When somebody becomes a Christian, they don’t just have their sins forgiven and a ticket to heaven when they die; they enter into a relationship with their saviour, Jesus.
Many religions focus on various rituals you have to perform and things you have to do in order to get on God’s good side, or to somehow gain his favour. But as we have discussed before we are saved by grace through faith. Effectively all our religious rituals and requirements have already been fully completed in Jesus. He has done everything required. This means that everything we do subsequently is purely out of our relationship with Him.
Just like any other relationship, we will want to deepen our relationship with Jesus by spending time with Him, getting to know Him better and finding out what His will is for our lives.
It is important to stress from the outset that setting time aside to study and read God’s word and to seek Him in prayer is out of relationship with Him, not through any obligation, sense of duty or striving to gain extra merit points. We are saved by grace and we must continue in our faith by grace as we seek to know Him better.
What I am going to cover over the coming weeks may sound like a list of obligations we have to go through to get more standing with God: a daily check list where we tick off 15 minutes bible study, 20 minutes prayer and listen to a worship song, that’s my ‘God bit’ for the day. It is actually very easy to slip into that way, especially if you have been a Christian for a long time, but this is not at all how I want it to come across.
We seek Jesus because we love Him and because we want to please Him, and this is not through any sense of duty. Imagine if I gave my wife a bunch of flowers and said that it was a requirement due to a nuptial agreement we made during our marriage vows. That would not go down too well. My wife wants to hear me say ‘I love you’ (and as I have discovered, not just the once!!).
Over the next few weeks (and I have no idea how long this will continue) we are going to look at 4 ways that will help us develop and deepen our relationship with Jesus. They are not the only ways, but they are certainly good places to start. I have alluded to some of them already but you’ll have to come back each Friday to find out what the next subject is.