will be set right or brought in line with the power of Christ’s death until you know the living God. You will not experience transformation and freedom from the depravity that surrounds you until you’ve counted “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus [your] Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
How deeply do you know your heavenly Father? How real is he in your life? What are you still using to fill the void that can only be satisfied in intimate relationship with Jesus? Come before your Father and surrender your past, present, and future. Ask him to guide you into a deeper revelation of his reality, nearness, and love.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” As you enter into guided prayer, spend time getting to know in greater depths the “steadfast love, justice, and righteousness” of your God.
1. Meditate on the importance of knowing your heavenly Father intimately.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”>John 17:3
“Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” >Jeremiah 9:23-24
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” >Proverbs 8:17
2. Ask God to make the reality of his presence and nearness known to you in these moments.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” >Jeremiah 29:13
3. Spend time getting to know the person of Jesus. While you may not be able to see him with your physical eyes, he will open the eyes of your heart to see him and know him. If you give him the chance, he will make his nearness known to you.
“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” >Ephesians 1:18
As believers, we must learn to live by faith. It’s through faith in the truth of God’s word, that he is real and that he loves us, that we begin to experience the Christianity Jesus died to give us. Religion apart from relationship leads to spiritual mediocrity. Christ came to set us free from the bonds of the law. He came to usher in a new covenant of grace and intimacy with God rather than a religion of merely rules and regulations. May you grow daily in your pursuit of knowing the reality and love of your heavenly Father and Jesus whom he sent.
Extended Reading: Ephesians 1
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