Kathy Bernard - Publisher

 "You are my friends if you do the things that I command you.  I will not now call you servants; for the servant does not know what his master does.  But I have called you friends: because all the things I have heard from my Father I have made known to you".
- John 15:14-15 

Many times we call family or friends to say “Just wanted to let you know everything is fine.   Just checking in”.  If they love us they will want to hear that everything going is well.  But there is someone else who wants to share in the things happening with us and His name is Jesus.

So often we put Jesus in a remote place even though we profess our Christianity.  We forget that whether the news we bring to Him is good or bad, Jesus is readily available at any time to listen to us.  Sadly, many of us are like that.  The following is a fictional story we all can learn from.  It is called “Just Checking In”and tells of a strong relationship that we too can have with Jesus Who does not require education, fancy clothes or money.  He does not care who you are or who you know, or what social status you hold.  These things mean nothing to Him.  He just wants to share our lives, remember Him at all times, and follow His teachings.

A priest was walking through his church in the middle of the day and decided to pause by the altar to see who had come to pray.   Just then the back door opened and a man came down the aisle.  The priest frowned when he saw the man because he was unshaven and disheveled.  His shirt was kind of shabby, his coat worn and frayed but the man knelt and bowed his head for a minute then rose and walked away.  In the days that followed, each noon he came and each time he knelt just for a moment with his lunch pail next to him.  Well, the priest’s suspicions grew and he feared the man might be a robber so he decided to ask him what was he doing there.  The old man said he worked down the road, and lunch was half an hour and lunchtime was his prayer time for finding strength and power. 

"I stay only moments, you see, because the factory is so far away and as I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say: ‘I just came again to tell You Lord, how happy I have been since we’ve found each other’s friendship and you took away my sin.  Don’t know much of how to pray, but I think about you every day.  So, Jesus, this is Jim, just checking in.”

THE priest felt foolish for having formed unkind conclusions and told Jim he was welcome any time to come and pray.

TIME to go”, Jim smiled and said “Thanks” and hurried to the door.  The priest knelt at the altar and his suspicious heart melted, then warmed with love as he met with Jesus there.  As the tears flowed in his heart, he repeated old Jim’s prayer, “I just came to again tell you, Lord, how happy I have been since we found each other’s friendship and you took away my sin.  I don’t know much of how to pray but I think of you every day, so Jesus, this is me just checking in”.

ONE day the priest noticed that old Jim hadn’t come by in quite a while.  As more days passed without Jim he began to worry.  So he went to the factory to ask about him and learned he was ill.  At the hospital where Jim was, the staff was worried about old Jim but he had brought good changes in the ward.  His contagious smile and joy made others smile although the head nurse couldn’t understand why Jim was so happy since no flowers, calls or cards came and there were no visitors. 

THE priest went into the room and sat by his bed, voicing the concerns of the nurse.  Why was he so happy with nobody to come and show he was cared for?  Looking surprised, old Jim spoke up with a winsome smile and said “That nurse is wrong for she couldn’t know, that in here all the while, every day at noon He’s here, a dear friend of mine you see.  He sits right down and takes my hand, leans over and says to me, ‘” I just came again to tell you Jim, how happy I have been, since we found this friendship and I took away your sin.  I always love to hear you pray and I think about you each day.  And so, Jim, this is JESUS checking in.”  - Author Anonymous

JESUS is someone who knows you intimately yet accepts you just the way you are.  He believes in you, encourages you, is trustworthy and will never forsake you.  He will forgive your mistakes and want always to be with you, so much so that He died to make this a reality if you accept Him into your heart.   Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends”. John 15:13

IF Jesus Christ is your personal Savior and friend, but you have been “on and off” in your spiritual walk with Him, ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal of your faith. 

HAVE you checked in today with Him?

Whoever finds Jesus finds the pearl of great price, a good above all goods.  But whoever loses Jesus loses much more than if one lost the entire world!  Whoever lives without Jesus is wretchedly poor, but one who lives with Jesus is exceedingly rich.
Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, II:8:1-2

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