When you study the Bible, knowing the Lord is with you, you will be amazed at how God’s Word comes alive. It is how I read the Word. I don’t study it just to prepare for segments of My Thoughts or to preach on Sunday, when necessary. I come to the Word to drink of the living waters from Jesus.
These times, I feel Jesus is by my side, teaching me, and speaking to my heart. I can tell you that we have the best conversations during these times, and I always come away feeling refreshed and energized.
Exodus 15:25 says, “So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them,”
Spending Time with Jesus
Reading God’s Word has become a great personal time of intimacy between Jesus and me. I get completely lost and absorbed in His presence until I lose track of time. I can’t tell you the number of times when I looked up at the clock and realized that it was either time to go work out, get ready for my secular job, or do some work around the home.
It is like when you are enjoying a steaming cup of coffee or bowling with friends that you love. You are having so much fun, laughing, and sharing, that time just seems to disappear. Well, you can enjoy Jesus’ presence in the same way!
Once you are conscious that Jesus is with you, reading the Bible no longer feels like a chore or duty. You won’t catch yourself watching the clock and feeling as though an eternity has passed even though only five minutes have lapsed!
That is what a chore feels like. As if time is standing still and you can’t wait to get it over with. Bible study separates from His presence is a dead work. When it feels like catching up with your best friend, there never seems to be enough time!
Feel Jesus’ Presence in your Life
To see the Lord during everything you do and learn is to bring Him into the picture. He makes everything beautiful. When you look at your past, the scars of yesterday may still be throbbing in your memories.
Perhaps you were sexually abused as a child, or you were emotionally hurt by someone you trusted. As you look back now, you may still feel angry, frustrated, and disappointed, and the hurt still pierces your heart.
In the midst of your pain, I want to challenge you today to start involving Jesus. See and feel Him holding you, gently healing your wounds (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24). He is right there restoring you, putting courage into your heart, and taking away all the sense of shame and guilt. Restoring you to the person you really are in Christ Jesus. No condemnation in Jesus (Romans 8:1) only reconciliation, redemption, restoration, forgiveness, healing, love, joy, and peace.
Look to the Future, Forget the Past
That is what the Lord did for the children of Israel in Exodus 15:22-27. When they came to a place called Marah, they could not drink its waters because they were bitter. Moses cried out to the Lord and the Lord showed him a tree, which Moses cast into the waters. When he did that, the Bible says that “the waters were made sweet.” The tree represented forgiveness.
He wants you to know that your past will never determine your future and the plans He has for you. Once you involve Jesus and put Him into your bitter waters, He will turn the bitterness into forgiveness. Hand over your hurt to God and let Him handle it with His perfect justice. Step into freedom instead of being held in bondage of bitterness. Remember, it is your choice, bitter or better.
Why did the foul-tasting, undrinkable waters become refreshing and sweet? The answer lies in the tree that was cast in. The tree is also a picture of the cross on which Jesus hung on, bearing every broken heart, every sting of betrayal, and the forgiveness that lies at the cross.
When you bring Jesus into your situation, He can cause every bitter experience to become sweet! Talk to Him and allow His presence to restore you to wholeness today, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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