Everybody Wants to be in a “Relationship”
Relationships: Everybody wants to be in one – so it seems…
However, what about a “relationship with God”? It can be a catch phrase. But what does it really mean? I believe that we have to go back to the beginning where our relationship was initiated – where God pursued us.
Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
We can pursue an authentic relationship with Christ because He made us His own. It all begins and ends with Christ. He initiated the relationship and in so doing we know His love – the motivation to pursue more of who Christ is.
As believers, how do we grow in our knowledge of Him?
The old disciplines of Bible reading and prayer – to rise early and spend time with the Lord – are tried and true. [Ps. 63:1] God revealed himself through His Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” These disciplines are not mere devotional practices, but means of grace so we can grow in our knowledge of Him. But, this is not knowledge for knowledge sake. It is so that our “love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent.” [Phil. 1:9 & 10]
Not only are we to spend time in His Word, but also we are to receive His Word from others. Whether through the means of preaching or personal instruction from one that disciples you, these biblical means are not to be neglected. [2 Tim.2:1 & 2; Eph. 4:11-16] They are gifts to us from the Lord so we can grow in godliness. Specifically, these means are primarily [but not solely] found within the local church – Christ’s body. Surround yourself with His people. Never go at it alone. There is no place for lone ranger Christianity in the economy of God.
Finally, we are to renew our mind with Scripture.
This may appear the same as reading the Word and though they are close there is a distinction. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The only way to counter lies ingrained within our thinking is to identify them. It requires continual renewal with the transformational truth of God’s Word. Don’t just read it, memorize and meditate on these precious truths – camp there for a lifetime.
Remember, the pursuit of Christ is not religious duty or mental assent. It is a way of life. There is a renouncing and a surrendering. Our life is not our own as a disciple of Christ. It requires, through grace, a daily dying to self. You will pick up your cross daily. Furthermore, as we grow in our relationship, as we grow in our knowledge and love for Christ, we will see an evident effect on our relationships. [Matt. 22:37-40] The Gospel is not a one-time act. It is a dynamic force that motivates us to love Christ and those He has placed in our life for His glory.
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