“You come near me and I’ll kiss you!”
Yesterday I recounted the story of Teen Challenge founder David Wilkerson’s initial encounter with New York gang leader Nicky Cruz. Nicky, who had threatened Wilkerson’s life, had his heart penetrated by the love of Christ as it flowed through His servant David Wilkerson. Bewildered, overpowered and desperate Nicky surrendered to the unconditional and eternal Agapé Love of God. Something he had never before encountered.
A lot of people live in fear of God. They see Him as demanding tyrant ready to squish anyone who displeases Him. Nicky only knew a father who beat him, a father who seemingly cared little for the son to whom he had given life. Sadly, Nicky is not alone in this.
But God the Father is not a father such as these. God is the sort of Father that He wishes all fathers would be. He is a Loving Father, a Father like the Father Jesus described in one of His parables (see Luke 15:11-31).
Jesus is the One Who took upon Himself all wrath the Father may have had against us. Jesus is the One Who makes us clean again.
What do you need to do? You need to give Him your broken pieces, your pain and hate. You need to believe and obey Him, to turn away from things you know displease Him and draw you from Him. Fill your heart and mind with those things which please Him and nourish your soul.
Jesus took out Nicky’s heart, kissed it, then placed it transformed back into Nicky’s chest. Nicky had become, as the scripture says, “a brand new creation.”
“…if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Christ will do the same for you!
You are not too far from Him. He is not waiting to pounce on you. You are loved. His Arms are open wide, ready to embrace you, waiting on you to turn toward Him. Run to Him. If you come near Him He will kiss your heart too!
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20b).