The Truth is in Jesus Part 2

Continuing with the idea of finding and living out of the simplicity that is found in a relationship with Jesus I will quote a Christian from many generations ago and a present day believer. Jeanne Guyon lived from 1648-1717 in France. She spent a good portion of her adult life imprisoned for her faith because she bypassed all the trappings of the Catholicism she was born and raised into; instead of elaborate rituals she said it was easy to encounter and know Jesus living within. The current version of her most famous book on prayer is entitled, “Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ.”

While there is an element of spiritual passivity in her writing, something we want to avoid, her basic instruction was sound then and is still sound now. Guyon believed that once we were converted we were all called to a deep and rich inner life with Jesus. She encouraged us to actually believe the scriptures, that Jesus is in us, and in trust turn within to encounter Him. Those of us who have this choice can attest to the reality of what she wrote.

In a similar vein let me quote a recent email article by Steve Thompson, “The essence of Christianity is how we understand and relate to God and He to us. The essence of Christianity is Christ inside you. It is not about us worshipping a distant God from inside a church building, but rather loving, worshipping, and following Christ who lives inside us, wherever we are.”

My own experience over the years is that what Guyon and Steve have written is true and is indeed simple, it simply requires a daily focusing of our hearts upon Him within and developing the habit of paying attention to our spirits throughout the day because that is where we encounter Jesus. When we learn to turn and tune our heart to His heart it becomes a habit where we hear His wisdom in ‘secular’ work situations, are at rest in rush hour traffic (does it really only last an hour?), and bring life to those around us wherever we are.

While I have failed in maintaining this communion many times over the years, I choose to look to the fruit of when I have maintained it. I have life and encouragement to offer people, I receive comments on there being something different about me. Those who don’t have ‘Christian’ vocabulary or thinking often tell me I am very zen. I accept the compliment in the spirit in which it is given as I and they know I am not a Buddhist, I am however in these moments given an opportunity to affirm and release life.

So I encourage to take some scriptures and believe them. Start with the sample below then find others to apply to your heart. Search the gospels and come to Jesus and enjoy life.

10  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

8  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)

27  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)

23  Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)

27  The spirit of a man is the lamp of the LORD, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV)

 

The Truth is in Jesus Part 1

I am sure most of us are familiar with John 14:6 where Jesus referred to Himself as the Way, Truth and Life. However, I want to look at something Paul wrote in Ephesians.

20  But you have not so learned Christ, 21  if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22  that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23  and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24  and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24 (NKJV)

In this passage Paul made two very interesting little statements. First, the truth is in Jesus, secondly, Paul said we are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds.

What is he referring to in making these statements? This short passage is in essence saying the same thing as Galatians 4:19. The truth of walking with Jesus is encountering Him within. As we deepen our relationship with Jesus through experiential knowledge of Him, rather than information about Him, we are renewed in the spirit of our minds and Christ is formed and made manifest within us. This presentation of how to know Jesus permeates Paul’s writings. I have already referenced Ephesians and Galatians. Look at the oft quoted verse below.

27  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)

The risen living Christ active within us is the heart of the gospel. If you read through Romans chapters 6-8 you will find this same message in different language. Paul’s message was all about knowing Jesus and being firmly rooted in the reality that our Christian walk is about getting to know, learn from and depend on the one living within us at the new birth. Paul knew no other form of Christianity. For Paul it wasn’t complicated. In fact his concern was that we would get caught up in complicated teaching in place of knowing Jesus. Look at what he wrote to the Corinthians.

3  But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV)

Our Christian walk is a call to simplicity. If it is becoming increasingly complicated who did Paul say was behind it? We are called to the simplicity that is found IN Jesus. Is simplicity working in our lives?