“Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!”
Do I seriously want Jesus to see the darkness inside of me? Do I want Him revealing my darkness to me? Very often, in the Bible when men and women have been faced with Jesus, their reaction has been utter shame at their sinfulness. When the prophet Isaiah came into His presence his reaction was recorded in Isaiah 6:4-5.
“And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
But The Lord doesn’t only convict us of our sin, He makes us aware of it so we can repent. He forgives us and He makes us new. He loves us too much to leave us helpless and dead in our sin. He made a way, He is The Way. He makes us so new, Jesus compared it to being reborn in His conversation with Nicodemus. (John 3:1-21).
1 Peter 1:3-5 says it like this,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
So yes I think a letter from Jesus would be good. He doesn’t want us staying the same as we were when He saved us. He wants us changing to be more and more like Him. We all struggle with our flesh and we strive to meet the goal of the image of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit transforms us. Every Christian still deals with that struggle, even Paul dealt with it. (Romans 7:13-25). But don’t forget, there is hope. Jesus came and conquered sin and death. The Holy Spirit is with is and He is changing us. Romans 8:1-5 says,
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”
This walk is active and we are involved participants, not passive observers. Yes, I would like a letter from Jesus. Of course, I have letters from Jesus. I have time with Him where he speaks directly to me. He fills the Bible with His Word. I am surrounded by my brothers and sisters in Christ who are filled with The Holy Spirit.
Jesus told us to pray in private, to spend time alone with God. Matthew 6:5-8 says,
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
The Bible is God’s letter to us, God’s Word to us. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 says,
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Of course Scripture speaks to us, not only in our private time with the Lord but also through our time with one another. We love another and we are commended to speak to one another, lift another up, and build one another up, and even judge one another with God’s Word with our gifts and the Bible through the Holy Spirit. Colossians 3:12-17 says it this way,
“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
We can’t simply hear what Jesus says and say, “Good, now I know.” According to the children’s PSAs of my youth and G.I. Joe, knowing is only half the battle. James 1:22-27 says,
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Let’s read some of what He wrote to the church in Revelation. He had letters for seven specific and real churches in Asia. But those letters reflect much of Christendom and I know for me, I can see myself reflected in them. So tomorrow, let’s read the letters Jesus wrote to us in Revelation 2 and 3.