Closer Than You Think

Closer Than You Think

COTL.Life

It is Closer than you Think

Colossians 1:24-29 The Passion Translation
“I can even celebrate the sorrows I have experienced on your behalf; for as I join with you in your difficulties, it helps you to discover what lacks in your understanding of the sufferings Jesus Christ experienced for his body, the church. This is the very reason I’ve been made a minister by the authority of God and a servant to his body, so that in his detailed plan I would fully equip you with the Word of God. There is a divine mystery—a secret surprise that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded and manifested for every holy believer to experience. Living within you is the Christ who floods you with the expectation of glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a heavenly treasure chest of hope filled with the riches of glory for his people, and God wants everyone to know it! Christ is our message! We preach to awaken hearts and bring every person into the full understanding of truth. It has become my inspiration and passion in ministry to labor with a tireless intensity, with his power flowing through me, to present to every believer the revelation of being his perfect one in Jesus Christ.”

Last week we started to unlock this mystery and we did so by seeing just how big and powerful our Father is and our identity in Him. Today, I want you to see how loving and close that He is to you!

1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Romans 8:38-39
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1. Before we can know who we are we have to know our Father

I don’t mean know about Him I mean know him.

This is what Jesus meant when He said in John 17:3:

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

To know is to experience

How would you explain a slice of cold watermelon to someone who had never tasted it?

If you have never seen a Redwood tree there is no way to describe it to you that you could ever fully comprehend it until you experience it.

Disneyland My sisters tried to explain it to me, Antoinette.

When you taste Him you will know that He is good.

Anything that is not good is not Him.

We have to experience him as a child.

When I take my grand children in my arms and swing them and laugh and play with them they are experiencing love without being able to spell it our define it. And we would never withhold that love because they can’t.

Matthew 18:3 said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 11:25, “At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.”

That word babes is infants. What can God reveal to an infant? Love.

This World has gone mad when it comes to an understanding of Love.

It is a mess of love and fear twisted together. This blinds us to the Father’s love. When fear is mixed in. You get shame and separation. Remember Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Open the eyes of your heart and hear and see the truth.

1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

All negative emotions are rooted in FEAR.

So this incredible God that is so big and cannot be troubled or bothered by finite evil never ever fears what cannot threaten Him.

How small or big is the Father that you have made God to be? There is no fear in Love.

As you grow in true love you will fear less.  The right kind of fear is not fear at all it is awe.  To be in awe of your father is a beautiful thing. It is the beginning of wisdom.

Yet almost all of us fear God in the wrong way thinking that he wants to punish us and is mad at us…We are afraid of not measuring up. These thoughts keep him distant and unapproachable in our minds. But He is not like a bad earthly father

He is not like us humans at all.

That would make God in our image that is no God at all.

Many of us think wrongly that we have been saved from the wrath of our Father by Jesus. Jesus said when you have seen me you have seen the Father. We have been brought into the Love of the Father by Jesus.

We have been saved from our sins that separated us from this amazing father.

2. See how close He really is

This good news should cause us to run into His loving arms. He accepts you right where you are at and not only when you become something more. And then He gives you the grace to love people in that same way.

How is Jesus’s love characterized? A love that is kind to those who resist you and are cruel to you.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

3. Line up

The prayer for me for you as your pastor today is that you would know your Father and you would know no fear. You can line up with the flow of love, Or you can line up with the shadow of fear.

Truth: God is Love.
In Him there is no fear.
You are the light of the world.
You are complete in Christ.
In Him there is no darkness at all.

As you climb a mountain you realize the shadows only reside in the valley below. So see His love as a mountain you climb and as you do you rise out of the valley of the shadow of death that is below up to true life and that was what was always meant for you.

Finally we should be able to see that nothing can separate us from that love.

Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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