How do you develop a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ? This question has been in my mind for the past few months now, and I have struggled with answering it. It’s a different question from “How do I develop a relationship with God?”…and I know at least an answer for that: Pray to God, and then listen to what He tells you by way of the Holy Ghost. That much I’ve done…and I know how it works.
But this new question has me really thinking hard…especially about my own relationship with Him. I don’t want to see Christ as just “Creator” or “a God” or “a Savior”. I want to see him as “my Brother”, the one who suffered for me, died for me, helped me through my trials, and taught me how to live. I want that more personal relationship with him.
So, as I pondered this, and prayed about it this morning…these are the words that came to my mind, and I couldn’t shake them off all day…so I wrote them down to share with you:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
– If you want to talk to me, talk to someone who is lonely or neglected.
– If you want to embrace me, embrace one who is low in morale.
– If you want to praise me, praise one who hungers for your attention
– If you want to have me as your companion, have the abandoned one as your companion
– If you want to emulate me, see the good in a servant…and emulate them.
– If you want to come to me, visit someone who needs your presence.
– If you want to love me, love someone in need of mercy…
The homeless. Lonely. Downtrodden. Sick. Tired. Poor. Sad, frustrated, scared. Yes, these people are “the least among you”. They are broken. They are lowly. They are humble. They don’t expect anything in return. In fact, some of them have given up so much that they don’t even expect anything at all. They don’t seek for much anymore. They have suffered through much. They have seen abuse, been mistreated, misjudged, misunderstood, broken. They are despised, neglected, forgotten, rejected, demeaned, debased, accused, alone.
Did you want to learn how to be more loving? Did you want to be more humble? More grateful? More compassionate? More considerate? Serve…without self-gratification? To reach out with faith? To become more selfless? To be filled with hope? Did you want me to teach you all of these things?
I will…through them.
Those who are truly lowly and truly one of the least…will be truly grateful when you notice them. They will teach you compassion…because you must be compassionate to them. They will teach you how to truly love…for you must truly love them. They will show you sincerity…because they can tell when you are. You will see truth in their eyes…and also in your heart. When your heart becomes filled with compassion, you will naturally want to reach out to them. You will realize just how greatly you have been blessed…and, if you are truly seeking me, you will be humbled because of your abundance. Then, you will seek to share what you have…because you want to. You will help someone in need…because you want to. You will learn to be like me as you interact with them. If you really want to find me, you will…through them.
Emmanuel means “God with us”. Do you truly want me among you? Because…I am among you already. The poor are among you. The “least of these” are among you. I am “the poor”. And I am with them…for they need me, too. Remember how I said that “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” While that may mean that he that wishes to be great among you must be a servant, it may also mean that He that is Great among you…are they that are least among you…even your servants.
Do not search for me among those the world considers “the great and powerful” among you. Your Savior will not be found in your governments, your seats of power, your rulers and kings and influential men. I will not be among the “great ones” of your world.
Your world despises me. Your world sees me as nothing. Your world tramples on me. Your world hates me. Your world considers me as insignificant. And so, I have chosen to be found among those who are regarded the same way. If you want to find me, you’ll find me among those who are suffering, who are experiencing difficulty, who are troubled and in pain. They are my companions, and I am already among them.
Come and find us…and you’ll find Me.
Reach out in faith. Reach out in love. Reach out, and give of yourself. Reach out willingly. Reach out…and let my teachings soak into your heart. Let compassion be drawn out of your heart. Let your faith be drawn out. Let your love be drawn out. Begin to be humble, and begin to trust Me. Let my love fill your heart as you reach out to the lowliest among you.
If you have done it to one of the least of these, you’ve done it to me. And when the “least of these” people embrace you in gratitude and pure love, when the downtrodden grasp your hand and smile, when the lonely find strength from your presence, when hope sparkles in the eyes of the despaired from your words of comfort, when the neglected are now included within your embrace…it is I, even Jesus Christ, whom you sought, who now thanks you. You have made them whole, and I…through them…have made you whole.
You’ve found me…
Please…come and visit with me again…and I will show you even greater things that your world will never understand…
I know you.
You will find me.