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Summary: Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with a loving God who desires an intimate relationship with us.

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DURING THE 17TH CENTURY, OLIVER CROMWELL, LORD PROTECTOR OF ENGLAND, SENTENCED A SOLDIER TO BE PUT TO DEATH FOR HIS CRIMES. THE EXECUTION WAS TO TAKE PLACE AT THE RINGING OF THE EVENING CURFEW BELL.

HOWEVER, THE BELL DID NOT SOUND. THE SOLDIER’S FIANCÉ HAD CLIMBED INTO THE BELFRY AND CLUNG TO THE GREAT CLAPPER OF THE BELL TO PREVENT IT FROM STRIKING.

WHEN SHE WAS SUMMONED BY CROMWELL TO ACCOUNT FOR HER ACTIONS, SHE WEPT AS SHE SHOWED HIM HER BRUISED AND BLEEDING HANDS. CROMWELL’S HEART WAS TOUCHED AND HE WAS HEARD TO PROCLAIM, "YOUR LOVER SHALL LIVE BECAUSE OF YOUR SACRIFICE. CURFEW SHALL NOT RING TONIGHT!"

I THINK IT IS SAFE TO SAY THAT EVERYONE ABSOLUTELY ADORES A PASSIONATE AND GALLANT STORYLINE IN A LOVE STORY. ACCORDING TO “AMAZON.COM,” ROMANCE NOVELS ACCOUNT FOR 53% OF ALL MASS MARKET PAPERBACK BOOKS SOLD IN THE U.S. REACHING OVER ONE-BILLION DOLLARS IN ANNUAL SALES.

THE INTERESTING THING I FIND ABOUT ALL OF THESE STORIES AND THEIR ADVENTURES IS THAT ALL OF THEM ARE FICTION. YET, THE LURE OF THESE IMAGINARY TALES OF WHIRLWIND AFFECTION STILL MANAGE TO TOUCH MANY PEOPLES HEARTS.

IF WHAT IS IMAGINARY AND FICTION CAN PULL THE STRINGS OF OUR HEARTS AND UNFASTEN THE DOORS OF OUR IMAGINATION, WHAT MORE CAN ENFLAME OUR HEARTS AND BROADEN OUR LIVES OTHER THAN LIVING A REAL LOVE STORY OF HAVING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER?

I HOPE THAT ALL OF US ARE SEEKING A DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LIVE OUR CHRISTIAN LIFE “RELIGIOUSLY” INSTEAD OF“RELATIONALLY.”

WE SHOULD THIRST FOR GOD. WE SHOULD BE CRAVING TO HAVE A VIBRANT, GROWING, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. CRAVING INTIMACY WITH GOD IS SYNONOMOUS WITH WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CHRISTIAN.

LISTEN TO THE WORDS OF DAVID, IN PSALM 27:4, “ONE THING I HAVE DESIRED OF THE LORD, THAT WILL I SEEK: THAT I MAY DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, TO BEHOLD THE BEAUTY OF THE LORD, AND TO INQUIRE IN HIS TEMPLE.”

I HONESTLY DO NOT THINK YOU CAN BE TRULY HAPPY AND FILLED WITH JOY IF ALL YOU HAVE IS SUPERFICIAL SPIRITUALITY. WE MUST SEEK GOD MORE AND MORE. PSALM 42:1, “AS THE DEER PANTS FOR THE WATER BROOKS, SO PANTS MY SOUL FOR YOU, O GOD.”

THIS IS THE JOY OF BEING A CHRISTIAN IS DISCOVERING A LOVING, PERSONAL AND INTIMATE GOD WHO WANTS MORE THAN ANYTHING TO HAVE SUCH A RELATIONSHIP WITH US.

GOD GOES FAR AND ABOVE THE “NORM” TO INITIATE THIS INTIMATE CONNECTION WITH US. JUST CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF: WHEN ADAM AND EVE SINNED IT WAS GOD WHO PURSUED AFTER THEM TO RESTORE THE LOST RELATIONSHIP (GENESIS 3:8-9).

GOD CAME TO NOAH (GENESIS 6:11-13). GOD CAME TO ABRAHAM (GENESIS 12:1-3). GOD CAME TO EACH OF THE PROPHETS (1 SAMUEL 3:1-11). GOD CAME THROUGH HIS SON JESUS TO THE TWO MEN ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS (LUKE 24:13-27). THROUGH JESUS, GOD CAME TO SAUL ON THE DAMASCUS ROAD (ACTS 9:1-6).

OUR LOVING FATHER HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE INITIATOR. JUST AS HE CAME TO SINFUL PEOPLE IN THE PERSON OF HIS SON, JESUS, TO REDEEM US, HE NOW COMES TO SAVED PEOPLE IN THE PERSON OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT, TO INDWELL US AND FILL US WITH INTIMACY.


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