Thursday, November 12, 2015

God's amazing personal love

I must admit I feel uneasy talking about my "personal" relationship with God. Someone once told me, "John, you would never say when talking about your earthly father, 'I have a 'personal relationship' with my Dad". You'd just say, 'I have a relationship with my Dad'. So why would you need to add 'personal' when describing your relationship with Christ"?  Yes, I guess it is possible to fixate on the personal aspect of our relationship with God to such an extreme that it becomes selfish and possessive. And yet what separates Christianity from the rest of the world's religions is that Christians believe that God is involved intimately with every individual believer. As Galatians 2:20 says, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. This is what makes God so incredibly great, that our triune God, (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) has the power to answer individual prayers and work in the lives of every single believer to redeem, transform and glorify them.

I've experienced just how deep and personal God's love for me and others is during my walk with Christ over the years, I've encountered God's love in so many different ways, in every area of my life, all in ways very unique to me. When I needed comforting during a time of grief, He was the great comforter. Time and time again, when I needed strength to make a decision that required risk and courage, God provided inspiration and power.  When I needed words to say to comfort and encourage someone else, God gave me just what to articulate. When I needed to crawl up in His lap and be loved, I felt his presence through scripture, prayer and worship. His love runs deep, to meet our individual needs in every situation. And when a miracle is needed, yes God provides those too.

I remember a time when God provided miraculously during a mission trip to Mexico. Our mission team was working at an orphanage for special needs children run by a pastor in Piedras Negras. During a devotional time, I read a letter written by one of our missionaries overseas that shared how God seemed to always provide exactly what they needed at exactly the right time. I then talked to our team about the sacrifice that this pastor was making and how he had shared with us that this had been a very difficult time financially for his family and the orphanage.  I was about to pray that God would provide for the pastor when my cell phone rang.  I seldom received a signal in Mexico but somehow I had service at this time.  I didn't recognize the number so I thought I'd better take the call and I asked another member of our team to pray while I answered it.

The person on the other end of my phone introduced himself by saying, "you don't know me, but my wife went on one of those mission trips to Piedras Negras with you last year. She was so impressed with the pastor and the orphanage that we committed to giving money to the orphanage if we ever sold our business.  Well, we have just sold it and we want to send you a check for the pastor in Mexico." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I seldom received a phone call in Mexico and had never ever had someone call and say they wanted to provide for this orphanage. But here was a call answering a prayer at the exact time we were praying for it! 

When I returned to the team and told them, we were all totally amazed and in awe of God and spent the rest of the night praising Him.  God's love is so personal that He knows our every need and provides for us in our very unique ways at just the right time!

For more amazing stories about the miracles of God that I've experienced go to: Miracles on the Mission Field.

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