It’s audio devo day! I really, really believe that Holy Spirit is going to minister to the depths of your soul as you listen:
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This morning, as I was listening to Philippians on my audio Bible, I heard Holy Spirit speaking to me. These words from Paul came flowing into my ears: “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord this way, dear friends!” (4:1, NIV). As they did so, Holy Spirit pointed out, “Love comes from Me. The overflowing affection that Paul felt for the Philippians came flowing from My heart through his. These are My words. Listen to them as Me speaking right to you.”
So I did. How beautiful it was to hear Him telling me that I am His joy, the one that He loves and longs for! I want you to hear this from Him too. Let me read His words to you again. Close your eyes and listen to Jesus speaking this to you in deeply affectionate tones: “Therefore, my brother, my sister, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord this way, dear friend!”
Isn’t that amazing? When you know you are deeply loved by the Father, it strengthens you to stand firm. This provokes another question, though. How do we get our hearts filled up with the revelation of His love? That’s what I want to talk about today.
Jesus wants you and me to know this: we receive the impartation of His love, simply by coming to Him. Have you heard the expression, “I had a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment”? This phrase may be used lightheartedly sometimes, but it comes straight out of Scripture. Jesus longs for us just to come to Him and receive His love for us. Over and over again, He beckons to us with these simple words, “Come to Me.” Today we are going to take a good look at three benefits of responding to this invitation of His.
1) Acceptance. “…Those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them” (John 6:37, NLT, emphasis mine). When He respond to His beckoning and come to Him, we experience acceptance deeper than anything we have ever received in a human relationship.
Dear one, He will never, ever reject you. He will never turn you away. He will never be too busy to listen to your heart. Not once will you find Him impatient for you to hurry up and get on with it. He will never look at you with a disapproving or annoyed facial expression.
On the contrary, His face will always light up to see you. He will always receive you. He will always, always like you. He will always, always, always celebrate you. He approves deeply of who you are. Oh, how He delights in you!
2) Rest. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, ESV, emphasis mine). Do you see Him gesturing for you to come? Through the act of coming into His presence, into His arms, we receive rest for our souls. As we drink in His absolute acceptance and approval of us, our defensiveness melts away. Our inner being lets down into profound restfulness.
The rest of the soul that Jesus lavishes on us is so much more than a good night’s sleep. His rest saturates your being with peace. On the inside of you, striving ceases. The ocean of His love washes all stress and strain away. The Prince of Peace breathes wellbeing into your heart of hearts. From there, you can move into a busy day, remaining in His arms as you go. If you ask Him to, He will teach to live out of a posture of perpetual inner rest, no matter how many responsibilities are on your plate. Learn of Him. He is gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.
3) Perpetual satisfaction. “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35, NKJV). In the book of John, we hear Jesus calling attention to this truth with tender insistence. When we respond to His beckoning, we come close to His heart. We move into intimacy with Him. We draw near to Him, and He draws near to us. When this happens, our inner longings become truly satisfied in Him.
Jesus traveled all the way to Samaria to carefully explain this to the Samaritan woman and her fellow villagers. “…Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever” (John 4:14, ESV). There’s no overstating how emphatic this statement of His is. Forever. Everlasting thirst satiation. Perpetual, unending, inexpressible spirit satisfaction. Filled to overflowing with all the immeasurable fullness of God. Forever. Simply by coming to Him.
As we close this out today, let’s listen once more to our Savior’s words. Once again through the book of John, He beckons to us longingly. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37, NKJV). This time, the apostle tells us Jesus cried out in a loud voice, issuing this urgent invitation. Do you hear the yearning expressed in the lifting of His voice? Listen one more time. If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me… let him come to Me and drink!
Do you have any special memories of hearing Jesus say to you personally, “Come to Me”? I’d love to hear about them!
(How precious Jesus’ written words to us are! Do you enjoy studying them by looking at how they are rendered in different translations, as I do? A wonderful website to use for that purpose is BibleGateway.com!)