Jesus Christ is actively pursuing a relationship with you and it's your decision whether or not you let Him run your life.
I know that's a bold statement but I absolutely believe it to be true. We may ignore Him or run from Him or even flat out reject Him, but nevertheless He is constantly orchestrating circumstances in our lives to draw us into a relationship with Him. I write this knowing that the majority of you will most likely fall into one of the 3 categories I just mentioned, but it does not mean that Jesus still isn't pursuing you. When I look back at my life it is amazing how many times the Lord did things to get my attention and it's sad how often I ignored Him. Let me tell you what I mean by telling you a story.
Every Sunday some friends and I lead a chapel at a juvenile detention center here in Tampa. The teens at the center are truly amazing and some of their stories will break your heart. The teens range in age from 13-17 and come from every imaginable background. Each Sunday we have a little over an hour to hang out, play cards, shoot the breeze and tell them about Jesus. It is a wonderful opportunity to mentor a group of teenagers most of which have been raised in single parent homes and quite often are lacking strong parental influence.
There's no question I could spend all day telling you how God is using the circumstances in the lives of these teens to reach out to them, but I'll save you some time and just tell you about a kid named Mike. I met Mike on a Sunday at the center about 6 months ago and even though I haven't seen him since I'm pretty sure I'll never forget him. Our group had been there about an hour and a half and the entire time Mike hadn't said a word. He just sat there with his arms folded looking confused and a little angry. But then at the end he raised his hand and told us he had something to say, and so he did. I put what he told us below because I think it explains exactly what I'm trying to say...
It's really weird to me that you guys are here and I have to admit I don't even really understand it but I want to say something about it. About 6 months ago I was running late for school because I missed my school bus. I knew if I was late again I would be suspended so I went to the city bus stop to get a ride. For some reason the whole time I was walking to the city bus stop I had this thought that kept going through my mind where I was wondering if anyone loved me? I stood at the bus stop for 5 minutes and just kept thinking "I wonder if anyone loves me?" To be honest with you I ain't never thought anything like that before in my entire life and I don't even know why I was thinking it but I couldn't get it out of my mind. At this point I was getting kind of mad so when the bus came I got on and took the first spot I came to and just stared forward wondering if anyone loved me?
Then like 5 minutes later the bus stopped to pick up an old lady that I had never seen before. She got on and walked down the isle and as she passed me she handed me a note and kept on walking. It was really weird but I opened it and it said "Jesus Loves You". That was it...nothing else. I immediately started tearing up and I couldn't hold them back. I play football and I ain't never cried before so I was embarrassed and didn't know what to do so I just pushed it out of my mind and pretended it never happened.
Then like 3 months ago I was walking to go get high with some of my friends and this car pulled up next to me and some guy ask me if I wanted to go to church. I ain't never seen him before so I kind of hesitated, but he asked me again. I figured it couldn't be that bad it was church so I got in the car and we went to this man's church. That was my first time in church but I remember the preacher saying some words from a book called Psalms. I still remember the words to this day but I really didn't know what to do about it so I just left the church and once again kind of pushed it out of my head.
Every now and then I would think about it but to be honest I didn't really think about it that much until last night. Yesterday I got arrested and brought here and I didn't know what else to do. So last night I was laying on a cot in that room right over there and for the first time that I can remember I prayed and asked God to help me. I told Him that people ask God for help and I needed help, but I didn't understand what he wanted me to do? Then I fell asleep and woke up figuring nothing would change. I guess I was wrong because not even one day has passed and now you guys are hear telling me how Jesus has helped you and how He has changed your lives.
To be honest with you, Mike's story is pretty common. I could spend the next week writing stories about people who have been helped by the love of Jesus Christ. There are some many people out there just like Mike and unfortunately most of us wait until we are in a dire situation to call out and ask God for help.
There's a verse in Revelation chapter 3 that says:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.
I've heard this verse explained 100 different ways but Mike is a perfect example of how it looks in someones life. Even though you may not fully understand what it means, Jesus is actively seeking a personal relationship with you. That verse is an awesome picture of Jesus standing at the door to your heart and asking to come in. For the longest time in my own life I knew He was there, but I ignored the fact that He wanted me to live my life in harmony with His word. At the end of the day, God may not be speaking to you exactly like He did Mike, but I can assure you that in some way shape or form God He is orchestrating circumstances in your life to get your attention.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.