Up close and personal – open arms

By Dave Henning / December 11, 2021

“Jesus’ invitation is always, ‘Come.’ . . .  Jesus welcomes you with open arms and gives you access — up close and personal.  An invitation to know Him better, more intimately.”- Ruth Graham

“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting or should we keep looking for someone else?”- Luke 7:19 (NLT)

Ruth Graham concludes Chapter 11 of Transforming Loneliness as she asks if you sometimes keep your doubts about God to yourself.  Do you at times hide those doubts from those you trust?  And if you confessed your doubts, would your relationships grow deeper?

Above all, in the Gospels John the Baptist stands out to Ruth as having the boldest and most powerful faith.  But when we look closer, we find that John also understood the importance of being vulnerable.  With his friends as well as with Jesus.

Yet, while John wasted away in Herod’s prison, multitudes flocked to Jesus as He taught, worked miracles, and changed lives.  So, John was on the outside looking in.  As a result, John summoned two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the expected Messiah.

Hence, Ms. Graham asks about your doubts.  Do you feel frustrated by the great chasm you perceive between you and Jesus?  And do you feel vulnerable enough with Jesus to ask if He’s real?  If He’ll make Himself known to you?

However, as Jesus did with John the Baptist, He replies to our questions with gentleness, not harshness.  Consequently, Jesus’ gentle response answers so many doubts.  In addition, Jesus points us to the larger picture – God’s eternal purpose.  And He always leads us to the next step.

In conclusion, Ms. Graham exhorts:

“Are you lonely?  Doubting?  Isolated?  John [the Baptist] was.  So he was vulnerable with Jesus, and Jesus pointed John to the things that would not only identify Him as the Messiah, but also encourage John’s faith.”

Today’s question: How do you feel about gaining up close and personal access to Jesus?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Friendship with Jesus – personal, not private”

About the author

Dave Henning

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