God’s very best gift ever!

I am currently reading a book about the greatest opportunity given to any human. God has given us no greater gift than the ability to have a personal relationship with him.

When Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God,” to the risen Jesus Christ, he described the reality of everyone who follows Jesus.

He can be and is “my” Lord and “my God,” because he relates to us in a personal way.

When God revealed his nature to Moses at the burning bush, he showed him his personal nature.

Exodus 3.13-15But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.'”

God refers to himself as “I,” not “It,” or the “Unmoved Mover,” or a “Higher Power.”

(Please note, I think I understand the use of “Higher Power” in AA and think it is a good beginning for someone seeking a new life. As soon as possible give your Higher Power a name, Jesus.)

God is a personal Being who has a personal relationship with people. He illustrated his relationship with people by naming the three people who were recognized as being in relationship with him.

God’s Personal Interaction

When the 70 followers of Jesus returned from their mission, his cause of rejoicing was that these people received the great joy of participating with God.

Let’s dig into three aspects of Jesus’ words.

Luke 10.21-22At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

(1) That the Holy Spirit was a partner with Jesus in rejoicing, further illustrates the personal nature of God.

The Holy Spirit brings God’s presence to humans. Even though Jesus was Immanuel (God with us), he didn’t want to rejoice alone.

He desired to participate with the Holy Spirit in the joy of successful ministry.

Jesus modeled for us the fact that we can interact with the Holy Spirit in many different ways, including sharing joy with him.

(2) The 70 followers realized that they were working alongside of the Holy Spirit.

Their relationship with God was no longer a theoretical knowledge of God. They experienced God and the power of his Spirit, as they joined him in his work.

As they served him, God revealed to them aspects of his nature that was hidden from philosophers and scholars.

The Old Testament uses the word “to know” to describe the intimate relationship with a husband and wife. The intimacy of husband and wife cannot be equaled by anything less than a loving experience.

The 70 followers are a great picture of how we can know God through experience. The best way to know God is to join him in what he is doing in the earth.

(3) No one knows God, except for the reason that he wants to be known.

If you think about God’s interaction with the Hebrew nation, there should be no doubt that God wants to be known.

He showed his presence to people as they fled slavery in Egypt through a cloud and flame of fire. He personally interacted with Moses on Mount Sinai.

He instructed the people to construct a tabernacle in the wilderness for the sole purpose of a meeting between God and his people.

Jesus came to earth to make possible a personal relationship with God.

The Holy Spirit makes available to all persons this unique opportunity to live in a personal friendship with God.

The biggest gift we can give ourselves is to take full advantage of God’s offer to live in a friendship relationship with him.

Jesus Underscored the Opportunity

As if the previous statements by Jesus are not enough, Jesus emphasized the great privilege his followers receive.

— Luke 10.23 – Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!

“For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Jesus makes it clear that it is not the highly educated and powerful who get to know him.

A personal relationship with God occurs when two friends work together, rejoice together, and relate together. This is possible for everyone.

According to the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8.14), people who are highly invested in the riches and pleasures of life choke out the life God desires to produce in them.

The rich and well educated are not excluded from a personal knowledge of God and his business. However, they my omit themselves through pride and self-sufficiency.

The “poor in Spirit” and the “meek” (those who have been humbled by life) have only God to trust. They receive the kingdom and inherit the earth (Matthew 5.3 and 5).

These verses encourage us to seek a personal relationship with God with all our heart.

Jesus meant what he said: “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them” (John 14.21).

Let’s embrace this promise and experience God’s love in a real and personal way.

YouTube Video

Once a week, Rudy Ross and I sit down and visit with each other about the Bible. We cover several Bible passages and break them down into 8-10 videos.

Please join Rudy and me in our Bible discussion on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

If you have a prayer request, Maywood’s prayer team is honored to pray for you. Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. We will pray for you.

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