Dear Jesus

Although self-sufficiency is acclaimed in the world, reliance on Me produces abundant living in My kingdom.

Dear Jesus,

Walking to the world’s tempo is tempting at times. The desire to blend in can be both subtle and powerful. Self-sufficiency is certainly promoted in the world, sometimes to the point of self-deification. Though I don’t really want to be self-sufficient, I sometimes find myself trying to appear as if I am. I know better: I have discovered that depending on You is the way to live more abundantly. Whenever I face difficult situations, I am grateful I can rely on You to help me. Teach me to depend on You more and more.

Beloved, the first thing you must deal with is being overly concerned about appearances. Remember that I look at your heart, not your outward appearance. What is most important to Me should also be most important to you. Resist the desire to look good and blend in with the world. Recognize that most people who appear self-sufficient are actually struggling deeply; many are even dependent on harmful substances to help them keep up appearances.

Reliance on Me results in abundant living because it is the way I designed you to live: I created people to be dependent on Me. The essence of Adam and Eve’s first sin was their desire to be like God and thus capable of living independently. Ever since then, depending on Me continually has gone against the grain of human nature. Notice I said “continually”; this is the way I want you to rely on Me. Depending on Me in difficult circumstances is a good start. However, the more frequently you look to Me for help, the more you will find Me faithful. I sustain you moment by moment, so there is never a time when you don’t need Me. Awareness of your neediness is actually a rich blessing—connecting you to Me and My abundant supply!

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

[1 Samuel 16:7]

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said. . . . “You will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

[Genesis 3:4–5]

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

[Psalm 16:8]

Dear Jesus

I am the Creator of the universe, yet I choose to make My humble home in your heart. It is there where you know Me most intimately; it is there where I speak to you in holy whispers.

Dear Jesus,

This is more than I can fathom—that Someone so great and majestic would choose to live in someone so small and sinful. My mind almost recoils at the thought of Your perfect holiness living in me. Indeed, I am an exceedingly humble home for You. It helps to remember that though You live in me, You also inhabit the highest heavens. Someday I will behold You in the courts of heaven, where I will see You in all Your Glory. I am thankful You are willing to live in my heart, because I deeply desire intimacy with You. However, I am weak: easily distracted by the noise of the world. Help me hear Your whispers in my heart.

Beloved, you do well to struggle with the thought of My holiness inhabiting your body. That shows Me you have some understanding of the absolute purity of My Being. Nonetheless, be assured that your sinfulness cannot taint My holiness. The influence goes the other direction: My righteousness purifies you! Delight in this blessed transaction, gratefully receiving My goodness.

You need stillness—outer and inner—to hear My gentle whispers in your heart. Find a quiet place, where the noise of the world is minimal. Then, focus your mind on this verse: “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Be still, let go, and relax in My Presence, while I commune with you in holy whispers.

But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

[Hebrews 1:2]

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.

[Ephesians 3:16–17]

After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. [1 Kings 19:12]

“Cease striving and know that I am God.”

[Psalm 46:10]

Dear Jesus

Thank Me for the gift of My Peace: a gift of such immense proportions that you cannot fathom its depth or breadth.

Dear Jesus,

I have searched for Peace in many different places, but only Yours is real and enduring. Wonderful as Your Peace is, it often eludes me. When I let down my guard, anxiety creeps in without my permission. It tugs at the corners of my mind, drawing me away from awareness of You. Please teach me how to enjoy Your Peace more continually.

Beloved, you can thank Me for the gift of My Peace even when you’re feeling anxious. My Peace is not so much a feeling as it is an unchangeable condition. It is permanent forgiveness: My eternal gift to you through My blood. I am not only the Giver of true Peace; I Myself am your Peace. It is every bit as available to you as I am. When you seek My Presence and find Me, you also encounter My Peace.

Thanking Me for the gift of My Peace, regardless of how you feel, is ultimately an act of trust. Your gratitude and trust will draw you closer to Me—the Lord of Peace. Rejoice as you explore with Me the immense proportions of My gift: Peace at all times and in every way!

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

[Colossians 1:19–20]

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.

[Ephesians 2:14]

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

[1 Peter 5:7]

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

[2 Thessalonians 3:16]

Dear Jesus

Marvel at the awesome wonder of being able to commune with the King of the universe any time, any place. Never take this amazing privilege for granted!

Dear Jesus,

I confess that often I do take this awesome prayer-privilege for granted. Even worse, at times I act as if I’m doing You a favor by spending time talking with You. Forgive me for my foolish arrogance!

Beloved, I am pleased that you recognize and repent of your foolishness. The best antidote to such thoughts is remembering who I Am: King of kings and Lord of lords, dwelling in dazzlingly unapproachable Light.

My eyes are like blazing fire. My voice is like the sound of rushing waters. My face is like the sun shining in all its brilliance. I am also your Shepherd, tenderly leading you step by step through your life. I want you to realize how precious you are to Me—how much I delight in you. I long for you to reciprocate by delighting in Me.

I listen to your heart as well as to your words. When you approach My throne of grace joyfully, anticipating the wondrous pleasure of communing with Me, both you and I are blessed!

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

[1 Timothy 6:15–16]

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

[Revelation 1:14–16]

His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
[Revelation 1:14–16]

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
[Hebrews 4:16]

Dear Jesus

Nothing is wasted when you walk close to Me. Even your mistakes can be recycled into something good, through My transforming grace.

Dear Jesus,

I desperately want to believe that my mistakes can somehow be used for good in Your kingdom. The truth is, I hate making mistakes! This attitude can easily translate into hating myself for having messed up. When I let my mind run freely at such a time, I find myself fantasizing about what might have been—if only I had acted or chosen differently. I definitely need a strong dose of Your transforming grace!

Beloved, the best strategy for accepting yourself, even when you make mistakes, is living close to Me. This nearness helps you see things from My perspective. You tend to view yourself as someone who should be almost perfect, making very few errors. My perspective is quite different: I see you as My beloved child—weak in many ways, prone to wandering from Me. However, your weakness and waywardness cannot diminish My constant Love for you. Moreover, My infinite wisdom enables Me to take your errors and weave them into an intricate work that is good.

You need to accept not only yourself but also the choices you have made. Fantasizing about having done things differently is a time-wasting trap. It is impossible to live close to Me while you’re indulging in such unreality. The more you fantasize, the further from Me you wander. When you realize this has happened, turn around and run back to Me! Take time to talk with Me and relax in My Presence. Your perfectionist tendencies will dissolve as you soak in My transforming grace.

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]

May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant.

[Psalm 119:76]

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

[Ephesians 1:7–8]

Dear Jesus

Invite Me into your thoughts by whispering My Name. Suddenly your day brightens and feels more user-friendly.

Dear Jesus,

When I speak Your Name in loving trust, I sense Your Presence and feel myself drawing closer to You. There is great Power in Your Name: I’ve found that simply whispering “Jesus” can turn a hard day into a good one. By calling upon Your Name frequently, I acknowledge my continual need of You.

Beloved, when you pray My Name, you are actually calling upon Me: My very Being. I joyfully respond to your invitation by coming nearer to you.

I am pleased by your desire to rely on Me in your small moments, as well as in the big events of your life. When you whisper My Name, I respond not only to your neediness but also to your love. As you look to Me, My Face shines upon you in radiant approval—brightening your day and helping you feel secure.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

[Acts 4:12]

Come near to God and he will come near to you.

[James 4:8]

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

[Acts 2:21]

The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you; the Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually).

[Numbers 6:25–26]

Dear Jesus

I am always before you, beckoning you on—one step at a time. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can separate you from My loving Presence.

Dear Jesus,

I want to live my life focused on Your Presence in the present. I believe You are always before me, leading and encouraging me, but I need to live out of that reality moment by moment. My mind tends to leap over the present moment to the next task, ignoring the one that is before me and the One who is before me. During rare times when I am able to stay focused on You, my work is infused with Your Presence. It is no longer laborious but delightful: more like play than work.

Beloved, living in collaboration with Me can be a foretaste of heaven. It is wonderful, though not easy: It requires a level of spiritual and mental concentration that is extremely challenging. In the Psalms, David wrote about this collaborative way of living, declaring that he had set Me always before him. As a shepherd, he had plenty of time to seek My Face and enjoy My Presence. He discovered the beauty of days lived with Me always before him—and beside him. I am training you to live this way too. This endeavor requires more persistent effort than anything else you have attempted. Yet, rather than detracting from your other activities, it fills them with vibrant Life.

Whatever you do, do it for Me—with Me, through Me, in Me. Even menial tasks glow with the Joy of My Presence when you do them for Me. Ultimately, nothing will be able to separate you from Me. So this you-and-I-together venture can continue throughout eternity.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:38–39]

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. [Psalm 16:8]

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. [Colossians 3:23–24]