Do you know what the “good part” is in a romance? Okay, confession time:
When I was a teenager, I loved romance novels. I devoured them by the case.
I especially loved it when I finally reached “the good part.”
For those who do not know what the “good part” is, this is the part of the story where, after many pages of overcoming obstacles together, the heroine and hero finally become intimate with one another.
Well if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, then you are living out the greatest love story ever told!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”
This Hero, this Son, sacrificed His life for you over 2,000 years ago. He saved you from sin’s bondage. He’s noble, brave and true.
His character is beyond reproach. You have overcome many obstacles together.
But have you trusted Him enough to give Him your all?
Have you become His bride – and as such, are enjoying the “good part” of your story with Him daily?
Unfortunately, many people have started their love story with Jesus, but never get around to the “good part.”
They think that coming to Salvation is the end of the story. But actually, salvation is just the beginning!
Jesus Himself talked about the “good part” in the following story:
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her (Luke 10:38-42).”
Many Christians are like Martha. They welcome Jesus into their house through saying the prayer of salvation. But that is where their story ends.
Their minds get pre-occupied with work, raising children, pursuing personal goals, or even ministry. They never let Jesus become part of their private world.
So Jesus remains just a common guest to them, not an honored member of their family.
In contrast, Jesus said that Mary chose the good part. Mary made a decision to sit at Jesus’ feet. She gave Him her full attention. She treasured His word and wanted to hear what He had to say.
According to Jesus, that is the good part!
In John 14:21-24, Jesus gives us a pattern for greater intimacy with Him:
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.’
Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’
Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.'”
The way to know the Lord at a deeper level is to hear the word, meditate on the word, and do the word. You are not doing this to earn God’s love; after all, you already have that.
Rather, you obey His word because you love Him.
Loves comes first, then obedience, not the other way around! When you obey the Lord’s word, it becomes part of who you are. By extension, so does He.
One of my constant prayers is this: “Lord, perfect me in your love.” It is based upon the following scripture:
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us
– 1 John 4:17-19
I’ve had several opportunities to get perfected in love. Recently, my husband Mike and I went to the drive-through of a popular fast food restaurant to get a breakfast sandwich. The lady who served us was quite rude. Now, if I had not been spending intimate time with my Savior daily, I might have been rude in return.
However, Jesus’ words came back to my remembrance in the face of her rudeness:
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:44-45).”
So we were nice to her and as we drove away, we prayed for her salvation, her family, her generations and that the Lord would perfect everything that concerns her according to His word.
Jesus’ word became real to us as we put it into practice. It is the same process as eating natural food; eventually the food you eat becomes building blocks for your body. Taking in God’s word and putting it into practice builds your Spirit.
In contrast, Jesus said that those who do not love Him do not keep His word. These are the people of whom the Lord says:
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!
– Matthew 7:21-23
This tells me that the Lord values intimacy with you above any service that you can render.
You never want to be among those of whom the Lord declares, “I never knew you.”
Therefore, make it a priority to spend quiet time in relationship building with your Savior every day, just the two of you.
In your prayer time, don’t just present a laundry list of requests to Him and leave. Enter into your chamber with thanksgiving and praise for what He has done for you.
Have a burning desire to hear the word He has for you today. The Lord often speaks to me through the Bible or even as I am performing a mundane task, like mowing the lawn with a pushmower. No matter what you do, purpose to have ears that hear His word and a heart to obey it.
Your goal is to maintain a relationship of intimacy: You put Jesus’ words into action until they become a part of you.
Like in a romance novel, you may go through trials and tribulations but your Savior is always with you. He loves you and will never leave you nor forsake you. And someday, He is coming back for you (see John 14:1-3).
Wow, what a love story! I am so glad that I am living it. How about you?