Jesus is personally ours. A relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship we will ever have on earth for this relationship is forever! No one can take this personal relationship from us. Believe me, evil tries! The gift of Jesus’ forgiveness is nonrefundable, nonexchangeable, a forever gift prompted by God’s love. When we say yes to this personal, intimate growing relationship with God through Jesus Christ, His Son, we enter a life of peace right in the middle of this world’s troubles, comfort in pain, wisdom in confusion with a secure plan of escape from all that is evil.
Redeemed people have a relationship with God that is so personal, pure and holy! But, as the redeemed do we truly live like the redeemed people we are? Paul tells the Galatians (and us) how to do exactly that! Remember what Jesus did, Paul writes. Jesus redeemed us from ourselves, our selfish thinking and selfish living. He set us free from all that evil tried to do to us to keep us bound up in sin along with all the effects of sin which leads only to death. He heals our wounds from this battle. He set us free from comparing ourselves to others so we would stop competing with others in the world’s standards of “good”. Only God is good. And it’s personal.
Yes, Jesus’ resurrection power is personally ours! He now lives in the redeemed encouraging us to live more creative, robust lives of forgiving and giving, sharing and growing, so others will know Him, too! Let’s do this! I hear you, Paul! I hear you, Holy Spirit! I thank you, dear Jesus, for your gift of redeeming love and forgiveness. Thank you, dear Father, God of heaven and earth, who wants an intimate, personal relationship with each one of His created. Even me. Wow.
Personally yours. Personally mine. All because of Jesus.
Galatians 6, The Message, (Emphasis mine, take note of all the actions words!)
Nothing but the Cross
1-3 Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
4-5 Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
6 Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.
7-8 Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9-10 So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.
11-13 Now, in these last sentences, I want to emphasize in the bold scrawls of my personal handwriting the immense importance of what I have written to you. These people who are attempting to force the ways of circumcision on you have only one motive: They want an easy way to look good before others, lacking the courage to live by a faith that shares Christ’s suffering and death. All their talk about the law is gas. They themselves don’t keep the law! And they are highly selective in the laws they do observe. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast of their success in recruiting you to their side. That is contemptible!
14-16 For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
17 Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do—the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus.
18 May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes!
You are a personal God who desires an honest relationship with me. At times this thought is almost too much for me to wrap my head around. But then you bend down to speak to my heart and encourage me to come into your holy Presence and commune with you, and I come. I listen and let go. These intimate moments make our relationship even more endearing and real.
You, indeed, are a real God who reaches down when I am honestly seeking you. Your realness and your power is overwhelming at times, but always welcome. Your love for me becomes more than amazing each day in the way you care for us, forgiving our messes and making the bad into good, even something beautiful. There is no one like you! There is no relationship on earth like ours. You and me, all because you first loved us. There is no reason to give up now. No reason at all. This “personally ours” relationship is at the center of all other relationships. I have learned that lesson well. Keep me growing…
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.