Greetings children of the Heavenly King! We are starting a new series entitled, ‘How To Enter Into A C.I.P. With Jesus’. Anyone know what the acronym C.I.P. means? It stands for close, intimate, and personal. Is it your desire to enter into a close, intimate, and personal relationship with Jesus? By God’s grace, this series will help you make a beginning!
Jacob’s Ladder Is For You
Who was it that saw a ladder? Jacob. Now, when Jacob saw this ladder, he wasn’t a good boy, he was a bad boy. He had a good father and a good grandfather, but Jacob hadn’t been very good. You remember he had lied to his father, and stolen from his brother, and he was running away for fear he might be killed.
And as he went along feeling bad because of all he’d done, and not knowing what was ahead of him, just fleeing, fleeing, of course, he came at last to the end of the day, and he lay down. And there was no motel for him to pull into, no home to entertain him. He was out where he had to lie down on the ground, and he had a stone for a pillow. But he was so tired that he slept anyway. You know, when you’re tired enough, you can sleep most anywhere. Jacob was that tired. And as he slept, he saw this ladder. Turn to Genesis 28:12. There are two words in this verse that I want you to notice – something very interesting:
“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it” Genesis 28:12.
Where was the bottom of the ladder resting? On the earth. Where did the top of it reach? To heaven. That was a long ladder, wasn’t it? The point is, the ladder reached where Jacob was. He was down on the earth, and the ladder reached there. And the top of it reached clear to heaven where God is, because the next verse tells us: “And, behold, the LORD stood above it,” Genesis 28:13. So at the top of the ladder was who? God. And at the bottom of the ladder was who? Jacob. What do you suppose the ladder was for? To connect them. Who was coming down the ladder? Angels. Who was going up the ladder? Angels.
Oh, I am so glad, folks, there’s a ladder here, and God is at the top of the ladder, and you and I are either at the bottom of the ladder, or somewhere on it. Now, I don’t know where you are. My point is, even if you’re at the bottom of the ladder, the ladder reaches where you are. If there is somebody here that has nevertaken a step toward God, you’ve never made one move toward God, the ladder is right where you are.
But suppose you have been following Christ the best you know. You are somewhere up this ladder. Folks, there is another rung of the ladder to climb; there is another step up these shadowy stairs to take. And I hope that, during these few days we are together, we can all take a few more steps. What do you say? And remember, this is the thing I want to stress right here in these first five minutes – the ladder reaches where you are.
Some people get discouraged because they can’t do what somebody else does. They can’t pray like somebody prays, or talk like somebody talks, or sing like somebody sings. No, that isn’t the important thing. The important thing, dear friends, is to understand that God is interested in you, and that He comes right where you are. He knows all about you.
That’s what He told Jacob. You see, as I say, Jacob knew that he had a good father, and that God had talked to Isaac. He knew he had a good grandfather, and that God had talked to Abraham. But Jacob knew that he himself was a bad boy. He had broken God’s law. And here God comes to him and says, “Jacob, I am not only interested in your father and your grandfather, I am interested in you. And I am interested enough in you that out here on these sands, with your head on a pillow, I am giving you this view of Me and My love. I have come right where you are with this special message of interest and love. And listen,” God says, “I want you to be with Me. I want to be with you.” He says:“I will not leave thee” Genesis 28:15. God is with us. He’s with you. Let me read you something tremendous from Ministry of Healing to put with this:
“He knows each individual by name, and cares for each as if there were not another upon the earth for whom He gave His beloved Son” Ministry of Healing, page 229.
Does God know your name? Did He know Jacob’s name? Yes. He called him by name. He knows you, and He cares for you just as if you were the only one in all the world, the only one for whom Jesus died. “Oh,” somebody says, “that’s too much. I can’t comprehend that.”
Don’t try to comprehend it. Just enjoy it. I can’t comprehend all the air around this planet, but I enjoy what I get 18 times a minute. Don’t you? Yes. I don’t try to comprehend it. I’m glad there’s a lot more than I need. There’s plenty for everybody. I can’t comprehend all the sunshine that shines down. But do you know, I get just as much sunshine as if there were nobody else in this world to get it. Don’t I? The sun shines for me as if I were the only one to enjoy its healing rays. So when you’re dealing with these wonderful things, don’t start dividing by the number of people in the world and say, “I’m afraid I get a pretty small piece of pie.” The whole pie is for you, my friend.
We can see this point further illustrated with parents and children. The fathers and mothers I know, if they’ve got any love at all, they love the second one not half as much as they gave the first one. And when the third one comes along, they don’t say, “Well, we’ve only got one-third for this, and the others will have to take it a little lighter now.” No, no. Now, listen. What about the One who made the fathers and mothers? Do you think that He has to divide up His love among the billions of people in this world? Why, no, He doesn’t. Let me give you another statement on it. I like this:
“The relations between God and each soul are as distinct and full as though there were not another soul upon the earth to share His watch care” Steps to Christ, page 100.
Has God put the ladder down where you are, just as if you were the only one to climb it? Oh, folks, I’d hate to be up here telling you fairy tales. I know this is true. First, because God says so; second, because it works. I see it working. My heavenly Father is as interested in me as though I were the only one in all the world.
Let me tell you just a little experience. And this is such a tiny little experience, and yet it meant so much to me. Just a few weeks ago, I was taking a walk with my wife just before dinner. She went on home, and I went a little farther in the woods. I was carrying my coat and it had two or three things in it. It was getting warm; that’s why I was carrying the coat. And I looked in the pocket to see if something that was in it had fallen out. Well, it hadn’t. But I looked a little more, and this little pocket comb had fallen out.
Well, I like the little thing. Of course, it didn’t cost a million dollars, but I like it. And it’s just what I want, and it fits in my pocket. It had fallen out in the woods, somewhere. There I was, way out in the woods. What to do? Well, my mind went to my Friend, my dear Friend, the Lord. And I said, “Now, Lord, I’m not going to ask you to do this as a test. I’m not going to say, ‘Lord, if you love me, please help me find this.’ I know you love me, whether you help me find it or not. You know whether it’s best for me. It might teach me to be a little more careful.” But, I said, “Lord, I sure would appreciate it if I could find it.”
And so I started to walk. But I wasn’t on a trail; I was just in the woods. So I went along looking, and there at my feet it was. And I was so thankful; I knelt down right there on the leaves and thanked the Lord. I put it back in my pocket, and here it is; I’ve got it.
Well, folks, as I say, that’s a very little thing. But if God had been busy looking after the affairs of billions of people and all their needs and that kept Him occupied, He wouldn’t have been able to notice that, would He? No. But He was giving me His attention, you understand, as if He had nothing else to do.
That’s what it means to be infinite, young people. Infinite means there’s no limit. There’s no limit to the power of God; there’s no limit to His wisdom; there’s no limit to His love. Therefore He can give you the whole thing and still have the whole thing for your brother, your sister, your father, you mother, your uncle, your aunt, your cousin, your neighbor, your friend, and billions of people besides. Isn’t that wonderful? Oh, I’m so thankful. And that’s why He came to Jacob and said, “Jacob, listen. I am interested in you. I was interested in your father, still am. I was interested in your grandfather and still am. But Jacob, I am interested in you.”
Jacob said, “Oh, think of all I’ve done.” God said, “That’s why I brought the ladder down here. The ladder is to bridge the gulf between earth and heaven. It’s to bring God and man together. Do you know what that ladder is? Turn to John 1 and we’ll find out. Jesus had been calling His first disciples, Andrew, Peter, John, Phillip, Nathaniel. Now He says something to Nathaniel:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending anddescending upon the Son of man” John 1:51.
What’s this ladder? It’s Jesus. He’s the ladder; He’s the only way that heaven can reach me, and that I can reach heaven. It is through Christ. And the worst sinner in the world can come, friends. And listen, don’t think that there are certain steps you have to do before you come to Christ. The man that’s smoking cigarettes doesn’t have to quit cigarettes before he comes to Christ. The man that’s got the whiskey habit, he doesn’t have to quit the whiskey before he comes to Christ. The person that swears or uses filthy language, he doesn’t have to quit all that and then come to Jesus.
It matters not what sin is bothering you. You can come to Christ just as you are. In fact, if you come, that’s the only way you can ever come. Christ is the ladder. And the ladder reaches right down to the ground. And the very first step of the ladder is the step of coming to Jesus. See? You don’t say, “Oh, I’ve got to work hard and do better, and then, maybe someday, I’ll come.” How many people there are who know, for instance, that this message is the true message, the Seventh-day Adventist message, and they’d like to be Seventh-day Adventists, but they think that they’ve got to quit tobacco first. Well, they do need to quit tobacco, friends, but they don’t need to quit tobacco before they come to Jesus.
What a strange thing it would be to see a man that’s just so sick he’s in pain, and we say to him, “Why don’t you go to the doctor?” He says, “I am going to go just as soon as I can get strong enough.” The weaker he is, the sicker he is, the more he needs to do what the man with the palsy did. You remember he had his friends carry him on a litter? He couldn’t walk, but he said to his friends, “Men, I’ve got to get to Jesus. I can’t walk, but carry me.”
Listen, my dear friends, if you’re so weak in sin that you can’t even drag yourself to Jesus, get some friends to pray with you and carry you to Jesus. They’ll do it. They’ll be glad to help bring you to Jesus, like that poor sick man. And you remember Jesus was so pleased with that fellow coming to him. And He said: “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee” Matthew 9:2. And He healed him, and he walked away rejoicing. My point is, friends, wherever we are, the ladder, which is Jesus Himself, comes right where we are. Whatever your problem, Jesus is there with you in the problem: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1.
What Stands Out To You?
What stands out to you from today’s lesson that can help you in entering into a C.I.P. with Jesus? Please let us know in the comment section below! God bless!
* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.