The Bare Soul - October 2, 2007
Special Mid-week Edition
Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

I usually write The Bare Soul a couple or three weeks ahead of when it publishes. I am constantly receiving new inspiration to write -- oftentimes it comes so steadily and constant it is hard to capture all of it. However, sometimes the Lord will give me something that is so deliciously glorious and timely that I just have to share. This is one of those times, so for this occasion I will publish a special mid-week edition:

Those who have followed my writings for a while know how much I love running in the rain. It is truly my playtime! My co-workers witnessed my anticipation today as the rain clouds headed closer and closer to Kansas City. I become like a kid before Christmas with the anticipation of running in the rain. I actually postponed my lunchtime run until well after 1 p.m. today in anticipation of a "rain run".

When I did head out for my 10 miler, the rain was coming down steady. Everything changes on a rain run! The texture of the concrete and asphalt is different, the sensation of the rain hitting the face, the feel of the grass -- all is gloriously different. I truly feel like a kid experiencing running and "puddle stomping" for the first time. It is such a good feeling!

The Lord Jesus is so close to me during rain runs. It is like we are playing together -- running and jumping into puddles, shaking tree branches full of rain water when passing by. He spoke to my heart so clearly today and said "You are my Father's child -- your faith is my joy!" Hallelujah, yes Lord! As the Psalmist said "In your presence is fullness of joy" Let me always come to you with that childlike faith.

Knowing the Lord's closeness in these times, it grieves me when I see others struggling with the idea of finding Jesus through a similar childlike faith. Jesus said in Matthew
18:2-3: He called a little child, whom he placed among them. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  This was radical to first century Israel where women and children were considered the sub-population! Jesus proclaimed to them that unless they had the same trusting, adoring faith as a small child, that they would not make it into the Father's presence. It does not say that unless you read and memorize the Bible, or that you have incredible worldly logic to refute all naysayer's, or that you have reached Nirvana and the Seventh Plane of Existence, or that you have been a "good" person. All this is rubbish in the eyes of God if we don't have childlike faith and accept Jesus for who He said he IS. All of the world's religions are based on working our way up to God and his favor. Thank God that Christianity is the only faith in the world where God has already worked his way down to us by the slain sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus.

Karl Barth, famous though sometimes controversial contemporary Swiss theologian, was a great thinker, a prolific writer, and a professor at several leading European universities.

On one occasion he was confronted by a reporter who wanted a brief summary of his twelve thick volumes on church dogma. Barth could have given an impressive intellectual reply or a profound theological dissertation. He didn't. Quoting from the popular children's hymn, he simply replied,

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

What a glorious statement that encompasses all the truth about God's great love for humankind! The Bible tells me so! Either you believe the Bible and who Jesus says he is, or you dismiss it as the greatest ruse ever to be perpetrated on the human race. However, for those of us who know that it is truth, it has truly set us free to enjoy the presence of our Lord as we play and laugh and rejoice as a child in his presence!

I offer this prayer for myself and for all of you: Lord, soften our hearts to know you intimately and deeply. Let those who are lost in their intellectual prisons of self-delusion created by the enemy of our souls be set free by the power of your love. Let us truly be as children to enter into the Father's glorious presence.

Your Humble Barefoot Servant,

Barefoot Rick

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