The Personal Jesus
This is from the book Too Busy NOT to pray by Bill Hybels.
In college I met a lecturer who amazed me. He would sometimes talk about his relationship with Jesus Christ as through he had just had lunch with Him. He seemed able to relate to Jesus as to a friend or brother, having relaxed conversations with Him.
I couldn’t understand that type of relationship with the ‘immortal, invisible, God only wise, in the light inaccessible hid from our eyes’ – but I wanted it. And so I started hanging around the lecturer after class until one day I got up the courage to ask, “How do you seem to know Christ in a way that I don’t ?”
His answer click in my mind: “Maybe you understand Jesus only as the forgiver of your sins.”
He was right. A few years earlier I had admitted my sinfulness and recognised my need for a Saviour. I had bowed the knee to Christ, and He had cleansed me. Grateful for His grace in my life, I had been praying, “O Lord, thank you for dying on the cross to forgive my sins.”
Besides relating to Jesus as forgiver, I also related to Him as Lord of my life. But I didn’t yet understand the whole dimension of relating to Him as He asked us to in John 15:15: ‘I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.’
“If Jesus were to explain this verse to you personally,” the lecturer ‘told me, “this is what He might say: I want to relate to you as your forgiver and Lord, but I also want to be your friend. I want our conversations to bring you comfort. I’d like our dialogues to have some give and take. I’d like you to think about me during your day. I want you to know you’re never alone, to feel that wherever you go and whatever you do, there’s a companion by your side. I want you to discover my presence in you daily life.’”