GETTING IN ON JESUS’ CONNECTIONS

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GETTING IN ON JESUS’ CONNECTIONS

Connections. Some of us have them, all of us want them and we can never have enough of them. Who was it who famously said, ‘It’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know that matters’?

It’s true, isn’t it? Knowing the right people and having the right connections does make help more forthcoming. It builds bridges, opens doors; and putting it bluntly, it greases the wheels of our endeavors and makes life a whole lot easier.

But connections are difficult to establish, because relationships are difficult to build. Everyone has their own inner circle, a network of connections that are built upon a lifetime of trust and generations of relationships. So gaining acceptance into such circles is understandably difficult; because they are private, they are exclusive, they are not for everybody.

Now, if getting connected is so difficult here on earth, how much more difficult do you think it is to get in on God’s connections? After all, Jesus did say,

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

For “…no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27

Theirs is an unsurprisingly exclusive relationship. After all, They are a triune God, one God, three persons; three manifestations, one entity. We don’t even have the vocabulary to adequately describe the nature of their relationship, because in truth, we cannot fathom their closeness.

But even if we put that aside, this is God we are talking about, the one who “…created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

If not because He said,

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; …” Genesis 1:26

We would not have existed. And if not because He said,

“…let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

We would have been comparable in intellect, and who knows what other faculties, to the fish of the sea, beasts of the land, and birds of the air. So is it any wonder then that Theirs is an exclusive relationship?

So have you ever wondered why religion was created? I’m no historian, but it seems sensible to conclude that religion is man’s attempt at getting in on the relationships of god. Let’s face it, no man is an island, and we could always do with a little more help. So if being friends with Mr President is going to get you a leg up in life, imagine just how much of a boost being god’s ‘Friday night drinking buddy’ is going to be?

In fact, we have wanted in on god’s power and wisdom so much, some monarchies have gotten carried away and presumed their heads of state to be the ‘sons of heaven’. I mean, think about it, if we can be ‘sons of heaven’, we will be omnipotent and omniscient, knowing everything all the time and having the ability to change the course of history whenever we want to. Wouldn’t that be great?

And when we look at what Jesus said about His relationship with God the Father,

“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father,…” Matthew 11:27

We realize that being in Jesus’ inner circle would really give us a leg up. Look, He said, all things have been delivered to Him by the Father. Not some, not a few, but all things. So since Jesus is now in control of all things, what is it that He can’t do?

But do you think you can get in on our Father’s connections on your own? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Do you think you have what it takes to convince Jesus that you deserve to be a part of His inner circle and benefit from His relationship with God the Father?

I’ll tell you the answer and save you the trouble of wondering.

“…there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:22-23

Have you ever done a bad thing? Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings? Have you ever had a bad thought? As long as you have been less than perfect, you, by your own works, do not qualify, for this is how God defines perfection.

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.” Matthew 5:21-22 [MSG]

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

And really, if we are honest, They are not being mean to exclude us who have sinned. After all, can people in the public eye be seen to ‘consort’ with those of questionable background here on earth? So if we wouldn’t accept it of us humans, how can God?

Yet, there is something very interesting about the verse right after

“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27

Because it is this.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

I don’t just want us to read the ‘normal’ translation, I want us to read the Amplified.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” Matthew 11:28 [AMPC]

The reason why I want us to look at this translation is because the supplementary amplification given in brackets is an amalgamation of the translations of three of the most prominent Bible scholars, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe and Joseph Thayer. Beyond Bible knowledge, these men were also outstanding linguists, well-schooled in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. So when they translated the original New Testament, which was written in Greek, you can be sure they knew what they were talking about.

So according to them, what does Jesus want to do? Jesus wants us to come, so that He can ‘cause us to rest’. Notice that? Jesus is not going to just give us a chair or a bed for the night; not that that wouldn’t already be very generous of Him; instead He will ‘make’ us rest.

And He doesn’t stop there. He will ‘ease, relieve and refresh’ our souls. He doesn’t just put us on His chair and try to help us find solutions to our problems, like our shrinks do; He actually eases our worries, relieves our cares and refreshes our weariness, all the way to our souls.

So what do you think happens to your problems when He does that? That’s right, He settles it. And once He has taken care of your problems, wouldn’t your worries, stress and anxiety all melt away? What could be better than that?

But wait a minute, isn’t Jesus’ relationship with God the Father an exclusive one? Didn’t we all sin and have fallen short of the kingdom of heaven? So how is it that we can still get in on Jesus’ power?

The reason is simple, really. You see,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Yes, we don’t deserve to be a part of Jesus’ inner circle. Yes, we don’t deserve to have any part in His relationship with God the Father. But because God our Father loves you so much, He made it possible.

And don’t think it was easy either. Because we have been far less than nice, because we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, God has to find a way to make us worthy again to be in His presence. It’s a little like this.

A man once lived an extravagant life and ran up a sizable debt. He had no way to pay for his debt and so, his creditors made him a bankrupt. One day, this man’s plight reached the ears of the President. Out of pity, the President wanted to give this man a job in the civil service. Now, the civil service cannot hire bankrupts, yet the President wants to give this man a job. Can the President make an exception in his case? Of course he can’t. He wouldn’t be just. So what must the President do? He’s got to pay for the man’s debt, so that he can be discharged from bankruptcy and once again be eligible for hire by the public service.

And that, my friend, is still but a poor shadow of what Jesus actually did for you. For when Jesus went to the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

So that now, we can be “…justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” Romans 3:24

We who don’t deserve to be in on God’s inner circle, have been given unrestricted access by Jesus. And that is a blessed revelation, isn’t it? But here’s the thing that gets to me. So many of us are not leveraging on it.

When you have a problem, who do you look for? Your boss? A leader of industry? A consultant perhaps, or a guru? Stop for a moment and ask yourself why you are looking for someone who, apart from spending a little more time in that field than you did, is really no different from you?

This era has been called the age of social media; and that is because everyone wants to get connected to the right people. We crave association with our fellow humans and would give anything to be part of the ‘right’ crowd. But we forget that we who believe, have already been connected to the Ones who really matter.

You who believe are already a part of the ‘crowd’ that the world wants to get in on, but does not get to, so why are you not leveraging on it?

When Jesus rose from the grave, He told the women who met Him there,

“Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” John 20:17

Realize just who you really are and take advantage of your connections with Jesus. For all He ever wants from you is to ask and “…whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

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