By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

My grandson is a great soccer player at the young age of 14. He recently discovered indoor track in his off-season from soccer and found out he is fast and quite good at running. He has already set records in every meet he has raced.

One is a team sport, and one is an individual competition. In track, you compete against other individuals. Only one wins in each event, unless it is a relay. How does this relate to a relationship with Jesus Christ?

When you have a relationship with Him, is it like a team sport or an individual sport? Do you relate to Jesus one-on-one, or do you relate to Jesus corporately, as part of a group, like the church?

Some say it is definitely as a group, while others say it is one-on-one. The Bible says, both! Jesus saves you, yourself, and Jesus saves His church.

The marriage supper of the Lamb is a group event. So is heaven itself. But you as an individual soul are a recipient of the personal atonement of Jesus Christ. He died for you, He bore your sin, and His blood washes you clean from YOUR sin. Yet He died for all those who will be saved just as well as you.

You, yourself, have a relationship with Jesus in your secret soul. He enters into your own heart, you carry on conversations with Him, and you pour out your soul to your eternal mediator in prayer, you walk with Him in the quietness of your spirit, you interact with Him as you lie on your bed at night, says the Psalmist.

You also worship Him in the congregation of the saints, you shout praises to Him in unison with fellow believers, you join with the eternal church in lifting up the name of Christ Jesus your LORD

In Acts 16:31 is recounted the Philippian jailer asks how he may be saved. The answer, “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved!” And then it goes on to say, “you, and your house.” Personal salvation, AND your household! Both enjoy the salvation offered by Christ. 

In Galatians, Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Here, your relationship with Jesus is intimately personal; one on one, just you and Christ.

It is important to recognize and acknowledge the necessity of both; your personal one-on-one relationship to your LORD and Savior, and your joint relationship with Him and other believers. You are part of a body, and you are an individual soul.

How, right now, is your one-on-one relationship with Christ? How is your fellowship and service to others as part of the body of Christ? Jesus propels us to love one another as He has loved each one of us! Luxuriate in His love for you, and then let His love spur you on to love and serve others within His body.

But never let your relationship individually to Him stagnate. Revelation 3:20 is written to you, personally. He stands always at your heart’s door, always ready to have fellowship with you. Open the door regularly, actually immediately, now, today, and bask in your relationship with Him.


“My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine; for Thee all the follies of sin I resign; my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou; if ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”
(1st verse of William Featherston’s hymn, “My Jesus I Love Thee,” 1862)

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