I just had my first conversation with a friend that has a friend that died from Covid-19.
One degree of separation.
Darrell is a true friend and brother. He stands 6’7″ tall and towers over every room I’ve ever been in with him. He can hit a golf ball a country mile. He beats me every time we play. That pains me to admit on the internet. But it’s true. More than anything, though, I see Jesus in Darrell.
His eyes radiate the love of Jesus.
Darrell and I talked for thirty minutes today. He pastors a great church in West Charlotte and he is exposed to some of the most pressing needs in our city. He told me the story of a family of eleven that could not re-apply for food stamps this week because of some hiccup in the government during this crisis.
They were literally without food. Think about that. We worked together to find a solution for that family, and others in his neighborhood, that simply need food right now.
We prayed together for a while. Darrell prayed as if he knew Jesus as a friend. He was comfortable and confident approaching Jesus in prayer because he knows Jesus as his friend.
That got me thinking about you.
We don’t have to agree on matters of faith to be friends.
I have lived by this mantra for the past twelve years. I have so many friends that believe differently than I do. My world is better and more full because of my friends.
I believe that everyone is on a journey of faith. It may look different for every person, but I believe that the pursuit of truth and finding relationship with our Creator is hard wired into every one of us. This belief drives me. It encourages me. It motivates me to share a genuine faith that changed my life.
While I deeply believe that we don’t have to agree on matters of faith to be friends, here’s a confession for every person I’ve ever met that is exploring matters of faith: I want you to know Jesus.
When I heard Darrell pray today, I heard a man that was comfortable going to God in prayer. It was just like a real conversation between friends. And that made me think of you.
Who are you going to when you’re ravaged with anxiety these days?
Who is bringing peace to you in the midst of uncertainty?
Who loves you, no matter your past and no matter your doubts?
Darrell is going to Jesus because Jesus has been real to him. I so desperately want Jesus to be real to you, as well.
The most simple answer I can give is that he changed my life, personally. I have walked through seasons of life that were heart wrenching. I have doubted my faith. I have doubted that there was a God that actually listened to me when I prayed. I have wrestled with the creation story and how all of this came together.
In all of those endeavors of searching for truth, nothing satisfied me. Nothing brought peace to my heart. The more I learned, the more I became confused and unsettled. But Jesus brought me peace. An inward reality of safety and security. In short; satisfaction.
Do I still have questions? Yes.
Do I understand everything? No.
But my soul is satisfied in Jesus.
I want you to know Jesus because I want your soul to finally be satisfied. I want you to know Jesus because I have experienced the reality of relationship with him and I want that for you. I want you to know Jesus because he has given me peace in spite of the volatile circumstances of life more times than I can count.
I want you to know Jesus because I actually believe that he died for my sins and yours. I have been forgiven for my shortcomings. In return for the ashes of my life, I have been given a relationship with my Creator through Jesus.
To be completely honest, I want you to know Jesus because I love you.
My greatest expression of love to you would be to continue to point you to the person that changed my life, forgave my sins and set me on a path that is full of purpose and passion.
Jesus gave us a pretty simple word picture of what it means to give your heart to Jesus.
**Revelation 3:20 – “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door,
I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”
There is nothing more meaningful, beautiful or satisfying than my relationship with Jesus. There’s a ton of questions that will follow and there’s a bunch of us that can help you navigate those questions. But please don’t overcomplicate the first step: you have to open the door of your heart.
We don’t have to agree on matters of faith to be friends.
I believe that deeply. It just so happens, though, that I believe in the work of Jesus in my life so much that I want to share this joy and reality with you. Satisfaction is real. My soul has felt and enjoyed that reality. This satisfaction of peace and oneness with our Creator is available to you.
Maybe today is your day? All you have to do is reach for the door handle of your heart. When you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that he is Lord, you are forgiven and set free. You are saved. (Romans 10:9)
Why do I want you to give your heart to Jesus? The answer is painfully simple: I actually believe this stuff. I believe that Jesus loves you and cares for you and deeply longs for relationship with you. I believe that he brings satisfaction to my life and yours.
He’s knocking today. The choice is yours.
I’m praying for you to have the courage,
strength and faith to open the door.
Maybe you come from a family that represented Jesus as harsh. I get that. We have experienced that in the Docusen family, as well. I want you to know that anything that harmed you or pushed you away was not Jesus. People are imperfect, and they can associate some pretty terrible actions and behaviors to their faith. A person’s misrepresentation of Jesus does not change the beauty of Jesus.
Don’t let their misrepresentation keep you from a genuine relationship with Jesus.
The Jesus I know loved me so much that he willingly died for me.
The Jesus I know accepts me, even now, in the midst of doubt and hypocrisy.
The Jesus I know shines in the midst of all darkness.
I love the Jesus I know. He knows me and he still loves me.
To be completely honest, I want you to know (and love) the Jesus I know, too.