February 28: A Personal Relationship With God

by Judy Cope

John 12 has been a selection that I have read repeatedly in a variety of Bibles over the years and thought that I could lay low until I was spiritually more mature. Earlier in Chapter 11, Jesus has brought Lazarus back to life and many Jews witnessed this miracle and believed Jesus. “Many Jews among the leaders, believed in Him, but confessed that they would be put out of the synagogue, for they loved praise from men, more than praise from God.”

One of the reasons I have loved Ascension so much for so many years is that intelligent colleagues have boldly come out to whom they were made to be. My parents from the Midwest never missed church on Sundays but didn’t seem to understand unconditional love. My years at Ascension showed that building a personal relationship with God has been so much easier than with humans.

To relax truly in the contradiction of praise from men or praise from God, read ahead to John 15:18 when Jesus says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.” Recently my 85-year-old father joined me loving God first and we now get along better than we ever did. By loving God first, you will be a better parent, friend, teacher, employee, artist, banker, engineer or athlete. It’s God’s plan for us.