Jesus Lives

HIS PRESENCE

I want you to spend time with Me for the pure pleasure of being in My company. When you take delight in My Presence, you experience a foretaste of the eternal pleasures I have prepared for you. Unfortunately, the “dailyness” of life tends to pull you down, and your focus on routine duties often obscures your awareness of Me.

To enjoy My companionship in all that you do, wait in My Presence while I reveal Myself to you. Put aside thoughts of tasks awaiting you as you focus pleasurably on Me. Allow awareness of My Presence to become imprinted on your consciousness. Then move gently from this contemplative time into your routine duties and continue communing with Me, asking Me to be vibrantly involved in your work.

Having already connected with Me at a deep level, you can find Me more easily in the midst of your activities. Naturally, you will lose sight of Me at times; I know you’re only human. But you can reconnect readily by moving toward Me in your thoughts, words, and feelings. The more you include Me in your awareness, the brighter your day will be: Your routines will sparkle with the liveliness of My company.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Psalm 130:5–6 

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:13–14 

“For in him we live and move and have our being.” As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.”
Acts 17:28

Jesus Always

I want you to know the depth and breadth of My Love that surpasses knowledge. There is an enormous difference between knowing Me and knowing about Me. Similarly, experiencing My loving Presence is vastly different from knowing facts about My character. To experience My Presence, you need the empowering work of My Spirit. Ask Him to strengthen you with Power in your inner being so that you can know My Love in full measure.

Since the moment of your salvation, I have been alive in your heart. The more room you make for Me there, the more I can fill you with My Love. There are several ways to expand this space in your heart. It’s crucial to take time with Me—enjoying My Presence and studying My Word. It is also vital to stay in communication with Me. As the apostle Paul wrote, pray continually. This joyful practice will keep you close to Me. Finally, let My Love flow through you to others—in both your words and your actions. This makes My Love in you complete.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
—Ephesians 3:16–19

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
—Acts 4:12

Pray continually.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17 

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
—1 John 4:11–12

Jesus Lives

Abiding in Him

I am your Strength and your Shield. When you trust in Me—My awesome strength and shielding protection—you are helped enormously. Weights of worry fall off you as you connect with Me through trust. The resulting lightness within you invites Joy to rush in, and you can bask in My merry Light. I have told you that whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life. An excellent way to stay near Me is to place your confidence fully in Me. A heart that trusts in Me can even leap for Joy!

Another good way to follow Me closely is to give thanks in every situation. One of the simplest—yet most effective—prayers is, “Thank You, Jesus.” I encourage you to express your thankfulness in a variety of ways: If you are artistic, you can express yourself through singing, dancing, painting, sculpting. If you’re verbally gifted, you can speak or write praises to Me. More profoundly, you can learn to worship Me in everything you do. Whatever you do, do it heartily—as to Me, your Lord. Devote yourself to thanking and praising Me; these delightful disciplines glorify Me and fill you with gladness.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 
~ Psalm 28:7 

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 
~ John 8:12

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. 
Colossians 3:23

Jesus Lives

I meet you in the place of your deepest need. So come to Me just as you are, leaving pretense and performance behind. You are totally transparent to Me: I know everything about you. Yet because you are My own—redeemed by My blood—I have unlimited, unfailing Love for you.

Ask My Spirit to help you be honest and open with Me. Don’t be ashamed of your neediness; instead, use it to connect with Me in humble dependence. Invite Me to have My way in your life. Remember that I am the Potter, and you are the clay. The weakness you bring Me is malleable in My hands, and I use it to mold you according to My will.

Your deepest need is to lean on, trust in, and be confident in Me. Accepting your lack of strength helps you lean on Me in unashamed dependence. I am training you to trust Me with all your heart and mind—a lifelong endeavor. And the best way to not be afraid is to have confidence in Me, your Strength.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

—1 Peter 1:18–19

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

—Isaiah 64:8

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

—Proverbs 3:5

Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.

—Isaiah 12:2

Dear Jesus

Spend time with Me for the pure pleasure of being in My company. I can brighten up the dullest of gray days; I can add sparkle to the routines of daily life.

Dear Jesus, 
Spending time in Your company, keenly aware of Your Presence, is utterly delightful. It’s a foretaste of the eternal pleasures You have prepared for me. However, I confess that the “dailyness” of life tends to pull me down: My focus on routine duties obscures my awareness of You. I want to enjoy Your continual Presence in all that I do.

Beloved, wait in My Presence while I reveal Myself to you. Put aside thoughts of tasks awaiting you, as you focus pleasurably on Me. Allow awareness of My Presence to become imprinted on your consciousness. Then move gently from this contemplative time into your routine duties. Refuse to view this part of your life as boring. Instead, continue communing with Me, asking Me to be vibrantly involved in your work. 

Having already connected with Me at a deep level, you can find Me more easily in the midst of your activities. Naturally, you will lose sight of Me at times; I know you’re only human. But you can reconnect readily, by moving toward Me in your thoughts, words, and feelings. The more you include Me in your awareness, the brighter your day will be: Your routines will sparkle with the liveliness of My company.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. 
Psalm 130:5–6 

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 
Psalm 103:13–14

“For in him we live and move and have our being.” As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.” 
Acts 17:28

Jesus Lives

Fear

I Myself go before you, opening up the way. I will never leave you nor forsake you. Therefore, you need not be afraid or discouraged. I realize, though, that feelings often fail to submit to logic. So don’t be surprised when your emotions rebel against your will. David, who was both a mighty warrior and a gifted poet, expressed fearfulness, trembling, and even overwhelming horror in one of his psalms. Yet his trust in Me was genuine and deep. His life and his writing demonstrate that fear does not “trump” trust: They can coexist. This is why David could proclaim, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

Trust is a relational word. It’s one of the prime ways you can draw near Me. When you are afraid, don’t blame yourself for having that very human emotion. Instead, acknowledge what you are feeling; then affirm your trust in Me—out loud or in a whisper. This affirmation protects you from the lie that feeling fearful means you don’t trust Me. Even better, it brings you consciously into My Presence, where you can find comfort and hope. The Light of My Presence illuminates the vast dimensions of My Love for you—empowering you to grasp how wide and long and high and deep My Love is, and to know this Love that surpasses knowledge.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
~ Deuteronomy 31:8

Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me.
~ Psalm 55:5

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
~ Psalm 56:3

[I pray that you] may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

~ Ephesians 3:18–19

Jesus Lives

I redeem you from hell—crowning you with Love and mercy; I wrap you in goodness and renew your youth.

I give you these magnificent gifts because I take pleasure in you. Let My delight in you soak into the depths of your being—satisfying your soul. Although I see your sins and flaws, my perfect Love never wavers. I look on you first and foremost as My redeemed one, wearing a paradise crown and wrapped in beauty eternal.

I want your identity as My beloved to be front and center in your mind. However, your thoughts often get stuck on trivial matters, especially when your mind is in neutral. This is why I urge you to be alert and always keep on praying. Invite Me to enter into your circumstances—including your thoughts, feelings, and decisions. Communicating with Me will help you focus less on trivial matters and more on glorious realities. While you wait in My Presence, I will renew your strength. Regardless of how old you are, you’re always young in My Presence!

He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
— Psalm 103:4–5 msg 

For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.
— Psalm 149:4 nkjv

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
—Ephesians 6:18 

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
—Isaiah 40:31