This past week I've been drawn to Matthew chapter 6 every day, reading and re-reading the life giving, life changing, words of Jesus...drawing them in deep within my soul, praying over them, studying the concordance for the deeper meanings behind those perfect words in red.
I'm a Gospels girl, from the very beginning of my walk with Jesus in 1991 the words in red held my attention more than any other, captured my heart and slowly, gently, eased me further and further from the old me, drawing me closer to becoming the woman He knows I can be, the Jennifer He created me to be. I've read them more times than I can remember and always come away enriched and changed for the better.
These past few months I've been reading through the Gospels again, retracing His steps and retracing my own, looking for what I've missed before because I know the treasures within His Word are many, so many I shall never uncover them all.
His treasures are not hard to find but they do require time with Him to uncover them. They are always close to the surface and once brought to light it's not until you truly study them you realise there is a wealth of life and truth and love within each treasure, freely offered to an open and receptive heart.
So what is it about those words in red that draws me in so often?
Honesty, integrity, forgiveness, compassion, grace, kindness, care, provision, love, peace, direction, healing, acceptance and hope.
Christ gives me all I need, no matter what the day holds, regardless of my lot in life or how I'm feeling, no matter if someone has hurt or offended me, or whether I'm sick, hungry, confused or exhausted.
Strolling slowly through each Gospel I imagine myself among the crowd, watching His gentle hands heal the sick and the tormented, drawing close little children to bless them. I listen to His voice as He ministers to every need, corrects and breaks the bondage of false teaching and offers God's truth to bring life, acceptance, forgiveness and love to the forsaken, downtrodden and unlovable.
I'm savouring Jesus' example, sometimes pondering and praying over just a few verses for many days because the lesson He teaches is one I have not fully taken on previously, or perhaps not wanted to.
But I'm not worried about my lack, I'm not concerned about the lessons missed in the past and no longer beat up on myself for not 'getting it right' the first (or fifth) time.
Instead, I'm filled with peace, overflowing with gratitude that Jesus has me on this journey with Him, and just as our dear Blossom will day by day teach little Cully and Rafaella to be respectful, kind, obedient and loving, He will day by day refine the woman in me to grow more and more into His likeness until I meet Him face to face.
We are valuable to Jesus, YOU are valuable to Jesus.
If your worries are clouding life and robbing your joy open the Gospels today, sink into the arms of Jesus and let the words in red fill you with hope, with love, with life.
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19
Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Jesus never puts distance between us and Him...it is we who distance ourselves from Him.
What do you need today?
Christ fills every need.
Turn around, walk towards Him...no, run to Him.
Jesus' arms are wide open and waiting for you, beloved.
Note: for those who are wondering what the 'words in red' are - in many Bibles the actual words Jesus spoke are displayed in red.