Think On This
Closer To Jesus Closer To Jesus Closer To Jesus Closer To Jesus
  • A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. - John 13:34,35
  • O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. - John 17:25-26
  • Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine...So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. - John 21:12a,15b
  • He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. - 1 John 2:10
  • If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. - 1 John 4:20,21
  • Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. - 1 John 5:1

If We Grow Closer To Jesus We Will Be Closer To Others.

That is an unavoidable eternal Biblical truth. It not only has been commanded but prayed for by Jesus Himself. We also know God does not deny His Son any request made to Him. Flaws and faults seen in others will diminish as that drawing, love and unity grows. Harsh judgements and unkind criticisms will cease. The "meditations (thoughts) of our hearts and the words of our mouths" will be more desired to be accepted by Him. The most unruly part of our body will no longer need a bridle; His staff will be sufficient. Self, when it is crucified to the Cross in Him, will cease to exist when He becomes Lord of all our life, seated upon our heart, ruling His body as its rightful Head and we, each of us, chosen and appointed our rightful and suited place within that body, none more important than another, nor less (Ephesians 2:19,22). As with the Old Testament 1/2 shekel of silver given for redemption, we have all been bought by the same price, whether poor or rich, educated or not, esteemed or unknown--the blood of Jesus in exact quantity.

No matter who you are this day, no matter what age or gender, national origin, background or station in life, because we are all human, instilled with the Creator's nature (Gen.1:26), there is not one of us who does not have a relationship with another that has reached its fullest, or in some cases, deepest desired potential. This is true whether it be husband and wife, father and son, mother and daughter, brother and sister, friend or co-worker. Some of you have labored with all your might to stand up that relationship on a firmer more mature foundation. Others have stood it up but it remains to grow to any satisfying and longing degree. This relationship of unity as He prayed can only be achieved in Him, when both submit to Him as Head and yield in being joined to each other as He desires and designs.

Observe the scene played out in the upperroom at the last supper as Jesus knelt to wash the feet of His twelve disciples (John 13). Witness the scene of quiet fellowship that transpired as the eight dined at breakfast prepared by the risen Saviour on the seashore of Galilee that brisk Spring morning (John 21). As He did that morning with those seven, He continues to call us together to His table today: Come and dine. Prior to Jesus' death and resurrection Jesus' twelve disciples had not experienced that unity in spirit He prayed for prior to His passion. Even in their final hours together before He was betrayed by Judas, they bickered among themselves. But following His ascension and His sending the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, who came to abide in each, their bond was sealed and withstood the trials and persecutions that followed as Jesus had forewarned them.

When it comes to loving one another and having a closer relationship with each other, no truer and poignant words could be spoken—if we grow closer to Jesus we will be closer to others. There is a propensity in each of us to love and be loved. I've discovered this personally to be true even when working with some of the most hardened criminals, not all to the same degree, but nevertheless present.

One thing I have found in common with all unfulfilled relationships is this: pride—human pride. I am amazed how it can exist in one who has nothing of worldly value, be it fame, fortune, success, achievements, or otherwise—just human pride, the greatest obstacle to humility which would open the door to wisdom and genuine deep fulfilling and lasting relationships. It is the last tool used by Satan that keeps one standing afar from the Cross, broken in divine and human relationships, preventing him or her to come near, to kneel for His redemption, to accept His substitution, to at last be set free in spirit, enabling one to love and be loved as never before.

Once obtaining His love and prayed for unity with others, let us guard against reentry of that human pride and pray we never lose our love for Jesus that it grow our love for others beyond our own human capacity, even for those now gone who meant so much to us while we shared life together. That love, His love, is the only love that ever grows, sometimes with one in death more than ever in life. How do I know that? Easy. I've never seen Jesus. Never sat at a table with Him. Never went fishing with Him. Never shared a memorable moment with Him. Never touched Him, held Him, cried with Him, nor shared a joyous moment with Him, but...I love Him now more than any who have ever been the closest to me in life. "...blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" - John 20:29. Only He and His love can make that possible toward Him and others! That is not within any human's potential. When we pray the model prayer He gave to us, "thy kingdom come, thy will be done" and stand afar from our brother, the love of God does not reside within us (I John 4) and we do not abide in Him (John 15).

Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine...Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them...(John 21:12,13)

What prevents you this day from taking that He so freely offers, freely given, freely forgiven? What value be pride when weighed against His Joy in dining in common, in unity, at His table? Rejoin hearts with Him and others long separated.

Come, dine.

- Author: Ken Livingston

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