For the past several months I have been examining the encounters of Jesus. I love His intentional meetings. He seeks out Zacchaeus in the tree, meets with a woman by the well in the heat of the day, just “happens” to be walking into the city of Nain as a funeral procession comes out. Every meeting is intentional and Divine.
I read this morning about Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus in John chapter 3, at night, in hiding. Out of this meeting we receive one of the most popular bible verses in the world, John 3:16. How awesome is that?
Every encounter is meaningful and divine. There is not a single story of an encounter with Jesus that doesn’t carry Divine weight. The reality is, this is how Jesus interacts with people in His life. Real, meaningful, Divine, with a specific purpose in mind. Nothing happens in His life that isn’t planned.
Does Jesus still encounter mankind in the same manner? If Philippians 2:5 (Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus) is true, then I have the mind of Christ in me. If I have the mind of Christ in me, then isn’t EVERY encounter with EVERY human being I come in contact with a Divine encounter? An encounter in which the Divinity that has merged with humanity in me is seeking to reach out and merge Divinity with another’s humanity? Does Jesus Christ, who abides in me, orchestrate every encounter to be meaningful, divine, and with a specific purpose in mind?
Last night I had an awesome encounter, I answered a Craigslist ad for a Bow Flex. It was a great buy but was just too large for the room I have at this time (I do plan to get a place built to install an awesome workout area so I can be a big buffed up dude soon, haha). In the course of corresponding with this couple, I sent them an email with my standard tag of “Earnestly contending for the faith,” in it. They informed me they were fellow believers and were looking forward to meeting me.
I wound up standing in their front driveway visiting with them for about 2 hours. We shared our stories of redemption with each other. The whole time we were visiting, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, my heart “was burning within me”. The Holy Spirit was rejoicing within me. It was truly sweet, refreshing, and honestly, exactly what I needed. Jesus living in me ministered to them and Jesus living in them ministered to me. I believe my new friends would say something very similar if asked..
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that if Jesus is living IN me, then He is also loving THROUGH me, ministering to others.
Here is the application (Warning, this is sobering):
In EVERY interaction I have with any other human, I am either loving them, or attempting to manipulate them.
Pray with me,
Lord Jesus, thank you for the encounters with others I have every day. I ask you would enter my mind, make your thoughts my thoughts, your actions my actions, your love my love. Love others through me. Help me resist the urge to attempt to manipulate others to meet my own selfish desires. Be the Lord of all my interactions and relationships. Thank you for blessing me with your life in this area.
Earnestly Contending for the Faith,
PS. The photo was taken in a parking lot at Whole Foods, the owner of the nicer car was trying to find the owner of the not-so-nice car.