“Delightfully loved ones, don’t imitate what is evil, but imitate that which is good. Whoever does good is of God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”
3 John 1:11 The Passion Translation
“For when you demonstrate the same love I have for you by loving one another, everyone will know that you’re my true followers.”
The Passion Translation John 13:35
Jesus’ death on the cross was so we can have relationship with Him. He is not unreachable or too far away. In the book of John, chapter 3 verse 16, we see the intention of His death on the cross. John 3:16 ESV – 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Next in verse 17, John 3:17 ESV – 17″ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him,” God’s will is for us to have life. Life with the Godhead, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is real and tangible. He wants us to participate in the affairs of the Kingdom of Heaven through relationship.
In the book of John, chapter 17, in the following verses we see the conversation from Jesus to his Father. It is tender-hearted and insightful to Jesus’ intention about our life with God the Father and Jesus. I am bringing this up because in the next paragraphs we will look at what man thinks is important for relationship with Jesus. Not what the God head had planned before the foundations of the world. Here are some verses out of chapter 17 from the book of John.
John 17:22-26 ESV – 22 “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
These verses are stating the very essence of the heart of God and what Jesus expressed to his Father about us. It states boldly, that he gave us his glory! The glory of God is His manifested goodness for us. He is a good God. I would recommend that you read that entire chapter. In this verse, we learn that, the word of God, (Jesus is the word) sanctifies us. The Truth (the word) are/is factual. It is the real thing. The more we read and take in His word, the more we become like Him and know and understand Him. We also become closer to Him. As we eat the word, just like food to our soul and spirit, it strengthens us and changes us into His very nature. We have a need to shed and have the old man changed. We have the ability to become like our Father.
In the following passage, the verses state how Jesus was calling out the religious men of the day, that they thought that there ways were above and beyond God’s ways. They were clearly only interested tradition of men and not a relationship with Jesus. This exchange is in the following passage in the book of Mark chapter 7 verses 1-9.
Mark 7:1-9 ESV – 1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” 9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!
The Pharisees had made their own religious rules of how people should act or behave instead of relying on the power of the scripture (the word of God) to walk with Jesus. In the next verses, Jesus points out what defiles a person is what comes out of their own hearts. Jesus is all about our hearts. He is not about trying to keep ridiculous rules. Rules that are just performance based behavior. Jesus is more interested in us talking with him and knowing we want to be a part of his family. The Family of God.
I promise you all the religious traditions of the world will only frustrate you and your heart will not be at peace. Jesus is as close as inside of you when you ask him to come into your heart and life. Ask Him, He will make himself real and tangible. He created you. He knows everything about you! There is nothing too big or too small that he doesn’t care about in your life.