Pastor, How Well Do You Know Jesus?
Pastor, How Well Do You Know Jesus?
When you are in ministry, people just assume that you have a very strong relationship with Jesus. And they should be able to assume that, but unfortunately, it is an assumption that doesn’t always turn out to be true. In my ministry I get to talk to a lot of pastors, and truth be told, many of them know a lot of facts about Jesus, but for any number of reasons, they don’t have a close personal relationship with Him anymore. Here are some common reasons:
- Not enough time with the Word. It is one thing to read the Bible to get together a sermon outline or lesson, it is quite another to read the Bible devotionally for the sole purpose of drawing closer to Jesus.
- Not enough time in Prayer. Sometimes we are in such a big hurry that the only prayers we offer are before meals and from the pulpit.
- Not enough Faith. You might be shocked to learn how many ministers struggle with their faith on a day-to-day basis. It isn’t that they are atheists, but they’ve come to a point in their spiritual journey where they just have trouble believing like they once did.
- Not enough Motivation. Sometimes after working 50-70 hours a week in ministry, you are so spent trying to be Jesus to others, that you have no drive to spend time with the real Jesus yourself.
- Not enough Concern. Unfortunately, there are a number of ministers who just don’t care about knowing Jesus at any more depth than they know Him now.
The words above aren’t written to condemn, but to recognize some of the behaviors that have led us away from knowing Jesus as we should. I am convinced that we all would rather experience what John shared:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life–the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us–that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. — 1 John 1:1-3 (NKJV)
It’s hard not to envy John as we read these words. He begins this letter by identifying himself as one who had experienced an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. How wonderful to consider what it must have been like to hear, see, and touch the one who has always been. If we use our imaginations, we can perhaps obtain a small glimpse of what John was able to see firsthand so many years ago.
But you and I both know that seeing Jesus with our eyes is not what we need the most, even though it would make us feel good on an emotional level. What is most important is that we recognize Jesus as John describes Him, as “the Word of life.” This is the same way John started out his Gospel account – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, NKJV). This Word John speaks of is the eternal, infallible, sinless, crucified, risen, and returning Son of the living God. And the great news is that today, even as you read these words, THE Word wants nothing more than for you to grow in relationship with Him. Are you ready?
How can you begin to know Jesus again on a personal level? How about reversing the negatives above, and turning them into positives?
- Spend time in the Word! Starting right now, open your Bible and begin reading one of the Gospels and discover all over again why you are in love with Jesus. Don’t stop to take notes! Don’t try to find a sermon outline in the text! Just read it and take the time to ponder how great Jesus is.
- Start Praying! Jesus wants to hear your voice right now. You don’t have to come up with something flowery or something that sounds like an institutional prayer. Just lay your heart out to Jesus like you once did. Let Him know your fears, your doubts, your frustrations, but also let Him know that He can count on you to continue fighting for Him and His Kingdom!
- Begin Building Your Faith! Remember all the ways that God has worked in your life in the past. Ponder all the times you’ve seen Him work in the lives of others. Look up into the sky and fathom the wonderful universe that He has created. What brought you to faith in the first place? Reflect on that and begin to focus on it all over again.
- Recharge Your Battery! I know what it is like to work long hours, struggling to be everything everyone thinks you should be. It is exhausting! You are going to have to take time off for yourself. Hopefully you are taking at least one day a week where you are not focusing on ministry at all. Read a book, go for a walk, talk to your spouse! Allow yourself a break from the everyday stress of ministry.
- Reignite Your Passion! You know deep down that without an intimate relationship with Jesus, your life is just going to keep getting worse. Depression, burnout, marital problems, and much more, often take place when we lose our passion for Jesus and the ministry He has called us to. All of what has been stated above will help you to get your passion back, but there is one more thing that will help — surrender your life to Him all over again. I’m not talking about being “resaved,” but recommitting yourself to Jesus and your calling. When you recommit you refocus, and when you refocus, your passion will return.
So Pastor, how well do you know Jesus? I hope that starting today, you’ll take the steps necessary to know Him better than you ever have before!
Now please do me a favor — click the “Read More” button directly below this message and then go down to where it says “Leave A Reply” and let me know if this article helped you today. Feel free to share with us and other pastors who will read this, how God is helping you to get to know Him better. Also, please click on the social media buttons and share this on Facebook, Twitter, etc… to help get the word out! We truly want to be the “Pastor’s Helper.”
A very good word, and a great reminder. I’m no good to others, without a continual renewel of my personel relationship with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit!
Thanks! I think this was just for me because I had lost my passion last month so this is a big help.
thank you for that inspiration . it is amazing how God will use someone anything to speak to your heart. I love God the father God the son , and God the holy spirit and the spouse of the Holy spirit every morning when i rise i thank the holy trinity i recognize my higher powers someone is watching me maybe an audience of unseen world is watching over me and wishing me well in Jesus name i pray
The “spouse” of the Holy Spirit?
Good reminder to retrospect our lives and stage a revival that begins within ourselves.
Thanks Barry! As always, encouraging & challenging thoughts. God bless!
Excellent article that caused me to reflect on the level of true intimacy I have with Christ. I will share with others.
Thank you for sharing this with me today. This is very helpful in that it help me in thinking through some of the hard things that I go through as a retired pastor. Barry, I think you hit the nail right on the head in what you are saying. Thank you for sharing this with me today.
Thank you for this very insightful article. Continue your good work.
Thank you — needed to read this— so how true it is we don’t give enough time to renewel my personel relationship with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit!
Keep the good WORD and encouragement coming…
> We all need it –<
I’ve been a pastor for over 35 years and am especially guilty of #4, once going a 10 year stretch w/o using any of my vacation time. I now am mentoring 3 young pastors to be & have been telling them some of the “dumb things I have done”. I will share this article w/ them in a meeting this morning.
Thank you so much for this message, it has touched my heart.
“When you recommit you refocus, and when you refocus, your passion will return.” This really helped!! Thanks so much!
Good and needed message to us all.
Brother Barry;Thank you for this short message. You are right others look to me to be a guiding light, so to speak. My relationship with the father, I want to be stronger each day, more than the day before. God bless you brother, in the name of our Lord.
Thanks for the message. Can anyone help with a Liturgy for the Thursday of Holy Week? I have been asked to join in a Social Meal but also to incorporate Holy Communion into it. The idea appeals of gathering around a real meal and really talking to people as opposed to the more familiar liturgical Communion and “standard type” address I usually preside at. Any suggestions?
Thanks a great deal.Helpful my brother.Sometimes I feel like am not doing enough ‘knowing Him’
Great article Dr. Davis, Thoughtful and needed commentary.
thank you pastor. hoping more advises from you. god bless.
Brother Barry : very pertinent message those very same things were touching my life and ministry just this week. I went to The Lord with fasting and prayer and feel connected and in tune again. Thanks for all your Kingdom work. We need men like you to bring things out in the open that we all experience along the way.
“That I may know Him — and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings — being made conformable unto his death.” Phil. 3:10
It’s all about falling in love with Jesus all over again…
Blessings and favor to you, Dr. B, for this powerful and anointed Word today❗️
I found this to be very helpful and thoughts to ponder on, in fact to reflect upon my spiritual life and as said, my relationship with Jesus. There’s always more we can doto live closer with Jesus, that special relationship where I can talk to Him even whilst I’m standing in a que or during my lunchtime at work.
Pastor Barry thank you for that thought provoking question. AS I grow older in the faith of Jesus Christ I am reminded every day how much I need to know Jesus more. There is an old hymn, which by the way is not sung too much anymore which say’s, “More, more about Jesus, More of His saving truth proclaim. More of His love who died for me” It means becoming richer and fuller in His love. Hallelujah what a Saviour. God bless you brother Barry keep it coming.
thanks so much for this today. I needed this encouragement. Having gone thru recent surgery, recuperating time has been helpful to gain insight and encouragement from others.
Today was much needed and accepted!
Thanks so much for this post. Needed and accepted
Dear Brother Barry,
I want thank you so much for revitalizing my spirit and my inner being.
God bless you
Thank you so much Dr. Barry for a most needed and very inspiring Word. God blessings to you and your ministry forever more!
Thanks so much for this reminder, it is very timely especially at this time when the second coming of our LORD is very near. GOD bless u.
Thanks Barry-I totally agree of what you have said about us ministers including myself and our real relationship with Jesus. My second wife whom we married about a year ago is very keen in having quite time with Lord every morning. That’s an encouragement for me to recommit and refocus to get closer to Him. Thanks again for reminding us. God bless. I am a pastor of the Samoan community church (congregational)in Sydney
I am a Minister who is at the point on going to the next level in my spiritual life. I have been praying asking God for His guidance in going into full time ministry. You message have given me a clear insight on my next endeavor with Christ. God bless
This is really for me! You just talked to my life! My battery needed recharged after I have gone through a lot in ministry!
This is a good message of the times we are living in
This is a good reminder. As a minister sometines i find myself reading for a message rather than for myself.
Thanks and God bless you
Thanks for this inspirational words. I really need to refocus and rededicate my my life to Jesus . I lost my church and now am jobless which has made me miserable.
I need prayers. Thanks.
Dear pastor thank you the encouragement, this is a good reminder. As a pastor sometimes I find myself reading for a message rather than for myself.
Thanks and God bless you
GOD blesses you!
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It’s amazing man of God. Those first two indispensable requirements definitely lead to the rest you’ve mentioned sir. Am reminded, am rekindled. The God of eternity bless you abundantly in Jesus honored Name. HALLELUJAH
Very correct and timely. Ministry is full of risks. sometime, as ministers, we work under assumptions.if care is not taken we might have been deflated spiritually before we know.may God help us as we also help .we need to focus on matters that matter.
Blessings and thanks for the reminder and kind words of helping to keep me focused on the right things in the midst of all business. May God continue to be our constant priority over everything else.
Thanks so much Dr. Barry! I really needed this.
This is a very good article. You should put it on ministersmeetup too. It really spoke to me. Thanks again.
This is very true. WAS VERY HELPFUL THANK YOU
Thanks. Helpful article.
God bless you for writing this article. It’s good for all of us to be reminded Whose we are.
If Jesus isn’t real to us, we can’t make him real to our congregations.
Thanks for blessing us.
Because He Lives!
Thanks Barry for the reminder that we need to constantly refocus our attention on our Lord. It never cease to amaze me how God takes care of his children even when we have gone stale.Your article ignited a need in my spirit to get back to the old pattern of a daily walk with the risen Christ so that I am energized by the washing and renewing by the word.It is so simple but so often neglected and if neglected so draining.Thanks for the gentle reminder. I will start NOW. Thank you for your loving challenge.God bless you in ministry.
Thank you Barry for your question. I needed to read those questions and stop and realize how much I need time by myself to sit at the feet of Jesus and just rest in Him. My life right now is stressed because of a family situation with our two adult sons who have mental illness. They are both going through a crisis right now. One has a drug problem which has been on going for a while. The other one has just come out of his marriage in the last two years.
I am blessed with a wonderful church family who prays and loves each other and stands in the gap. I know that God is with us and keeps us strong through the battles. I do love my Lord so much but it’s been hard at times to get the quiet time that I need. Thanks again God Bless.
Your question, how well my relationship is with Jesus. I will try to answer it the best I can.Reading your five point suggestions and making them positive is the way to do it. Some of those points like prayer, faith,motivation are still being practice. And the others are also practiced but to a lesser extend. The fact is, as I am getting older,body got weak with disease,I become lazy-but thank God for my wife who is strong in faith that motivates me to move forward. We ask for your prayers to know Him well. Blessing-Atepera
Kia akameitaki ia koe e Barry, na te Atua e tauturu mai ia koe e taau e rave nei no tona anoano.
Thank you very much Barry, God bless you and your wonderful Ministry.
Kia manuia/Kindest Regards
Rev Munokoa Dean
Thank you very much Barry, this reminds me that the relationship with the Father and the Son is the most important thing. This reminds me that we cannot have faith without this relationship.
Thank you so much for the need to enhance my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am on my way to help not only my life with Jesus Christ but share the same with other brother pastors in my country.
Thank you so much. Yes I need to enlarge and deepen my personal relationship with the
Lord Jesus Christ and to also encourage other Pastors. May God continue to bless your Ministry.