Each of us encounters the risen Lord. One primary way we encounter Him is through personal encounters unique for every person — intimate and private.
We grow in our awareness that God knows and understands us with love and compassion. What we find in the process is that God draws us to know and understand Him. He does so personally: to a gardener, He reveals Himself and speaks through the gardening process; to the fisherman, through fishing; to the shepherd through sheep; to a parent, through a child. He meets us where we are and ministers to us through personal experiences and situations so we can know Him for ourselves. Mary recognized Jesus after He had risen when He called her by name. This showed His knowledge, love and care for her like only He could. When we seek the Lord, amid our tears, we will find Him closer than we ever expected.
The personal relationship we have with the Lord is such an individual experience we cannot compare it with others. We can never think that one is experiencing the Lord more than another, because it’s not the more or less, it’s the one on one. It can never be the same, because God’s ways are new every day. Familiarity can hinder our hearing from God through a fresh approach. We are taught not to take things personally, but that doesn’t apply to what comes from the Lord: it is personal, from glory to glory!
John 20:15-16 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
Receiving revelation of who Jesus is, knowing Him in deeper, more intimate ways, gives us access to the things of the Kingdom. Jesus gave Simon Peter the keys of the Kingdom as a result of Peter knows who Jesus is. The same is true in our lives, not just regarding who the Lord is… but also who He is in others.
Who do we say He is? Who do we say a child of God is? Is it just Bill, Tim or Susie? Or… do we believe this is the child of the most High God? The people in our lives who are born again are not just who they are known to be in the natural, but they are vessels used by God in greater measure than what is seen.
As we grow and walk in the Spirit, we no longer battle the inner familiarity with ourselves, but we see it in others. The Holy Spirit is moving through us. We have finally learned to recognize and believe in the glory of the Lord that is seen in and through us. Others in our lives start to receive from the Lord through us, bypassing who we are in the natural. We grow to know no one by the flesh, but in and by the Spirit of God, from glory to glory!
Matthew 16:16-19 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
As unity is increasing among us, insecurity in relationships is being eliminated. Insecurity is part of our “old” man, who we are in Adam, before being born again and being a new creature in Christ. The more secure we are in our relationship with God, the more secure we can be in our relationship with others. Through the grace and love of God, we walk in newness of life.
Insecurity causes people to assume and receive rejection, build walls and try to control others. It feeds their fear of losing what they have because deep down they do not trust they really have it. It disables intimacy and steals joy. It causes people to have faith one day and fear the next. In our security with Christ, insecurity is defeated. Relationships will not remain the same, but our position in Christ will never change. Others will not always be responsive to our love but we love regardless.
The love of God conquers all and destroys the walls that have been built. We unconditionally love, care and unite with one another. No matter what the changes are in relationships, it can never change our bonds in Christ. We are accepted in God, even when rejected by others. We are loved by God, even when disliked by others. We are safe in the Lord, even when threatened by others. We dwell in security in the Lord, from glory to glory!
Ephesians 1:5-7 “…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Everything we do for the Lord has to be done out of love, and in love. It’s because we love Him that we obey Him. It’s not to earn His love, but in response to His love that we love Him with our whole heart. We love Him because He first loved us.
We do the things not because we have to, but because we get to. We get to worship the Lord; we get to praise Him; we get to give unto Him and we get to serve Him; not out of obligation but because of adoration. We don’t have to do this or that for the Lord in fear that He will not love us anymore. We get to because of the faith we have in His eternal love. The way we have experienced human love can hinder our experiencing the love of God in a deep, intimate way. Intentions may be good and come out of love, but sometimes the way things are done may not be done in love because of hurts of the past. As the Lord heals those past hurts, what we do out of love, we also do in love.
As we do things out of love, we find that the love of God in our hearts enables us to do all things in love. We do not do things to receive love in return, but because we return to Him the love He gives to us, unconditionally, from glory to glory.
1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.”
Knowing in our hearts that we belong to God changes the choices we make regarding what belongs to us by strengthening our boundaries and helping us to never question our security in Christ.
This knowledge also enables us to become better stewards of what has been entrusted to us. What belongs to us has to match our belonging to the Lord. We are not our own; we have been bought with the precious blood Jesus shed on the cross for our redemption. Our bodies, talents, gifts, finances and all we are and have is His. The Holy Spirit in us enables us to care for what is His, not ours, by reaffirming how precious we are in God’s eyes.
We are so precious to God! He knows how to care for what belongs to Him, and He watches over us with love and protects us with power. He is able to keep what He paid such a price for, with surety and watchfulness. We are God’s property and we can evict every intruder in Jesus name! We are not lost, we are found. We are not blind, we can see. We are not alone and abandoned, we belong to God and this belonging takes us, from glory to glory!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”