Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Gospel of John

This year our Bible Study is reading the gospel of John. Our first assignment was to read through the whole book to get a feel for it. I just finished reading and as most of you probably know, John ends with the death and resurrection of Jesus. And I always feel guilty when I read about this. Not for the obvious reasons of feeling guilty about the fact that Jesus had to die for my sin, but guilty because I read it as a historical account. I already know that Jesus died and so its hard for me to read it with fresh eyes and a fresh heart. I read through it and think, "Thanks Jesus" and that's it. And I HATE that.

I remember when I first learned of the horrible death that Jesus died. I was at Young Life camp at Rockbridge Alum Springs in Virginia, and it was the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school. I grew up in church and was told that Jesus died and that now he is alive, but I never understood why he died or how it happened. I remember the speaker at camp describing his torturous death and explaining that he willingly did that so that we could have a relationship with God. I remember realizing for the first time that I am a sinner and that I deserve death and eternal separation from God but because of Jesus I can be saved from that. And I remember that as soon as I heard that I cried and cried and cried and was so thankful and couldn't give my life to Jesus fast enough. And so now, when I read that account again, I feel guilty that I don't have that same reaction. Now that I have heard the story so much it doesn't hit me anymore. And I wish that it did.

In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan writes about being totally in love with Jesus. I want that so bad. I know in my head that Jesus loves me, and it's easy to say that I love Jesus, because I do. I choose to love him everyday. But without being able to see, audibly hear and touch him, its so hard to really love him the way I love so many people. I feel like if my dad, or if Derek sacrificially died because they loved me so much, I wouldn't be able to talk about it without tearing up because I know them and I love them so much. I want that kind of relationship with Christ, where I tear up when I think about how much he loves me and what he has done for me.

One of our questions for Bible study this week was what would we like Jesus to change in our life. Usually when I think of this question I think of some sin that I struggle with that I would like to no longer have. For example I would like to be less materialistic, or I really want to be better about not gossipping. But all I really want, is to be totally in love with Jesus, in a way that changes everything. As we read through the story of his life, I don't want it to be just a historical account, so I can tell people, "yeah, Jesus heals" or "Jesus has control over everything" or "remain in Christ and he will remain in you". These are all truths that I know. I just really want the story of his life to become real to me, and I want to fall more in love with him as I find out more about him. I'm sure there are tons of things that I could be convicted of and want to change about myself as I read, but I feel like I've spent the last 10 years of my life getting those kinds of things out of the Bible. I want to enjoy getting to know Jesus the way I enjoyed getting to know Derek when we first met. I want him to reveal himself to me in a way that changes who I am and the way I see him. I want to fall in love.


Kayla said...

Anne - This is awesome, my heart longs to love Jesus in a way that radically changes my life every day.

P.S. I missed you last night at the Warnick household up here in NKY :(

Jen said...

Isn't it crazy that it is a challenge to fall in love with someone so awesome? That we have to try so hard to constantly put ourselves in His presence even though that is exactly where we are designed to be?

I don't have a lot of answers but I do know that I will be continually praying that the Lord makes the truths that we "know" to be truths we believe & live out - that it would impact our hearts not just add to our knowledge.

<3 you!

Rachel said...

This is great Anne. Thanks for the challenge! It is crazy how often I become consumed with other things and lose sight of God's love and grace.

jenna said...

i love this. it's so true. why is it so hard to make this desire a reality? gosh. this would change everything. i want that.