My friends, the deepest desire of my heart is that I and you would encounter Jesus. I truly believe that life’s deepest needs and issues can be met in a personal encounter with the living Son of God. As I have been preparing for our messages over the summer, I have been faced anew with the importance of meeting Jesus… and I wonder how many of us are missing it. As I have been face to face with Jesus there are several things that strike me right between the eyes about what an encounter with Jesus looks like.
An encounter with Jesus:
- Isn’t always what you thought it would be – Just think about the woman at the well when she met Jesus in John 4. She thought Jesus was looking for water – what He was offering was life.
- Addresses questions that you didn’t know needed answering – Just think about the rich young man in Matthew 19. The answer he received from Jesus wasn’t exactly what he wanted to hear but it was what he needed.
- Reveals the dark issues we wrestle with – Just think about the woman who met Jesus in John 8. He knew all about her life but offered her grace and mercy instead of judgement.
- Gets to the true issues we face – Just think about Jairus and the sick woman in Mark 5. They had faith even though their experiences were challenging and desparate.
- Sends out others to tell about their encounter – Just think about what happened in Luke 8 when people saw the man healed after being oppressed by a demon. Jesus tells him to go and tell how much God had done for him (vs 39). Time and time again, the word got out by people who could not believe the change that came from meeting the Saviour.
While I admit that this is a summary view, the point is made that an encounter with Jesus is transformative. Let me ask all of us today, “do we truly believe this?”. If we do, I regard the most loving thing that we can do for our friends, family and neighbours is to share this news with them and give our lives for His mission. It might be challenging and difficult, but our Jesus has promised His strength and presence to go with us and before us as we make known the grace of the good news of Jesus.
So as the summer continues, why not take some time and read through the various accounts of people meeting Jesus in the Gospels and Acts. Try to put yourself into the lives of the people who met him and ask some hard questions about who you are and how you would respond to meeting Him. My prayer is that we would all have a fresh encounter with Jesus this summer.
You are dearly loved,