Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Reflection - Intimacy with Christ - Divine 'Pen Pal'

Source (book): "Finding rest for the soul", Chapter Seven, Question 4, Page 120.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Is Jesus your divine 'pen pal'?
PHOTO: Is Jesus your divine "pen pal"?
As far as I can remember I do not have any pen pal. I have colleagues while working together for companies, who are also facebook's friends. After I am out of employment I also lost contact with them.

I have another source which I open my heart to. Especially matters regarding my situation, spiritual life, anxieties, aspirations, temptations, relationships, and opportunities. That source is Jesus Christ, and is through prayers. I have not yet met Him face to face but I do see many of His pictures in the Internet. I read about Him from the Bible which is the equivalent of His letters in Scripture form. That is one of His way to speak to us, and I learn that He has promised to hear us. I cannot see Him but we can still communicate, although not in the interactive way which I am used to.. I would consider Him as my divine "Pen Pal".

How has your knowledge of Him grown over the years?
As I do my biblical related reflections, I learn more about Him. At the moment I am reading the book "Finding Rest For The Soul" by Robert M. Solomon, and attempting to do the questions after each chapter. My progress is embarrassingly slow but significant amount of knowledge can be gained, especially when the contents are supported by quotations from the Bible. Many references are made to Jesus Christ and His disciples, Paul and Timothy. Included are also 50 meaningful quotes from other Christian writers, to further reinforce the points discussed.

I want to know Jesus more deeply and develop an increasingly intimate relationship with Him, which will make it easier for us to learn even more from Him.

What have you discovered about Him, His character, His concerns, His thoughts, and His will?
His character
During His ministry on earth, Jesus taught as no one else had done before. Those who heard Him saw the distinct difference - He taught "as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law" (Matthew 7:28-29). He taught people wonderful lessons for life. Using parables and simple language, He introduced them to deep truths about God and His relationship with human beings.

To learn from the divine Teacher, however, we first have to go to Him and remain in His presence. The person who wanders away from Christ and refuses to come under His authority leaves Jesus' classroom: he ceased to be a student and disciple.

His concerns
When Jesus invites us to "Come to Me", He also invites us to learn from Him. He wants to teach us eternal truths for daily living, to show us who God is, and to explain what is going on in our life and how God works in and through us. He wants us to be His disciple -  a person who learns. The Greek word for disciple, mathētēs, means learner - one who comes under the tutelage (guardianship) of a master.

His thoughts
One of His will was to fulfill His Father's will, therefore one of His thoughts would also be on salvation for mankind. Since at young age, Jesus was very clear about His purpose in life: to deal with the things of His Father. God's plan refers to His plan for humanity which is the salvation for mankind.

His will
Fulfilling His Father's will was His biggest priority:and central passion. He embraced only His Father's plan, which led to the cross. "I seek not to please myself but him who sent me," He publicly testified (John 5:30), "I always do what pleases him" (John 8:29). Throughout His life, Jesus displayed commitment to the Father that was wholehearted and consistent - right up to His death.

Jesus had come to seek out and save those who were lost. It must have filled Him with much joy to see sinners turn in repentance and faith to God.
Picture posted by Pins Daddy

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-g_w_orn5ZQ0/WzwpcsfsvSI/AAAAAAAAqkQ/ViOrDJIKM28I25LiwWv3nyINM-r9I6TmACLcBGAs/s1600/2-my-deliverer-jeanette-sthamann.jpg
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Is Jesus your divine "pen pal"? How has your knowledge of Him grown over the years? What have you discovered about Him, His character, His concerns, His thoughts, and His will?

A Divine "Pen Pal" [1]
Have you heard of pen pals? Pen pals are friends who live in different countries and who may never have met each other in person. As they exchange letters over the years, however, they get to know each other and the other person's country, neighbourhood, family, and life. They may not have met face to face, but they develop a pretty good idea of each other. And if their correspondence is deep, their knowledge of each other may even surpass their knowledge of people whom they see and meet regularly. Writing their letters enables them to communicate deeply, to disclose their thoughts and feelings, and to share their dreams.



Pen pals are friends who live in different countries and who may never have met each other in person.

PHOTO: Pen pals are friends who live in different countries and who may never have met each other in person. As they exchange letters over the years, however, they get to know each other and the other person's country, neighbourhood, family, and life. They may not have met face to face, but they develop a pretty good idea of each other.
Picture posted in Pinterest
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https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d4/53/83/d453833c8e7ba0cc1b98a8a29af61d38.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/9710955425439619/



The same principle can apply in our relationship with Christ. We cannot see Him, but we can hear Him through His Word. Through His letters of Scripture to us, we can learn to recognise the tone of His voice, His character, and His will. We can also speak to Him at any time; He has promised to hear us. Even though our heavenly Friend is invisible, we can communicate with Him and have an ongoing conversation with Him, just like we do with a pen pal. Then we will get to know Him more deeply and develop an increasingly intimate relationship with Him, which will make it easier for us to learn from Him. Without such closeness, the Teacher-student relationship cannot go very far. And finally, we will long for the day when we meet Jesus face to face.



Even though our heavenly Friend is invisible, we can communicate with Him and have an ongoing conversation with Him, just like we do with a pen pal.

PHOTO: Even though our heavenly Friend is invisible, we can communicate with Him and have an ongoing conversation with Him, just like we do with a pen pal.
Picture posted by Christian Life on 11 March 2015
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-y6RAbnXRoyA/Wzwpdccx3EI/AAAAAAAAqkk/ycBBZQ8t9XYTBnE6x8-BkcnsjJjeMOErACLcBGAs/s1600/blog_5passos2.jpg
http://cdn.fabianabertotti.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/blog_5passos2.jpg
http://fabianabertotti.com/5-dicas-para-melhorar-sua-vida-espiritual/



Is Jesus your divine "pen pal"?
As far as I can remember I do not have any pen pal. I have colleagues while working together for companies, who are also facebook's friends. After I am out of employment I also lost contact with them.

I have another source which I open my heart to. Especially matters regarding my situation, spiritual life, anxieties, aspirations, temptations, relationships, and opportunities. That source is Jesus Christ, and is through prayers. I have not yet met Him face to face but I do see many of His pictures in the Internet. I read about Him from the Bible which is the equivalent of His letters in Scripture form. That is one of His way to speak to us, and I learn that He has promised to hear us. I cannot see Him but we can still communicate, although not in the interactive way which I am used to.. I would consider Him as my divine "Pen Pal".



Is Jesus your divine 'pen pal'?

PHOTO: Is Jesus your divine "pen pal"?
I learn that He has promised to hear us. I cannot see Him but we can still communicate, although not in the interactive way which I am used to. I would consider Him as my divine "Pen Pal".
Picture posted by Dawn Smith Jordan, The Church of the Cross on 31 March 2017
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1kWi3xG60Zw/WzwpejMUjaI/AAAAAAAAqk4/TmNxXKNFBrkVT5gwIVimQggRwKDHeK9rQCLcBGAs/s1600/woman-in-field_18122453.jpg
http://s3.amazonaws.com/churchplantmedia-cms/the_church_of_the_cross/woman-in-field_18122453.jpg
http://www.thechurchofthecross.net/audio/page/14#series_261



How has your knowledge of Him grown over the years?
As I do my biblical related reflections, I learn more about Him. At the moment I am reading the book "Finding Rest For The Soul" by Robert M. Solomon, and attempting to do the questions after each chapter. My progress is embarrassingly slow but significant amount of knowledge can be gained, especially when the contents are supported by quotations from the Bible. Many references are made to Jesus Christ and His disciples, Paul and Timothy. Included are also 50 meaningful quotes from other Christian writers, to further reinforce the points discussed.



'Finding Rest For The Soul' by Robert M. Solomon

PHOTO: "Finding Rest For The Soul" by Robert M. Solomon
The contents are supported by quotations from the Bible. Many references are made to Jesus Christ and His disciples, Paul and Timothy. Included are also 50 meaningful quotes from other Christian writers, to further reinforce the points discussed.
Picture posted by Discovery House Distributors Sdn Bhd
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GFllM38zpiI/WzwpeBddHVI/AAAAAAAAqk0/Z7o1oRpa6HszGlHGXb4ByYlcsrEDprJfQCLcBGAs/s1600/findingrest.png
https://dhdmalaysia.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/f/i/findingrest.png
https://dhdmalaysia.com/finding-rest-for-the-soul.html



I want to know Jesus more deeply and develop an increasingly intimate relationship with Him, which will make it easier for us to learn even more from Him.


What have you discovered about Him, His character, His concerns, His thoughts, and His will?
His character [1]
During His ministry on earth, Jesus taught as no one else had done before. Those who heard Him saw the distinct difference - He taught "as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law" (Matthew 7:28-29). He taught people wonderful lessons for life. Using parables and simple language, He introduced them to deep truths about God and His relationship with human beings. Hundreds of people gathered around Him in concentric circles of followers - the 12 core disciples; another larger group of 72 disciples; many others who followed Him; and the crowds who thronged to hear Him (Matthew 10:1-4; Luke 10:1-2; John 6:2; Matthew 4:24-25).



During His ministry on earth, Jesus taught as no one else had done before.

PHOTO: During His ministry on earth, Jesus taught as no one else had done before. He taught people wonderful lessons for life. Using parables and simple language, He introduced them to deep truths about God and His relationship with human beings.
Picture posted by presentica.com
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5OJaAJnvovE/WzwpeFyjyYI/AAAAAAAAqks/0AsA3Tn6gWYz-ZyvhXTehmk4jOKBx5_2QCLcBGAs/s1600/jesus-the-parables-l.jpg
http://image.presentica.com/272211/jesus-the-parables-l.jpg
http://seafoodnet.info/?k=TEACHING+THROUGH+PARABLES++FOLLOWING+JESUS



There is something about Jesus that attracted people; He spoke in a way that touched hearts and souls. That is why Peter said to Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).

To learn from the divine Teacher, however, we first have to go to Him and remain in His presence. The person who wanders away from Christ and refuses to come under His authority leaves Jesus' classroom: he ceased to be a student and disciple.



There is something about Jesus that attracted people; He spoke in a way that touched hearts and souls.
PHOTO: There is something about Jesus that attracted people; He spoke in a way that touched hearts and souls. To learn from the divine Teacher, however, we first have to go to Him and remain in His presence. The person who wanders away from Christ and refuses to come under His authority leaves Jesus' classroom: he ceased to be a student and disciple.
Picture posted by Gary Boyd on Sunday, 12 November 2017
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gu7PvV5MA_M/WzwpdW9wvbI/AAAAAAAAqkg/4255EIvnIFsxaFi60WGi3qPLgnFQI0-uQCLcBGAs/s1600/Running%2Bto%2BJesus.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_LJmTkqKTGI/WgiPLHH25II/AAAAAAAABW4/gyHrDNkmRtA2Org-quUwzFCuy9JmOxeTACLcBGAs/s640/Running%2Bto%2BJesus.jpg
http://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-marriage-of-christ-to-his-true.html



His concerns [1]
When Jesus invites us to "Come to Me", He also invites us to learn from Him. He wants to teach us eternal truths for daily living, to show us who God is, and to explain what is going on in our life and how God works in and through us. He wants us to be His disciple -  a person who learns. The Greek word for disciple, mathētēs, means learner - one who comes under the tutelage (guardianship) of a master.


His concerns

PHOTO: His concerns
When Jesus invites us to "Come to Me", He also invites us to learn from Him. He wants to teach us eternal truths for daily living, to show us who God is, and to explain what is going on in our life and how God works in and through us. He wants us to be His disciple -  a person who learns.
Picture posted by TuckdDB Postcards
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-we3zFjrws9U/Wzwpcml3WPI/AAAAAAAAqkU/0SjsAVzCz8E-Y_-SUdksPCdNvSfnWn_QACLcBGAs/s1600/2011_04_27_11_22_49.jpg
https://images.tuckdb.org/postcards/images/000/078/124/original/2011_04_27_11_22_49.jpg
https://tuckdb.org/items/5420



His thoughts
One of His will was to fulfill His Father's will, therefore one of His thoughts would also be on salvation for mankind.

"Why were you looking for Me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?" (Luke 2:49}.

These are the first recorded Words of Jesus when He was only 12 years old. His parents were desperately searching for Him, thinking that He had gotten lost in the crowd in Jerusalem. Two days later, they found Him in the Temple, sitting among the religious leaders, listening to them and asking questions. Mary and Joseph rebuked Him, as any parent would in similar circumstances. And Jesus answered, surprised that they did not understand what He was doing. At such a young age, Jesus was very clear about His purpose in life: to deal with the things of His Father. God's plan refers to His plan for humanity which is the salvation for mankind. [3]

 

His thoughts
PHOTO: His thoughts
One of His will was to fulfill His Father's will, therefore one of His thoughts would also be on salvation for mankind.  At a young age (12 years old), Jesus was very clear about His purpose in life: to deal with the things of His Father. God's plan refers to His plan for humanity which is the salvation for mankind.
Picture posted by Haiku Deck, Waiting For The Word
on 18 November 2015
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bj32UX4pFqQ/WzwpcoY8maI/AAAAAAAAqkY/-FxckqdvLZUxA42kL6P42smZ2kh0unC8gCLcBGAs/s1600/5563066430_c1a2f95a0e_o.jpg
http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5267/5563066430_c1a2f95a0e_o.jpg
https://www.haikudeck.com/4-decades-of-rosary--education-presentation-C5OR053TTe



His will [2]
Fulfilling His Father's will was His biggest priority and central passion. He embraced only His Father's plan, which led to the cross. "I seek not to please myself but him who sent me," He publicly testified (
John 5:30), "I always do what pleases him" (John 8:29). Throughout His life, Jesus displayed commitment to the Father that was wholehearted and consistent - right up to His death.

Jesus had come to seek out and save those who were lost. It must have filled Him with much joy to see sinners turn in repentance and faith to God.



His will
PHOTO: His will
Fulfilling His Father's will was His biggest priority and central passion. He embraced only His Father's plan, which led to the cross.  Throughout His life, Jesus displayed commitment to the Father that was wholehearted and consistent - right up to His death.
Picture posted by  Paola Serra on Monday, 16 March 2015 at 16:33:00
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-tU9OLqIqjj0/WzwpebxFwDI/AAAAAAAAqkw/pJRpaHPrhBUVjYmsoKNej74QuLBxuI0nACLcBGAs/s1600/jesus_god.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-23B6K6d1vnk/UzsAG91XCII/AAAAAAAADx4/nQ8XWINWz9Y/s1600/jesus_god.jpg
http://paolaserra97.blogspot.com/2014/04/dal-vangelo-secondo-giovanni-gv-517-30.html

https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2018/04/reflection-submission-and-obedience_26.html
 

Dear Lord, please allow us to have Jesus as the source which we open our heart to. Especially matters regarding our situation, spiritual life, anxieties, aspirations, temptations, relationships, and opportunities. Let Jesus be our divine 'Pen Pal'.so that we can still communicate with Him although He is invisible to us; by speaking to us through the Scriptures, and we response through prayers. Then we can get to know Him more deeply and develop an increasingly intimate relationship with Him, which will make it easier for us to learn from Him.<br>We need help to go to Him and remain in His presence without drifting away. Help us to accept His invitation to 'Come to Me', and becoming His disciple learning from Him. Please help us to fulfil His will which is to fulfil your plan for humanity, and which among others, is the salvation for mankind.<br>Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray, amen!
PHOTO: "Dear Lord, please allow us to have Jesus as the source which we open our heart to. Especially matters regarding our situation, spiritual life, anxieties, aspirations, temptations, relationships, and opportunities. Let Jesus be our divine 'Pen Pal', so that we can still communicate with Him although He is invisible to us; by speaking to us through the Scriptures, and we response through prayers. Then we can get to know Him more deeply and develop an increasingly intimate relationship with Him, which will make it easier for us to learn from Him.
We need help to go to Him and remain in His presence without drifting away. Help us to accept His invitation to 'Come to Me', and becoming His disciple learning from Him. Please help us to fulfil His will which is to fulfil your plan for humanity, and which among others, is the salvation for mankind.
Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray, amen!
"
Picture posted by Alamy, taken on 13 May 2015
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https://c8.alamy.com/comp/F0TJTP/fairytale-fantasies-a-young-woman-teenage-girl-alone-by-herself-sitting-F0TJTP.jpg
https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-fairytale-fantasies-a-young-woman-teenage-girl-alone-by-herself-sitting-86593494.html


Reflection - Intimacy with Christ - Divine 'Pen Pal'
Question from source (book): "Finding rest for the soul", Chapter Seven, Question 4, Page 120.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference
[1] From "Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, Copyright © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-709-5, Part III: LEARN FROM ME, Chapter Seven "Learning from Jesus: Intimacy with Christ", Page 109, 119-120.

[2] From "Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, Copyright © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-709-5, Part II: Take My Yoke, Chapter Five "Christ's Yoke: Submission and Obedience Needed", Page 89-90.

[3] Renato Cardoso EN, Thought #1 – Your purpose in life, posted on 10 June 2014, https://blogs.universal.org/renatocardoso/en/2014/06/10/thought-1-your-purpose-in-life/

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