A few years ago, an incredible Bible teacher taught me to read the Word in a new way.
He said one day he realized he could fall out of love with Jesus overnight. So every morning, he would open his Bible and say, “Jesus I need you to tell me that you love me. Show me how you love me through what I am reading today.”
And then he would
This was a little awkward for me at first and took some time to get the hang of, but it has been absolutely transforming for the way I read the Bible. It is amazing to start listening for Jesus and listing the intimate ways in which He loves you. It has made my relationship with Him deeper and even more personal.
Truly God’s Word is a love letter to His people and if you take the time and listen in your heart His love speaks between lines of scripture.
Here is an example of a passage that is especially timely as we approach Easter …
It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin.
You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.
We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us.
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us.
He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us!
Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah. -Ephesians 2:1-6 (the message)
And then I write “Jesus tell me that you love me” at the top of my journal.
I love you because…
I give you freedom of choice … if I force you to obedience, that is a form of slavery or manipulation, but love gives the freedom of a choice.
I don’t lose my temper when you don’t choose Me … because My love is patient and slow to anger.
Instead, I give you an option … another choice other than the “sin-dead” way of life.
I relate to you on the basis of love and mercy … not on the basis of anger, judgment, punishment, or condemnation but on the basis of LOVE.
I embrace you … even when you embrace something or someone else for so long, I am ready and willing to take you back and embrace you.
I take on your sin, your death … someone has to pay. There is always a consequence for every action (good or bad) and someone has to take responsibility … I take it for you.
I make you alive in Me… only I can bring true, real, lasting, completing life. Nothing else in this world will bring you authentic life but in Me you can have life to the full.
I did this all for you … It is a gift and requires nothing on your part other than you choosing to accept it, from Me to you … GIFT.
I pick you up out of your sin … and death and the mess you make.
And I place you next to Me … in heaven, in paradise, forever.
Perhaps it is a word or sometimes it is a full phrase but I promise you can
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will opened for you.” Luke 11:7
Because He Speaks.