Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Relationship with Jesus

Christianity is not a religion it's a relationship!

This quote, or similar versions of it, has been used so often that it has become cliche, but there is still truth in it. In my post Is True Christianity a Religion? I wrote about a misconception caused by this statement. Namely that religion in itself is not the problem; the problem is when we forget the purpose of the religion. We all have religious traditions that we follow and these traditions can actually help us deepen our relationship with Jesus as long as we keep our focus on Jesus and not on the tradition. 

Where is your focus?

Can you remember when you first started a true relationship with Jesus? Not when you prayed a prayer at the altar or with a friend or family member but when you first recognized that you had a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. The prayer is a great place to start and if you have never prayed that prayer, or feel that you need to pray it again for any reason, then I encourage you to visit What is the Gospel and pray through the prayer I have written on that page, then contact me and let me know that you did. However the prayer is just the start; it is a point of entry into the relationship, but the real relationship is built on spending time with Him each day. Jesus said:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:4

Abide means to live, it denotes a continual presence. We are to live continuously in Jesus Christ, in a continuous relationship with Him. 

I do remember when my relationship with Jesus began. I grew up in a "Christian" home but the very person that would force me to read the Bible and to memorize scripture one day would beat me the next and lock me in my room with a padlock. At one point my stepfather had my brothers and I locked in an empty room with black tarp around the windows and no light in the room. It was literally so dark in that room that I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. I remember feeling around on the floor to find the bowl of water that was left in there so I could have a drink. 

It was in this place of literal total darkness that I began a relationship with the Light!

Jesus met me in that place of tragedy and I learned first hand who He is and how much He cares about me. It is because of that experience that I can confidently state that Deuteronomy 31:6 is true:

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

If you haven't experienced a relationship with Him like I am discussing then I strongly encourage you to start now.  As mentioned above you can start here but remember that is just the start. It is just a little direction to get you started but even more important than praying the prayer that I wrote down would be praying a prayer of honesty from your heart. 

Cry out to God, ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and feel free to tell Him what it is that makes it hard for you to come to Him.

If you're open for Him then He will answer!

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