Matthew: Day 4

Jesus Preaches the Sermon on the Mount, Part 2

by

Today's Text: Matthew 6:1-34, Matthew 7:1-29, 1 Chronicles 29:11-13, 1 John 2:28-29

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:1-34, Matthew 7:1-29, 1 Chronicles 29:11-13, 1 John 2:28-29

Pull up a chair, girls. We’re going to have a conversation about intimacy. Yep—“husband and wife” intimacy. It may very well make you blush, but I promise to keep it PG, and I promise it’s all part of a very important point.

The Bible often refers to the Church as the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:22-33). Our relationship with Jesus is like a marriage—but in a perfect way. He makes us beautiful, then admires us as we walk down the aisle toward Him on our wedding day (Revelation 19:6-9). Perfectly pure. Impeccably white. Kind of awesome.

So now comes that part about intimacy.

Let’s say, physically speaking, there are varying levels of intimacy. Those levels might begin with any sort of public display of affection and graduate all the way to the most intimate, behind-closed-doors, one-flesh moments meant to be shared only between a husband and wife. It’s really nobody’s business, and it’s deeply personal. A husband and wife are, indeed, one flesh. The intimate covenant they share, like Christ’s covenant with us, is sacred.

When it comes to our relationship with God, it can be the same way. There’s PDA and then there’s sacred intimacy. There are grand public gestures of skywriting and singing telegrams (praying on the street corner “to be seen by people,” as Matthew put it in 6:5). And then there is knowing the love language of God: taking time in secret to show Him the only affections you’re chasing after are His. Pursuing Him privately, closing the doors, enjoying sacred intimacy.

Any relationship that only goes as deep as public displays, or mere physical intimacy without an emotional bond and commitment, is not true intimacy. This is what Jesus warns the crowds about in Matthew 6:1, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward with your Father in heaven.”

Jesus doesn’t want your love to be a spectacle. He wants it to be sacred. He wants you to seek Him and His kingdom first, before everything and everyone else (Matthew 6:33).

In a marriage—in any relationship that lasts past the honeymoon phase—intimacy takes intentionality. Sometimes it takes scheduling regular dates on the calendar, even committing to block out distractions and making space for, ahem, intimacy on a regular basis. Intimacy can be enjoyed organically, only when it is supported intentionally. Jesus told us this: “But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:6).

How are you pursuing intimacy as the Bride of Christ? Are you intentionally closing the doors, scheduling dates, and setting aside time in order for your relationship to deepen? Or are you publically kissing Him, then living as strangers at home? Is your prayer life simply a spectacle, or is it spectacularly sacred?

To know Jesus personally is to be in loving relationship with Him, one where He longs to be gracious to us because He loves us (Isaiah 30:18). The God who calls us His treasured possession is also the greatest treasure our hearts will ever know (Deuteronomy 7:6; Matthew 6:21). The intimacy and acceptance we crave is waiting for us.

“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.”

- Matthew 7:7

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  • this was a strong message that I really needed to hear because of late I sensed myself losing that intimate connection but the public displays were always there. thankyou.

  • Teri Lucas

    I needed to hear this. Thank you

  • “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.””
    ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  • Thanks for this revelation-ary insight! It has provided such a great context for me for my walk with

  • Lindsey Bailey

    In thinking further about this idea of intimacy, which I love, I also thought about how fruit comes from intimacy. We don’t have a baby from P.D.A. (Unless we are Mary). We have that baby from intimacy. Life is formed from behind closed doors when two flesh becomes one flesh. We will not produce good fruit until intimacy with God takes place. I struggle daily to walk in His righteousness. I pray righteousness is born from my intimacy with God, so a legacy of faith can flow from my life.

  • Kelsey Senak

    Hey you! So true! “What’d done in secret”. Who are we showing off for? It’s all about who we are when no one is watching.

  • Wow! I never truly understood when the bible speaks about the bride of Christ. What a great analogy, I get it now- thank you!! On top of my daily devotionals, I’ve decided this year to take time out of “the world” and off social media at least one evening a week to devote more quiet time to a God. Starting today. This devotional came at the right time and is such a clear confirmation from God to me that it is the right thing to do.

  • Bethany Kime

    So much truth! What an impactful way to view our relationship with Christ. I’m a mom of four and I’m just now making “me time” a priority to revel in my quiet place (with coffee) in Jesus.

  • Cindy Carfa

    This is a great analogy! And very convicting. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you. I must be more intentional in cultivating with my intimacy with Christ. I weep because I feel like I’m so far from Him & sometimes feel like I’ve been abandoned. I know that is the enemy just trying to isolate me. Any distance or abandonment I feel is my own doing. One of my “words” for this year is “fit”. I want to be spiritually fit, physically fit, emotionally fit, etc. My new word is “intentional”. I want to be more intentional in my endeavors to be fit. And the only way any of that will be accomplished is by finding, creating that intimacy with the Lord.

  • Heather DavisonJensen

    Thank you. Beautifully put and challenging.

  • Stephanie Baker

    I don’t generally comment on these things, but that was really good. Feeling strong conviction about how my husband (Jesus) and I have been putting on a public show with little true intimacy. Thanks for the thought word!❤️️

  • I will abide in Jesus this year through the reading of his word and prayer. I ask for a more personal relationship with Jesus and I know as I seek him that it will be given unto me.

  • Janice Stone

    Thank you for putting intimacy with Christ into focus!

  • this painted a great picture of how I need to treat my relationship with God.

  • Margo Walton

    This was an excellent analogy. Thank you. ❤️

  • Crystal Frank

    Exactly what I needed to read!

  • I love this. If there was a way to save favorites I would definitely have this one saved at the top of my list.

  • Tamara Cook

    ❤️ filled

  • jessica joy

    During this reading / devotional this week, God really challenged me regarding heart posture. Are we being intentional in our relationship with him, first and foremost and how is that intentionality rippling into our other relationships? Am I presenting PDA to “fake it until I make it” or am I setting aside time to intentionally foster intimacy with Jesus that may forever go unnoticed by individuals around me? What is the driving force behind pursuing relationship with God? Is it driven by a pure desire to know him well or is it being driven by a fear of missing out or a fear of being rejected by those around me?

    Excited to continue pursuing a life on the narrow road towards eternity with you ladies. Onward and upward, Jes

    • Danielle

      Reading this day’s scripture and devotional made me realize how good of an actor I can be at times. I can say and do all of the right things without having the right motivation in my heart. “Fake it until you make it” is definitely something I am familiar with. I have been challenged to go deeper in my relationship this week (i’m a bit behind) and truly be more intentional in my relationship with Christ and others. Sometimes I am more worried about the thoughts of those around me than doing the right thing.

      Jesus I pray for a deeper relationship with you and courage to do what is right without worrying about what others have to say. My priority should always be to serve you and not others. Seal this deep in my heart lest I forget it when I wake up tomorrow.

    • Alex Yearley

      I so agree with this. I really feel truth in your questions here and will navigate them for myself throughout the week! ♥️

  • To know Jesus personally is to be in loving relationship with Him, one where He longs to be gracious to us because He loves us (Isaiah 30:18). The God who calls us His treasured possession is also the greatest treasure our hearts will ever know

  • Jessica Terpstra

    Wow! Did I need to hear this message this morning! Thank you for challenging the status quo of what relationship with Jesus looks like and encouraging me to evaluate my public/private relationship with our Savior! I look forward to intentionally pursuing the sacred in private!

  • Love this! I feel the same way. I seek daily quiet time to read His word and to pray, but I need to prepare my heart and my mind to enter into true communion with Him. My mind really opened up to the Beatitudes this time. As many times as I’ve read these in my lifetime the Holy Spirit made them fresh and new this week, and revealed the importance of claiming them and doing them.

  • Cynthia Dawn

    Man, this has been the most challenging devo yet! Really piercing to the heart of what it means to be in relationship with Christ!

  • Mary Ellen

    Thank You for sharing this beautiful truth. I look forward to listening to Him more closely in this new year.

  • What a convicting devotion! So spot on for me. I need to seek, pursue and run after Christ far more than any relationship here on earth. What a great reminder. I really needed it.

  • Elise Acosta

    ❤️

  • Beautifully written! Thank you so much for sharing. What a delight and thrill it must be to have that kind of intimacy with the Lord! I look forward to growing closer to Him this new year because I know there is more of Him to enjoy that I’m missing. Praying that each of you will enjoy this as well!

  • Christin Pelsor

    Thank you, good words.

  • Christin Pelsor

    Thank you

  • Lauren R.

    I really needed to hear this message. I loved every part of it. I recently separated from my significant other because he had an entirely different image of intimacy than I did (not getting too TMI). I am very much in line with your understanding and so grateful to know I am not the only one. I feel God brought me this message for comfort. Thank you for being the eloquent messenger.

  • Wow-so, so good. Great things to ponder and reflect upon. A word from 1 Chronicles 29:19 stuck out to me today and has a strong connection to the other things talked about in this devotional: undivided heart. Oh Father, may I have an undivided heart, that always seeks You above everything else (money, anxiety, performance, etc.).

  • Janet Caldwell

    This was beautiful! Thank you for this.

  • Sarah Senica

    I just want to thank you all at She Reads Truth. It has been a long time since I have enjoyed the intimacy of my relationship with Jesus, and through reading your beautifully written devotionals (starting with advent) I have found my way back to him in powerful hold. Thank you for your spirit-filled words that touch so deep I’m often moved to tears. I am so very grateful.

  • Stephanie Hodnett

    ❤️ no words

  • Stephanie Hodnett

    ❤️

  • Katy Wright

    Wow, what a fantastic devotion on this. Thank you.

  • I love this!!! Spending time with Jesus is so important and this is the time I am dedicating to be more consistent with my quiet tim me with Him. These post help keep me accountable so that I know that I am not alone and feel encouraged to be consistent! The intimacy is one of those things I never want to lose with Him!

  • Raechel, this was amazing. Thank you for bringing meaning to the word “intimacy” in a spiritual context. It was always a concept I kind of skipped over, maybe because it made me uncomfortable or maybe just because I didn’t really know what it meant in respect to our relationship with Christ. Either way, thank you so much for this amazing lesson

  • Allyn Medeiros

    This was absolutely beautiful. I love the reminder of your relationship with Christ as an intimate love story.

  • Cayla Schreiner

    SO thankful for this study!

  • Thank you for this teaching!

  • Ellie Holmes

    This really helped put into perspective both how I should pursue a relationship with Jesus and how a man should pursue a relationship with me. This was great perspective.

  • Angela Nelson

    This is awesome!

  • Really enjoyed this! Beautiful description of how a relationship with Jesus is meant to be!

  • Courtney Duerr

    I really needed this today. I have been so anxious in my life as I had a sudden change in my living situation, and as a 23 year old female, I have been worried about the financial burden I will have, and moving to a place all on my own. It is more now than ever, that I truly have been trying to rely on Jesus to provide, and trusting in him and his plan. This being said, your prayers for my situation is greatly appreciated!❤️

  • Kierstin Vater

    So very beautiful!

  • Alexandra Trujillo

    This was amazing! Brought chills with how close this hits home.

  • Julie Waldvogel

    I’m not married and haven’t devoted my heart to a guy at all..so the only intimacy I know is my relationship with my Lord. If this is what a marriage is supposed to be like – I can’t wait! How I long to love my future husband with such devotion!!

  • Carol Ames

    Makes you stop and think and reevaluate your relationship

  • Thank you!!! So needed this today and everyday!

  • This was so good!!

  • Wow. This is so timely! Amazing how God works to put us all in the right place at the right time, to hear just the message we need!!

  • Sara AlmeidaSantos

    This was so good. Wow. Wow.

  • Beckie Dotson

    Wow, this was exactly what I needed to read today. I started a new job on Tuesday and am away from my family and will be travelling a bit with 2 young girls back at home. We are all moving at Easter and so the next few months are going to be quite challenging for us all. It struck me as I read the devotion and the way Rachel puts it was I think proclaiming it publicly but living as strangers at home. My prayer is that I would become more intimate with God over the next few months and really trust Him with everything like He says to give it to Him. I shouldn’t need to worry. Thank you

  • Rebecca Leek

    Wow Rachael Myers, thank you! What an inspiring and thoughtful devotional!

  • Caitlin Price

    This. This whole lesson is exactly why I chose to get this app. I was baptized and became a member of my church this past summer and last Sunday our service made me realize that although I accepted Christ into my life, I have done hardly nothing to strengthen my relationship with Jesus since. A friend told me about this app back in the summer, so i decided i would give it a go. This is my first plan, and this lesson alone gave me the feeling that “I’m on the right track!” Thank you all!

    • Cayla Schreiner

      Congrats on your baptism! I’ve been in your shoes my friend.. and quite frankly, I still am trying to strengthen my relationship with Jesus as well. Like you said, I think we’re on the right track!!

    • She Reads Truth

      We’re so grateful to have you reading along with us, Caitlin!

  • This is such a convicting post and the scripture readings were incredibly on point and relevant – I just love how the Word transcends cultures, time periods, politics, etc. May we be encouraged to abide in Jesus and pursue a more intimate relationship with Him above all else, allowing Him to do good, miraculous works in us and through us.

  • I’ve started 2018 with the hopes of journaling every day, with each post beginning with a verse of Scripture that stood out to me from my quiet time. It’s helped me not rush through the Word but really take time in His presence. Reading through today’s Scripture, I was drawn to a few. But each of the things mentioned in those verses goes back to what was written about in the devotional today in Matt. 6:1. It all goes back to intimacy with God and intentionality. If we don’t spend time with him and get to know him deeper, our lives won’t be founded on solid ground. The cares of the world and the worries we face daily will send us spinning. It all goes back to spending time with him. Not to post a sweet picture of your Bible with the perfect filter on social media and repeatedly check back for likes and comments. But really spend time getting to rediscover the One who made us, saved us and loves us so.

  • Jennifer Majorana

    Encouraged to get myself back to

  • This very much hit home. Thank you.

  • Ryann Cox

    Gosh this was GOOD!

  • Liz Baker

    This makes me think of James’ words about faith and works. It’s not about being seen to be a good believer but about being a good believer.

  • Paula Alfonso

    I feel that this is a year of change for me, and that having a Relationship with God has prepared me for the discipline to make those changes. I appreciate the Word and time in the secret place but, do need to be reminded to be more intentional and humble .

  • Haylee Roberts

    I am in an incredibly difficult time of seeking comfort and understanding. To be reminded that if I seek I will find just as the Lord has shown me in the past is great comfort to my withering heart. Would you ladies join me in prayer for clarity, understanding, and trust in this difficult time?

  • Lisa Olsen

    I am so thankful to be joining you girls! I am new here, and excited about this journey. What a great devo! What a great reminder to remember the importance of intimate time with the Lord. I believe this is what Matthew 7:21-23 is about. My understanding of what this passage is teaching is that just because you profess the name of Jesus to others, even doing great things in His name means nothing to God if there is no intimate relationship with Him…you have missed the whole point. It was really about you looking good on the outside, being praised for such “godliness” without a deep intimate relationship with God from the inside. It’s a powerful message, and I believe one to remember often. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of pride and desiring praise from others…even with good intentions.

  • Lindsey Smith

    I know that Jesus said not to boast in public, but I had to share my Bible study on social media because I think others really need to join this great movement. I am loving the convenience and ease of this app reading program!

    • Lizzieb85

      You’re not boasting about how awesome you are for reading the Bible, you are posting to share for others to grow closer to God. Your heart is right, you have the right motivations. I often share SRT decks on my FB.

  • What a beautiful and eye opening message for me today. Not only does it remind me of the importance of the relationship and intimacy with Jesus but also reminds me how much Jesus values the importance of intimacy with my marriage. Thank you for opening my eyes today Lord.

  • Lizzieb85

    Today I did this devo sitting on the couch betwixt my 3 yr old twins while they watched Winnie the Pooh. I tried putting the movie on so I could do my quiet time in the next room, but they insisted the bees were “scary” & needed my cuddles.

    “Intimacy can be enjoyed organically, only when it is supported intentionally.”
    Before kids, my quiet times were an hour & a half long. I prayed & sang & read & meditated. I luxuriated in the presence of Christ. They were awesome. Same as time with my husband. But kids changes that. The secret behind-closed-door times are not as long, or as deep. But I am intentional about making the time. It’s so hard. So so hard especially as the twins don’t nap anymore. Occasionally there are blessed times with the Lord that look much like before kids. But more often than not, my times with Him are like the hug & kiss I give my husband every day when he gets home from work. Or the way we always say I Love You every morning, phone call, & night. I read God’s word everyday (SRT helps that a lot as I don’t have to plan). Sometimes being in the Word I get a brief reminder of a promise, but sometimes it’s truly heart touching & behavior changing. I wouldn’t get those deep moments if I wasn’t intentional about reading everyday.

    • Emily B.

      Thank you for sharing what your time with the Lord looks like! I’m getting ready to have a baby any day, and I know my quiet times are going to change after she’s here. It’s encouraging to hear from other mamas and remember to make that time a priority!

      • Lizzieb85

        I found SRT when my twins were only a couple months old. It was such a blessing! I could grab my phone & do a quiet time anywhere: nursing, laying in bed, trapped under a sleeping baby. I pray you find sweet time with the Lord however you can!

    • Churchmouse

      Those baby days! Mine are now 28 and 30. God knows the season you are in. His desire is for you to love Him by loving your babies . I’m sure you pray over them when they’re sleeping – and you pray for sleep to come quickly for yourself! Be kind to yourself. This is a busy season. A valuable season. God knows. He sees. He knows the desire of your heart. Give yourself grace.

  • This analogy is so good and accurate and really helpful in putting things in perspective for me. If I am being honest, I don’t have the same drive for intimacy with Christ that I do with my husband. I have always been a quality time girl. It is my primary love language. My husband appreciates it, too. (It’s his secondary love language.) So, we are very intentional about spending as much time together as we can, and when that time is limited, we try to make the most of it and really be with each other (i.e. focused, not checked out.) I am realizing I don’t treat my time with God like that at all. I do these SRT devotionals everyday, but how often do I just fly through the readings, browse the comments, literally check it off as done, and then go about the rest of my day barely giving any thought to what I just saw? Far more often than I like to admit. I am feeling quite convicted by this lesson. I truly want to desire quality time with the Lord even more strongly than I desire time with my husband. In fact, he and I used to do daily devotions together before the kids came along, but we don’t anymore. I miss that. That incredibly deep intimacy of digging into the word, growing closer to God, alongside my husband. What a great way to spend quality time with my two greatest loves! (The first being Jesus, and the second being my husband.) I want to start doing that again. That is just one way I can begin to intentionally pursue that deeper intimacy with Him.

  • Lauren Ward

    I’ve never thought of a relationship with Jesus in terms of intimacy- as a sacred, holy relationship requiring intentional pursuit and time. Thank you for this, SRT!

  • I read the Scriptures out loud because I tend to doze off or start thinking about other things that need to get done. Then when I started reading the devotion I had to sigh. But then I thought “wait” this is going to be more about a Christ centered relationship. And it was! My quiet time is so important to me. When the house is quiet and no interruptions . It’s a “date” with my Jesus and I. I love how I am important to HIM.

  • Andrea Lopez

    I really needed to hear these words today! My relationship with my Savior needs to become more intimate – more intentional – more of a priority. Thank you for pointing these scriptures I have read many times – to see them explained this way is eye opening to what changes I need to make in my own life.

  • Woah, Rachel! Thank you. And Thank you, Jesus for pursuing my heart through the beautiful words in this devotional and Your word.

  • Brooke Ramlo

    As I begin my journey to give rebirth and deepen my relationship with our Lord, I must remember to seek Him and His kingdom first before everything and everyone else.

  • Jo Gistand

    Wow—-this spoke right to my heart! Such a good reminder of how to make Jesus the authority. When you put it in terms of a relationship, it’s clear HOW important it is to have that intimacy with a Christ.

  • Melody Hester

    The secret places, behind-closed-doors kind of spiritual intimacy is what l long for. Great reading this morning.

  • Thank you SRT for this beautiful, hit you between the eyes analogy. My marriage is far from perfect and I feel like I am always struggling to find the true, consistent connectivity with my husband. I confess I do not apply the same convictions to my Savior. Thank you for bringing this flaw in my spiritual walk to light. I know that as I pursue intimacy with God, the intimacy with my husband will be a natural consequence. Thank you Father for revealing yourself through scripture and bible study.

  • There is so much in this familiar passage that struck me afresh today. How much of my outward “righteousness” is just a show for others? Am I laying up treasures in heaven? Is my heart there? Am I using Jesus’ warning to look at the fruit of teachers and prophets as license to run round being a “fruit inspector” and judge of every Christian I know rather than prayerfully examining my own life? Lord, may I hear these words and act on them and be like the wise man.

  • Kylie Loewecke

    My favorite quote of this passsage “Intimacy can be enjoyed organically, only when it is supported intentionally.” So much gained from this. Thank you!

  • Moira Roche

    Thank you, Rachael! Great post and timely reminder on putting Him first.

  • Cynthia Johnston

    “Intimacy can be enjoyed organically, only when it is supported intentionally.”
    What a powerful statement!

  • Jennifer Vaughn-Estrada

    Good article. Good use of this analogy. Never thought of it this way. Thanks.

  • Amanda Rockett

    I have read these scriptures many times but this morning I am in awe at the words spoken directly by Jesus himself. I am in awe that he would pursue and desire an intimate relationship with me. May I not boast my religion from the street corners and in my public prayers. May I seek him the most private if places and connect with him intimately. And let us not forget all of the life lesson nuggets he provided us in the sermon on the mount!

  • Loved “Jesus doesn’t want your love to be a spectacle. He wants it to be sacred.” I feel so encouraged by today’s study. Those of us who are praying and meeting Him in this study – we’ve made and kept our date. Let’s carry on ladies!

  • Valerie Cupo

    Loved this morning’s reading as well. Lust is so capable of consuming our Righteousness that many times we mistake it for something more. It would be truly wonderful if I could always remember that Jesus’ love never fades so when in physical being I feel lonely or long for touch I know I already possess the greatest Love ever.

  • Diane Huntsman

    I loved this needed reminder.. the temptation to “look holy” in the church is real.. but Jesus is concerned with genuine intimacy not pseudo Christianity.. my New Years resolution is making Jesus BAE.. placing Him before anyone or anything else.. starting my day in His word instead of scrolling my feeds and squeezing Him I’m for 5 minutes.. I want to tarry as long as I can in His presence taking in His truths and mulling over who He is.. I loved this read this morning, confirmed what He’s been doing in my heart these past few days.. thank you.

  • Kelly Chataine

    Sacred love ~ Secret giving ~ Private prayers ~ Do unto others as I want done to me. . . . .
    There is so much in today’s and yesterday’s reading. Time to study the beatitudes, again, continuously.
    Praise God!

  • The passages selected for this daily lesson compare our relationship with God to a marriage. The more time we spend with Him and study his words, the better we understand God.

  • Wow I just read Crazy Love by Francis Chan for the second time on Tuesday and something stood out to me that goes along with this.. “we should act toward God the way we act toward people we are madly in love with…When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it is painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about, you jump at the chance to be together.”
    This made me think…a lot….I’ve been in that kind of in love before and I love God very much, but not like that. I long to truly be in love with the Lord that all of those things ring true when it comes to Him.

    • Jessica

      I appreciate this. I have never thought of it this way and now I have a new perspective on our relationship with Him. Thank you for this.

  • this analogy was perfection. Thank you. May we increase our pursuit of intimacy with Christ this new year!

  • Meghan Hembree

    I absolutely loved the devotion this morning. As many have already mentioned, the picture of intimacy with Christ mirroring a marriage is so beautiful. However, there is another part of this image that stuck out to me as well. They mentioned the fact that a marriage relationship should have two types of affection: public (PDA) and private (intimacy). Thinking of the two parts in lieu of the scripture about the Pharisees flaunting their deeds on the street corners made me think about the PDA part of relationships as well. I am not married, but am in a committed dating relationship (we plan to marry after college). I do long for the day where I can experience the behind-closed-doors intimacy with my spouse. However, when I kiss him in public, I don’t kiss him or hold his hand and cling to his side to flaunt it or to make everyone think I have a wonderful relationship. I do it because I have a deep love for him. I do it to say to him that I am proud of him and that I love him and I want everyone to know that he is mine and I am his. I think this is an important part as well. Even when we do display our affection for Jesus publicly, it should still be out of a deep internal love and passion for him, not just to be showy to those around us.

    Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to share how precious the reading this morning was to a single/dating person as well.

    • Joan

      Thank you for your thoughts. I had posted a prayer on social media and after today’s lesson, I wondered if I was being a spectacle but your words helped me to know my heart wants the whole world to know this One whom I love…sweet Jesus!

  • Pam White

    Being in a season of unwanted singleness, when I saw from the first few lines that the devotional was going to be about marriage, I groaned! I almost skipped right over it but so glad I didn’t. I would have missed a really sweet message.

    • Christina Snedeker

      Me too! I found the last few lines of the devotional especially meaningful. I am reminded that my relationship with Jesus is the one that will ultimately most fulfill me and it is the most lasting and eternal.

    • Tara Darty

      You are really guy where Jesus wants you to be. Know that he is preparing you for your future mate and preparing your future mate for you. Hold on, be patient and let Him work. It will be worth the wait!

    • Tara Darty

      Ok that sent without me proofing-sorry! You are right where Jesus wants you to be.*

    • Pam White

      Tara, thank you for the encouragement!

    • Amanda Fortner

      Pam, I am with you there. I almost skipped the day to avoid another reminder of being single when I do not long to be. I’m glad I continued to read and be challenged to seek a more intimate relationship with Christ first. For me I’m coming to understand that maybe my longing for a relationship needs to first focus on this relationship since it will be the one to fulfill me.

  • Robyn Cross

    The Lord is kind and gracious and knows what we need and when. A timely word this morning and one to be pondered and prayed through continuously.

  • Leah Swindon

    Wow. That was just so good. The scripture itself is enough to stay in for a long time..and the devotional for today is such a good reminder of what’s really important. Lots to continue thinking about..

  • What an interesting perspective! Thank you!

  • Lauren Fulcher

    God’s timing is so good! I started reading through Matthew 7 yesterday and verse 23 hit my heart, “then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.”
    He didn’t say I’ve never seen you or heard you but I’ve never knew you. It comes from the Greek word ginosko, which means “to learn to know, to come to know. To become known. To be intimately known.”

    It’s so deeply personal. It’s an intimate betrayal.

    Thank you for today’s reading it touched my heart.

  • Jeanna Swann

    Great devotional this morning, perfectly describing what intimacy with Him should look like…
    Love the reference to Isaiah 30, “The Lord longs to be gracious to us (me).” That’s a mind blower, how grateful that He pursues me, then wants to bless me.

  • Sarah Martin

    His was a great way to start my morning.

  • Nancy Ham

    This may be my favorite response from SRT ever!

    • Meghan Hembree

      I completely agree. So powerful and such a clear reminder of how our relationship should look and feel.

  • Amazing!

  • Julie Ganucheau

    Love this!!!! ❤️

  • Shannon Oros

    So so good. ❤

  • I love this analogy and the challenge to seek all the love and acceptance we need in Jesus! Even being married I find myself looking to meet those deep insecurities in my marriage, mostly what my husband thinks of me, etc. When I seek (and I will find) that love and spiritual intimacy with Christ, then I am free to love instead of seek love from, my husband. I love how the author connected “seek and you will find” and “seek first His kingdom” to this topic!

    • Kristine L

      “…free to love instead of seek love…” This was important for me to hear today. My goal this year is to have a generous love, a lavish love, to love without worrying what I’m getting back.

  • Churchmouse

    I risk revealing my age when I say that this generation’s obsession with being “in a relationship” after one date is oppositional to true intimacy. Intimacy is achieved through slow intentionality, not a quick hook up with fingers crossed. It’s the slowing down to really know and lean in to someone else. It is quiet, a tender whisper that becomes fierce in strength, over time. It is not plastered publicly to see how many “likes” you get. It is forged in the furnace of privacy. It is molded. It grows. It takes deep root. It is so so precious. It requires tender care. This generation does itself a disservice when it settles for less by rushing in. As it is in human relationships, so it is with God. Developing intimacy with God takes intentionality (does my Bible gather dust?) and a slowing down and a leaning in to the Word (is my reading just marking off my check list or do I savor the Scriptures?). It is getting to really know Him and surrendering myself to Him (is my time in my prayer closet longer and deeper than the time spent in corporate worship on Sunday morning?) When difficult circumstances arise, does a Biblical reference come to mind before man’s opinion? Do I know Him so well that His Word is on the tip of my tongue? This sacred slow yields an unbreakable unwavering faith. Praying that each of us seeks and settles only for this.

    • Sarah

      Well said, Churchmouse!

    • Jen K

      “Developing intimacy with God takes intentionality (does my Bible gather dust?) and a slowing down and a leaning in to the Word (is my reading just marking off my check list or do I savor the Scriptures?). It is getting to really know Him and surrendering myself to Him (is my time in my prayer closet longer and deeper than the time spent in corporate worship on Sunday morning?)” This!! So, so good. I continue to strive for more intimate conversations with Jesus, that carry over and speak to me (and to Him) during my structured Sunday morning mass. Thank you for always sharing your heart on here!

    • Lyn

      I love your post. I too am of an “old school” generation and despair of the way intimacy is treated as a commodity in our culture today. It’s become part of “dinner and a movie”, and that’s if you’re lucky. Some settle for a lot less.
      The fulfillment of true intimacy can only be realized within a relationship forged by unconditional love. You can’t “earn” real love anymore than you can earn God’s grace. And I think that is part of the divine purpose, to provide us with the earthly experience of unconditional love so that we can better understand heavenly grace.

  • Tochi Heredia

    My narrow, human mind is prone to see God’s goodness and Providence in a mathematical way. Meaning, a season of apparent “no’s” to my requests must follow after a season where I seem to get everything I ask for.
    Matthew 7:7-12 convicted me this morning, cause it showed me that I’ve been calling God a liar and I’ve been limiting His sovereignty over my life. If He says “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened with you”, then it is true. As a loving Father, He wants us to open our hearts and welcome Him in, knowing His answers are always the right ones.

    Lord, I ask for forgiveness. I seek to live a life completely devoted to you. I’m knocking on the door of eternal, abundant life.

  • Beautiful metaphor! Thank you so much. “Intimacy can be enjoyed organically, only when it is supported intentionally.” My worship must actively place God first, and oh my, that is hard.

  • Loren McIntyre

    Such a great thought-provoking analogy!

  • Shuana Hackworth

    I am in awe of the reading and devotional this morning. So many powerful nuggets and most of it’s a reminder of how important my relationship with Jesus is.

  • Alexis Maycock

    This devotional reminds me of a phrase I heard someone say many years ago as it pertains to intimacy- Intimacy means ‘Into me, I see you” -which if I am experiencing that true oneness in Christ then Christ should be seen through me. May we all experience true intimacy in 2018!

  • Every year I ask God to give me a word that I need to focus on. This year it’s “Be Still” (which is actually two words!) “Intimacy takes intentionality.” One thing I have already learned is that there have been so many times where I am the only one doing the talking when I have my time with Papa God. I am working on being still and listening during my time with Him – being intentional about what I am doing rather than just hoping it all happens.
    What a great devotion. Be blessed, sisters.

    • Emily B.

      I hadn’t given it much thought, but your comment made me see that I also do most of the talking when I spend time with the Lord. Thank you for sharing that and giving me something to think about.

  • What a great encouragement to keep pursuing intimacy with God rather than simply doing all the right things on the surface. God is my great provider and the greatest treasure of my life, being intentional about my time with him helps me to remember that.

  • Linda Richards

    “The only affections you are chasing after are His.” Wow, time to be honest with myself and digest this a bit.

  • Grace Cox

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Catina Naegele

    I too love this and its wording is beautiful ❤️ And true!

  • Marinde van der Breggen

    I love this. Thank you!

Further Reading...