The Bishop of Chichester

is responsible for an amazing outline of Christian devotion.

He wrote, “May we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly and follow thee more nearly.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought?

To know Jesus more clearly implies a need of action on our part. Knowledge of Jesus has only one true source and that is from the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Bible, Old and New Testament is full of information about Jesus. Look at Eph. 1:17, 18: 3:19.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, May have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Time is needed so that we can cultivate a relationship.  We need to spend time in two way communication. Obedience is also needed, in fact obedience is a proper response to his love for us. Look at it this way. The more we are impressed by Jesus the less we will be impress by others.

To love Jesus more dearly means that we understand the depth of his love, the cause of his love and then we can love him more in return. Remember, 1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

We must learn to love Jesu in return. How do we do that? We do it in our thoughts, in our emotions and  in our actions.

To follow Jesus more nearly we need to remember his command in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. Obedience is the first key to following Jesus more nearly. This is often counter-culture or counter-intuitive. What Jesus demands and what the society we are in expects are not always in alignment. We must learn to trust Jesus believing that it will lead to a greater good. Obedience will help us maintain an lasting relationship with him. Check out John 15:10 “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

The second key is trusting God. Obeying Jesus and trusting God. What do we trust about God that helps in this following more nearly? May I suggest that we trust the character of God? That we trust the precepts of God and finally the promises of God.

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