My choice of the word “accessible” over “easy” was intentional. Connecting with Jesus is accessible to all of us. But if I were to say “easy” too many would misunderstand this to mean “fast”. I don’t offer you 10 “fast” ways to connect with Jesus. But I do believe they are accessible ways.
Bless his name
Call out praise to him. Easter depicts the climactic salvation of our God. There is no more appropriate response than to bless, or exclaim, or praise, his name.
Psalm 100 beckons us to: 1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 5 For the Lord is good;his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Dwell with him
“Dang, I’m so busy right now.” Who has time for dwelling with God? It’s so time consuming and unproductive. Right?
When I state it in such frank terms, it’s easy to deny we would ever hold time/productivity over and against God. But, practically speaking, isn’t that (at times, not always) what we state by our perpetual busyness?
Dwell with him. “Even if I made time, what would I do?”
Hey, thanks for asking.
Read the accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection
Jesus died. No two words have greater significance. Yet how casually (carelessly?) we can invoke them in order to dabble with sin. They become our means of prescribed healing before we’ve even tasted sin’s deceitfulness. How special his death is. No matter how many times we’ve celebrated Good Friday, may we pray our hearts are gripped by the one who was forsaken so that we might be forgiven.
He is risen! They are the three words upon which the entire Christian faith hangs. For “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” But “in fact Christ has been raised from the dead!” So shall come to pass the saying: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Listen to him
God’s Word is amazing. It is a treasure map with X’s that mark-the-spot on every page. And those X’s are Christ, from every page, in all of his works of salvation.
Some of you are well acquainted with it. You’ve seen these X’s before. So don’t read it this Easter to be informed of something new. Read it so that God himself can form something new in you.
Listen for him
This is a spiritual exercise that few try and fewer persevere in. It is the ritual of being still and silent before the Lord. Have you ever sat in silence, quieting your soul like a little boy named Samuel? 1 Samuel 3:8-10
“Oh, there it is. I knew I could find an INaccessible option on his list.” Hear me out.
Have I done this? Yes. Does it always (ever?) yield an audible response by God? No. Have I felt foolish at times for sitting in silence where nothing appears to happen? Yep.
But I can also recount times of feeling God’s presence. I could call this God “speaking ‘peace’ to my soul.” I could call it experiencing him. I could call it being filled with his Spirit. Regardless, we have a Father that delights in connecting and communicating with us, through his Word and by his Spirit.
Honestly, this is where I’m being undone right now. When God’s words and ways conflict with my own view of seeing the world, will I trust him? Even when it doesn’t make obvious sense to me, will I follow in God’s paths? In other words, will I live by faith and not by sight.
Last week I was reading in 1 Samuel. Saul had been given instructions by God. They came through Samuel’s mouth. But Samuel had made it clear Saul needed to listen to these “words of the Lord.” Saul had completed God’s decrees. Mostly.
Through the Lord, Saul’s disobedience was revealed to Samuel. In his rebuke of Saul’s disobedience, he asked, “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord?”
Saul rationalized his sin by pointing to his works of faithfulness.
Then Samuel said this, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen [better than] the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination.”
I’ve been thinking about that last line all week. When I rebel it is commensurate to divination. Wow.
To be clear, I don’t obey God in order to earn his love. Easter reminds me that I’m already supremely loved by God. Rather I hope to trust and obey because I already have God’s love.
Attend a Good Friday and Easter Sunday service
Each of the previous examples could be done in isolation. So connect this week with others, whether through a small group or Easter service. Something special happens when Christ followers come together with the intent of remembering his death.
For me, Good Friday is one of the most emotional and impactful services of the year. And it’s because I am with brothers and sisters in Christ.
May the crazy love of Jesus Christ connect with you again this Easter holiday, or for the first time!
- Did any of these 7 ways of connecting with Jesus resonate with you?
- What accessible ways, though not always easy or fast, would you encourage people to connect with Jesus this Easter?