Spending Time in the Presence of Jesus
This past weekend Phil, BJ, myself (Jonny) and ten students piled into the JSAW van and trailer for a 4 day snowboard trip to Granite Peak in Wausau, WI. After three and a half hour drive and a quick stop at Subway for dinner, we arrived at Highland Community Church, our home base for the next few days. We met up with Jake Anderson from SFC Granite Peak who was our mountain guide and caterer for the weekend. Each day we woke up at 8am for breakfast before heading out to ride all day. We all had so much fun! Each evening we looked into the Bible and talked about the importance of spending time in the presence of Jesus. Here is a bit of what we learned:
In John 1:35-41 Jesus is followed by two guys named Andrew and John. They spent the day with Jesus and during that time they were together each of them became convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. Although it was a life threatening claim to be making, Andrew was so impacted by the time that he spent with Jesus, he had to go and tell his brother Simon Peter, “We found the Messiah.” Spending time with Jesus moved him into unflinching action.
In Luke 10:38-42 we read about Jesus visiting Mary and Martha’s home. Martha was super busy doing things and making preparations for Jesus, as any wonderfully hospitable person would do when Jesus comes over. Mary, on the other hand, is simply sitting at the feet of Jesus, spending time with him. In Christ’s own assessment, Mary had chosen what was better and more important; not doing things, not serving her guests, but rather spending time with Jesus!
Jesus teaches in John 15:5-11 about the importance of a branch being connected to the vine in order to produce fruit. In the same way any disciple of Christ must remain in Christ in order to live the way Christ commands us to. Our doing is fueled by our being with Jesus. Look at the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-22. He had done everything right in his life yet lacked a relationship with Jesus. In Matthew 7:21-23 we learn that many will do good things in the name of Jesus, but all their good deeds are worthless because they did not have a relationship with Jesus.
What matters is that we spend time with Jesus. We are to know him and be known by him. Not just so we can enter the pearly gates of heaven when we die someday, but because he gives us peace in the tough times. He gives us joy that is complete and because in Christ we can experience pure, unconditional love right now. Never ever stop spending time with Jesus! Put nothing and nobody before Jesus!
Have you spent time with Jesus today? What does spending time with Jesus look like in your life? Please share this and encourage your friends to spend time with Jesus.