One of the challenges of a pastor is to try and get people to move beyond a Scriptural relationship with Jesus to a living encounter with their resurrected Lord. Christians are presented the “historical” Jesus, through the Gospels, and while this is essential to the foundation of our faith, we need to learn to experience Jesus as our living Lord that sits at the right hand of God, making intercession for His people. (Hebrews 7:25) Our conversation today is more about what He did, rather than what He is doing. Reading about the historical Jesus is essential to understanding the Grace of God. The Bible is the “text” book by which we learn the basics of our faith. To the Believer, it is a lifelong quest of pursuing God’s revealed truth. What is missing is that the same zeal that Believers have in reading God’s Word has failed to bring a desire to know who Jesus is today. Open communication with Jesus has been neglected due to more attention given to the historical Jesus. He wants to have a living relationship with the Believer. Christians may know Jesus as a Scriptural figure, but do they know Him as a living Savior. Many of the Believers' prayers are based on what Jesus did and said in the Gospels. Conversational prayer has not been promoted by pastors, and as a result, our prayer life has been limited. Many of our prayers are in the form of petitions, which summon His attention to our needs and “wants.” Conversational prayer is sharing our love for Him and hearing Him share His love for us.
Read the Word, study the Word, share the Word, and talk with the Living Word. There must never be a neglecting of the written Word; neither should we neglect the living Word. An active relationship with our Lord will bring the written Word into a greater perspective. The reading of the Gospels should be accompanied by actively communicating with Jesus. Have you ever thought of rereading an experience that Jesus had, only this time you involve yourself in the interaction with the living Jesus? For example: “Jesus, I wonder how You must have felt to have Satan challenge You to jump off from the pinnacle of the Temple? What it must have been like to have Satan quote Scripture to back up his challenge to You!” What I am trying to convey is that Christians need to tie our Living Lord to our Savior’s earthly endeavors. We need to convey to Jesus our understanding as if we were actually there, for in that way the Scriptures become more alive. Relating the living Jesus to the Scriptures brings a whole new appreciation to the Word of God.
Jesus responds to our words by speaking to our hearts. This is conveyed through the Holy Spirit, which in turn brings understanding to our minds. In “talking” to the Lord we must realize it is a two-way communication. Some of the greatest moments in my prayer life have been when I listen to the Lord. Let us actively read the Scriptures with the anticipation of having a running dialogue with our Lord.