Jesus is a personal savior. God the Father desires a personal relationship with us, His creation. As I study the Old Testament, one thing that stands out to me over and over is the fact that the people of God often do not take ownership of that relationship. In Joshua 1:17 we see the leadership over the nation of Israel transferring from Moses over to Joshua. The people had spent 40 years in the wilderness seeing miracle after miracle, seeing God provide for and preserve them, and hearing God's voice from Mt Sinai. In this passage, Moses has died, Joshua has been given leadership by God and gathers all the people and commands them concerning the conquering and division of the land. The people respond, "Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you." This sounds great, but amazingly, after all Israel saw and experienced, they still did not grab hold of the fact that God was a personal God who loved them. The second part of verse 17 states, "Only may YHWH your God be with you as He was with Moses." Sadly, the people only recognized God as being the God of Moses and Joshua. Israel's history is plagued by the results of their disobedience to God. Could it be because they had the attitude that God was remote and not personal. Had the people said, and meant, "Only may YHWH our God be with us..." would things have turned out differently for them? I wonder.
In the church today, there are many people who attend services each week, but how many actually recognize the fact that God is personal. Do we go and view God as someone the pastor or church leadership are close with because of their position, or do we recognize that we are a people who are called by God to be adopted as sons and daughters. When we see God on that kind of personal level, we tend to view His laws and commands on a more personal level. It is easy to be a law unto ourselves when we are remote from God and believe He is remote from us. As we personalize our relationship with God, we begin to view things like sin and service in a different light. God wants us to live holy lives, set apart for his service, not just coast through life "doing our best." As we draw close to God and involve Him in our daily lives we realize that our best is not good enough and that we cannot please God or serve Him without His power and guidance.
God desires so much for us, He wants to bless us with peace, joy and the power to serve Him. In church tonight, our Pastor taught from Psalm 105. The last part of the Psalm states all the things God did to bring Israel into the land and all the things that He blessed them with in the land. Verse 45 says that God did all those things that the people would be able to keep all His statutes and laws. As we studied this passage in church tonight, God revealed to me that He will never require us to give to Him or do for Him anything for which He has not provided us or prepared us. Throughout the Bible we see God demonstrating His love for us as individuals.
God is not just the God of the minister or religious, He is the God of all who call on Him through the blood of Christ. God knows you and He desires that you know Him. As you draw close to Him, He will draw close to you and reveal His nature and love to you. The Bible says that unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven. Once you are born again, it is time to be transformed into the image of Christ. God loves you and desires to reveal Himself to you and to manifest Himself through you, this can only be accomplished when if you are personally involved with God. When Jesus revealed Himself to the Apostle Thomas, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" I join Thomas in that proclamation. Jesus is my Lord and my God, and I hope He is yours as well!
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