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

Dear Jesus

I am not a careless God. When I allow difficulties to come into your life, I equip you fully to handle them.

Dear Jesus,

I know You are perfect in all Your ways, so it is impossible for You to be careless. However, I also know You are absolutely sovereign: Nothing happens that You have not allowed. When difficulties in my life overwhelm me ~ events You could have prevented ~ sometimes it feels as if You are being careless with me. I believe You do equip me to handle whatever comes my way, but I need Your help in using the equipment.

Beloved, realizing you need My help is half the battle. You also need My Word and My Spirit. The Bible imparts to you essential wisdom: My promises to be near you and take care of you, exhortations that help you avoid sinful snares, offers of forgiveness when you “miss the mark,” promises of My Spirit’s living in you and empowering you.

It is important not to be surprised or alarmed by the many trials that enter your life. Until you reach your ultimate home in heaven, you will be at war. When you have a wartime mentality, it’s easier to handle difficulties as they arise: You don’t waste time and energy bemoaning your circumstances; you avoid the trap of feeling singled out for hardship.

I do indeed equip you fully to handle your difficulties. But you have to make the effort to use what I provide: My Presence, My Word, My Spirit. Come to Me when you are heavy laden and you will find rest for your soul.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 
~ Isaiah 41:10

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
~ 1 Peter 5:8–9 

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden . . . and you will find rest for your souls.” 
~ Matthew 11:28–29

Dear Jesus

Instead of single-mindedly pursuing a goal, talk with Me about it. Let the Light of My Presence shine on this pursuit, so you can see it from My perspective.

Dear Jesus,

Pursuing goals comes almost as naturally to me as breathing. When a goal grabs my attention, my instinct is to go for it, without really thinking it through. I may invest a lot of time and energy in something, only to realize later that it was the wrong pursuit. When I take the time to first discuss matters with You, my life is much more satisfying.

Beloved, there are many benefits to talking with Me—before, during, and after pursuing a goal. The Light of My Presence illuminates your pursuit, so you can see it more clearly. As you talk it over with Me, you gain a new perspective on the endeavor. The most important change in your perspective is a growing desire to please Me. This desire produces benefits far beyond the task at hand: It deepens your relationship with Me.

If you discern that your goal accords with My will, then you can pursue it confidently. As you work collaboratively with Me, continue to communicate about what you are doing. When the goal has been reached, thank Me for My help and guidance. Rejoice in what we have accomplished together!

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.

~ Psalm 89:15–16

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

~ Proverbs 19:21

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. 

~ Psalm 37:5 

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 

~Philippians 4:13

Dear Jesus

The intimacy I offer you is not an invitation to act as if you were My equal. Worship Me as King of kings while walking hand in hand with Me down the path of Life.

Dear Jesus,

I know I often treat You with less reverence than You deserve, especially when I’m upset with the way things are going in my life. When I’m hurting, I look for someone to blame—and sometimes it is You. Forgive me for rebelling against You and Your ways. Thank You for the amazing privilege of knowing You intimately.

Beloved, I took a huge risk when I created mankind in My own image. I made you with the potential to reverence and love Me freely, without coercion. In doing so, I gave you freedom to treat Me as an equal—or worse. I paid enormously for your freedom—with My own blood. This payment has made it possible for you to know Me—the King of kings and Lord of lords. When one of My children draws near to Me in reverent awe, I open My heart and offer intimate friendship. The Joy we share in one another cannot be measured.

From time to time you overstep your bounds, forgetting who I Am. You talk to Me carelessly, even slanderously. Our intimacy is hindered by your irreverent attitude, but My Love for you is constant. When you remember My majestic Presence and return to Me repentantly, I rush to meet you and enfold you in My embrace. I celebrate with you the Joy of being close again, as we walk together down the path of Life.

Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

~1 Timothy 6:14–15

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

~ John 8:58

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

~ Luke 15:20

Dear Jesus

What I search for in My children is an awakened soul that thrills to the Joy of My Presence! I created mankind to glorify and enjoy Me forever. I provide the Joy; your part is to glorify Me by living close to Me.

Dear Jesus, I long to have a fully awakened soul! I’ve discovered that nothing is more satisfying than the Joy of your Presence. However, I’m often subject to a slumbering soul: taking for granted my life with all its blessings, being overly focused on negative things, buying into the world’s version of the good life. Help me break free from these worldly weights, so my soul can soar in the heights with You.

Beloved, the fact that you yearn for an awakened soul is itself a source of pleasure to Me. Many of My children view devotion to Me as a duty, and they look elsewhere for their pleasures. They fail to understand that the Joy of My Presence outshines even the most delightful earthly joy. Of course, it is not an either/or situation. You don’t have to choose between enjoying Me or enjoying the many good gifts I provide. It is simply a matter of priorities: I want you to treasure Me above all else. Actually, the more fully you enjoy Me, the more capacity you have to appreciate the blessings I shower upon you. When you make Me your ultimate Pleasure, you glorify Me by desiring closeness with Me. As you delight in Me, I am free to bless you with many things that please you. If you keep Me first in your life, My good gifts will not become idols. Delight yourself in Me, and I will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
~ 2 Chronicles 16:9

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.    ~ Acts 2:28

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
~ James 1:17

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
~ Psalm 37:4

Dear Jesus

Dear Jesus, I so long to walk in the way of Peace, and I believe that You are the only Way.

I ask that Your Light may shine upon me more and more. I continually need the Light of Your Presence, because I live in a cold, dark world. I desire Your radiant Presence not only for warmth but also for guidance. Please lead me along the path of Peace.

Beloved, My Presence radiates Light that helps you find the way of Peace. My Word enlightens your mind and heart, empowering you to stay on the right path. As you read Scripture, look for a star of guidance. Ask My Spirit to illumine those words to your seeking heart. They are words of Life!

Remember that I am your Shepherd. To walk in the way of Peace, you must follow Me wholeheartedly. If you drift even slightly from following My lead, you are at risk. For a while you will still be able to see Me, as you go your own way “just a bit.” Eventually, however, you will lose sight of Me altogether. Veering even a few degrees off course will ultimately take you far from Me. With your feet no longer on the path of Peace, you will find yourself becoming increasingly anxious. The most important thing at this point is to realize you have lost your way. If you are humble enough, you can call out to Me for help. I am near to all who call on Me. I will hear your cry and save you, leading you back to the way of Peace.

A Light from on high will dawn upon us and visit [us] to shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide our feet in a straight line into the way of peace.
~ Luke 1:78–79

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
~ John 14:6

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
~ Psalm 119:105

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
~ Psalm 145:18–19

Dear Jesus

Rather than planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking Me continually. This is a paradigm shift that will revolutionize your life.

Dear Jesus,

You certainly know me well! When my mind is idle, it veers toward planning and evaluating. I seem to be addicted to planning. I think it’s a way I try to feel more peaceful, but it actually has the opposite effect: increasing anxiety. Evaluating also seems to be second nature to me—as if it’s my responsibility to pass judgment on everything and everyone. Please help me break free of these harmful tendencies.

Beloved, an effective way of dealing with addictions is to substitute good responses for the harmful behavior. When you find yourself flitting down your well-worn path of planning, stop and affirm your trust in Me. It can be as simple as saying, “I trust You, Jesus, to help me with this.” Remember that I will be with you at that future time, helping you make decisions when needed. So, you can substitute affirmations of trust for compulsive planning. As you do so, your anxiety level will drop dramatically.

Your sense of responsibility to make judgments about everything is both hurtful and distorted. This attitude easily deteriorates into criticizing and complaining. Though you may not realize it, much of this negativity is ultimately directed at Me—the One who is sovereign over all things. Thankful words are the best replacements for your criticisms and complaints. There are always so many things you can thank Me for, especially My provision of eternal Life. As you practice trusting and thanking Me, the quality of your life will improve immensely. Changing your thought patterns requires time and mental discipline. However, the results are well worth the effort: Your thankful, trusting attitude will bring good pleasure to Me and abundant blessing to you.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

[1 Peter 5:6–7]

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

[Psalm 29:11]

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

[Matthew 7:1]