WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BEGIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
Wait for lightning to strike? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?
NONE of these.
God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him. This will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now . . .
PRINCIPLE ONE: GOD LOVES YOU AND OFFERS A WONDERFUL PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE
God created you. Not only that, He loves you so much that He wants you to know Him now and spend eternity with Him. Jesus said, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Jesus came so that each of us could know and understand God in a personal way. Jesus alone can bring meaning and purpose to life.
What keeps us from knowing God?
PRINCIPLE TWO: ALL OF US SIN AND OUR SIN HAS SEPARATED US FROM GOD
We sense that separation, that distance from God because of our sin. The Bible tells us that, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
Deep down, our attitude may be one of active rebellion or passive indifference toward God and His ways, but it’s all evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
The result of sin in our lives is death — spiritual separation from God (see Romans 6:23). Although we may try to get close to God through our own effort, we inevitably fail.
This diagram shows the great gap that exists between us and God. The arrows illustrate how we might try to reach God through our own efforts. We may try to do good things in life, or earn God’s acceptance through a good life or a moral philosophy. But our good efforts are insufficient to cover up our sin.
How can we bridge this gulf?
PRINCIPLE THREE: JESUS CHRIST IS GOD'S ONLY PROVISION FOR OUR SIN. THROUGH HIM WE CAN KNOW AND EXPERIENCE GOD'S LOVE AND PLAN FOR OUR LIFE.
We deserve to pay for our own sin. The problem is, the payment is death. In order that we would not have to die separated from God, out of His love for us, Jesus Christ died in our place. On the cross, Jesus took all of our sin on Himself and completely, fully paid for it. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18). He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Spirit). (Titus 3:5). Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, our sin doesn’t have to separate us from God any longer.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Jesus not only died for our sin, He rose from the dead (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-6). When He did, He proved beyond doubt that He can rightfully promise eternal life — that He is the Son of God and the only means by which we can know God. That is why Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
Instead of trying harder to reach God, He tells us how we can begin a relationship with Him right now. Jesus says, In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38). It was Jesus’ love for us that caused Him to endure the cross. And He now invites us to come to Him, that we might begin a personal relationship with God.
Just knowing what Jesus has done for us and what He is offering us is not enough. To have a relationship with God, we need to welcome Him into our life.
PRINCIPLE FOUR: WE MUST INDIVIDUALLY ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD
The Bible says, But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. (John 1:12).
We accept Jesus by faith. The Bible says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Accepting Jesus means believing that Jesus is the Son of God, who He claimed to be, then inviting Him to guide and direct our lives (John 3:1-8). Jesus said, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10).
Here is Jesus’ invitation. He said, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).
How will you respond to God’s invitation?
Consider these two circles.
BEGIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS
You can receive Christ right now. Remember that Jesus loves you and wants to save you from your sin right now. Would you like to respond to His invitation? Here’s how.
The precise words you use to commit yourself to God are not important. He knows the intentions of your heart. If you are unsure of what to pray, this might help you put it into words:
“Jesus, I want to know You. I want You to come into my life. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin so that I could be fully accepted by You. Only You can give me the power to change and become the person You created me to be. Thank you for forgiving me and giving me eternal life with God. I give my life to You. Please do with it as You wish. Amen.”
If you sincerely asked Jesus into your life just now, then He has come into your life as He promised. You have begun a personal relationship with God. What follows is a lifelong journey of change and growth as you get to know God better through Bible reading, prayer and interaction with other Christians.
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