“You’ll either be closer to Jesus and love him more by the end of the year, or further away from Jesus and love him less”. This is a statement I heard from one of the pastors at the church my family and I have been visiting/attending for a little over a year and a half, the first Sunday of January.

That statement whispers to my heart often. “I’ll love him more, or love him less by December 31st”. How is that possible you ask? Don’t we just love Jesus? Well when you think of it there is honestly no middle ground. Either you’re drawing closer to Jesus or further away from him.

I have been reading through the book of John. That same church I’ve been attending is in a series called, “Who is Jesus”. It’s a 10 week in depth study on John chapter one, verses 1-18. The lead pastor asked for us to read through the whole book, so at my own pace, that’s what I’ve been doing.

I’m currently in chapter 11. One of the many things I’ve observed from reading through the book of John is peoples response to Jesus Christ. Some believe He is the promised Messiah and are drawn to Jesus, and others don’t believe and want to stone him.

As we prepare to celebrate Holy Week and Good Friday, and then the resurrection of Christ, where are you? Where do you stand with Jesus? There is no judgment or condemnation in this line of questioning, I just want you to reflect.

In my own relationship with the Savior, I’ve noticed how easy it is to let the cares of life make my relationship with Jesus stale. But not this year. It’s different, why ask? I’ve been striving to seek Him and His kingdom first.

Reading through the gospel of John has my love and adoration for Christ deepening. One of the words that I’m seeing in these chapters is, Lifter. It’s not necessarily in the text, but you can see it.

Jesus lifts disease for some; He lifts the weight of sin and separation for others, and lifts even the sting of death for one, Lazarus (we’ll talk more about him next week.) The book of John is all about Jesus and his diety. The fact that God the Son draws near to us by becoming flesh (John 1:1-3, & 14), and proving that the same “Lifter” in Psalm 3, is here now with them, and with us!

Our love for The Lifter is dependent on our perspective about Him, which is shaped by what we know about Him, which is found by spending time with Him.

I’ll leave you with the same statement I began with and a question: At the end of 2022 you’ll either be more in love with Christ, or less in love with Christ…. What do you want?

~Nate’s Good Thing, Brandy