My theme for this month is “deeper in December” as I walk in the word God spoke over me for 2017; DEEPER. Part of this process of going deeper has been diving deeper into His word. However, not just for head knowledge or even for application, but for the sole purpose of knowing who Jesus really is through his word; to really study his heart.
To know WHO he is at the core.
How deeply he really feels and loves us, how his love moved him all the way from heaven to earth, and keeps him here among us.
It’s a different dimension and focus to studying his word. For a few years I’ve been structuring my quiet time by using something similar to the SOAP method:
Scripture, Observations, Applications, and Prayer.
But to know Him more deeply, I’ve been lingering at the observation level, with the sole observation being how Jesus loves us. It’s been a beautiful thing to walk through the gospels and see his love on new levels.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been writing down how to live it out and asking him to help me love like he loves. So there’s been application. But it’s a lot more Spirit led and organic, and not so rigid and structured. Studying his word this way has moved me into more relationship and less religion.
Right now I’m in the book of John, the last gospel, and yesterday I saw the story of when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead with new eyes; not the actual resurrection from the dead, but the heart of our Savior in the moments leading up to the miracle.
28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved[e] in his spirit and greatly troubled.34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”35 Jesus wept.36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
Mary, Martha, their family and friends were beside themselves with grief. Their beloved brother had died. They had sent for Jesus, but Jesus didn’t show up until days after Lazarus had taken his last breath. What struck me most was when Jesus called for his beloved Mary, who had “anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.” When he called for her, she rushed to him and he embraced her in the middle of her grieving, and he grieved with her.
Sweet sister, take this prayer weaved through scripture as your own and know Jesus more like Mary did, hearing him, running to him, pouring out all your cares at his feet and finding comfort there. xoxo
“The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
The Teacher is here…
Lord, we thank you for being here. Emmanuel, God with us. You are here with me, always. Always available. Always speaking, always knowing my heart. Always guiding me.
…calling for you..
You are always calling my name- whispering to me which step to take, how to obey you, follow you, trust you. You just want to spend time with me, hold your daughter, delight in me. Be with me- in my joys, in my grief, in my big and small moments. Thank you Jesus for always beckoning me near.
…and when she heard it…
Lord, help me hear your invitation to be comforted by you; to be held by you. In this Christmas season full of deep joy, but also stress and sorrow, help me hear your voice calling. Make all other voices quiet.
She rose quickly and went to Him.
Lord, no matter what condition my heart is in- whether overcome with grief- upset over a prayer not fulfilled the way I had hoped, or if my heart is grumpy and desiring my own way – please, help me rise quickly and go to you. You are my healing. You are my hope.
…Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw Him,
she fell at his feet, saying to Him…
Lord, help me pour out my heart to you, like Mary did- acknowledging both your power and soverignty (that you can do anything) but also divulging my disappointments- my emotions do not have to be cleaned up before I fall before you. In fact, my tears are collected at your feet and I find comfort crying them out covered by you.
He was deeply moved…Jesus wept.
You hurt when I hurt. You meet us in our pain and sorrows. You cry with us. Thank you for being a compassionate Savior who cares. You care when we loose loved ones, and you care when everyday stresses and concerns plague our souls. You did not leave us alone. You came. You’re here.
This Christmas season, run to him. Go deeper in December. Study his heart. Pour out yours at His feet. Marvel how love came down and stays here with us.