What Does It Mean To Have A Personal Relationship With God?
God's presence in our lives produces peace, purpose and power.
- Peace shows itself by the ability to properly relate to God, other persons, ourselves and our world.
- Purpose provides understanding of God's desires for our lives.
- Power is the ability to do all we were put in this world to accomplish.
How intimate and personal is your relationship with God?
To some degree this can be determined by how often you sense His presence in your life.
- Minute - every waking minute.
- Hourly - frequently during the day.
- Daily - sometime during each day.
- Weekly - perhaps associated with religious services.
- Monthly - occasionally through the year.
- Yearly - on occasions like Christmas, Easter or the anniversary of a loved one's death.
- Seldom - at crisis such as death in family or financial reversal.
Are you positive you will live with Him in heaven forever?
Suppose you were in an accident. At the gate of heaven you are asked: "Why should you be admitted?" What would you say?
The Bible says: "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). You can have an intimate relationship with God now, and be sure you will live with Him in heaven forever.
The best news you will ever hear is that God loves you and has made it possible for you to have eternal life!
This raises a number of questions:
What is eternal life?
How does it express itself?
Why don't more people have it?
How does a person get it?
ETERNAL LIFE IS KNOWING GOD
"This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3).
In the Bible, God reveals His inner self. He reveals He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the Almighty Creator of all things.
GOD MADE US IN HIS OWN IMAGE
For this reason, man is a personal, spiritual being with a moral sense of right and wrong, and he has the ability to worship, love and communicate.
Knowing the only True God means having an intimate, personal relationship with Him - not just knowing about Him.
How does eternal life express itself?
ETERNAL LIFE IS EXPRESSED THROUGH LOVING RELATIONSHIPS
The first and great Commandment is:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27).
A person's love for God must show itself in love for people. "Anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen" (I John 4:20). Our ability to have loving relationships has been altered by sin.
SIN IS DISOBEDIENCE
Disobedience is doing what God says is wrong - in act, attitude or thought. "Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer" (I John 3:15). "Anyone who looks . . . lustfully has already committed adultery . . in his heart" (Matthew 5:28).
Disobedience is not doing what God says is right. "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (James 4:17).
God requires perfection. Jesus said: "Be perfect . . . as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
How does sin alter relationships?
SIN SEPARATES US FROM GOD AND DAMAGES OUR ABILITY TO RELATE TO PEOPLE
"Your iniquities have separated you from your God" (Isa. 59:2). God must now relate to us as our righteous Judge instead of our loving father.
When we are not rightly related to God, our ability to properly relate to people is damaged. We hurt each other. We especially hurt ourselves. We grieve God by disobeying His laws.
The only answer to this problem is Jesus.
JESUS IS THE MEDIATOR
"There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men" (I Tim. 2:5-6).
Not only is He true man, He is also true God. The prophet Isaiah, looking forward to His birth 800 years before it happened said: "To us a child is born, to us a son is given . . . and he will be called Mighty God" (Isa. 9:6).
As True God He has equal dignity with God and His payment for man's sin had infinite value. As True Man, He had perfect sympathy with man and can pay for man's sins.
What did He do for us?
HE DID EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO RESTORE RELATIONSHIPS. HE LIVED THE PERFECT LIFE!
The apostle Peter declared, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth" (I Peter 2:22).
After thirty-three years of living perfectly, what did Jesus do?
"He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness" (I Peter 2:24).
"He forgave all your sins, and blotted out the charges proved against you . . . He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's Cross" (Col. 2:13,14 TLB).
Then what happened?
HE CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE ALIVE.
Luke declared: "He showed himself to these men (the Apostles) and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days" (Acts 1:3).
This is the most important and one of the best attested facts of history. Now it is possible to receive eternal life.
Because you receive a restored relationship, your mind must change.
CHANGING YOUR MIND IS NOT BEING SORRY FOR GETTING CAUGHT. CHANGING YOUR MIND IS BEING SORRY FOR DOING WRONG, TURNING FROM IT WITH GOD'S HELP AND DESIRING JESUS AS LORD.
"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
Changing your mind about doing wrong is necessary! God's holy nature will not allow Him to forgive sin without it. But to be sorry for past wrong cannot undo it.
The relationship is restored through Living Trust...
LIVING TRUST IS NOT MERE BLIND BELIEF.
It is not a blind leap in the dark. It is based on the promises of the Bible that have actually happened in history - the facts that Jesus lived a perfect life, died and then came out of the grave alive.
After Jesus returned from the dead He said to Thomas, "Reach out your hand, and put it into my side; and stop doubting and believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:27,28)
LIVING TRUST IS NOT MERE HEAD BELIEF.
Merely knowing about food in the mind will not satisfy hunger. It must be eaten.
Merely knowing about Jesus in the mind is not the same as having an intimate, personal relationship with Him.
LIVING TRUST IS NOT MERE NOW BELIEF.
Jesus taught us to depend on God for needs in the daily life. He urged us to pray, "Give us today our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). But there is more to life than things that are seen: "What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (II Cor. 4:18).
What then IS Living Trust?
LIVING TRUST IS RELYING ON JESUS CHRIST ALONE FOR YOUR ETERNAL LIFE.
The apostle John said, "God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Jesus said: "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).
Living trust is not belief without evidence, but it is commitment to Jesus Christ without reservation.
What happens when I trust? YOU RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE.
God enters into a new, intimate, personal relationship with you. He provides life that has power. He also provides life that has purpose.
Do you feel this makes sense? Would you like to enter this new relationship with Jesus and receive eternal life now?
This is the most important decision you will ever make in your life.
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BRIEFLY REVIEW what is involved in entering this new relationship with Jesus and receiving ETERNAL LIFE:
ETERNAL LIFE is knowing God, intimately, personally. This shows itself through loving relationships. You seek with God's help to love Him with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself!
This especially shows itself in your relationship to other members of His family. He gathers His family into local churches. He wants you to be a responsible growing member in a local church.
Is this what you want?
SIN alters the ability to have loving relationships. SIN is disobedience. It separates us from God and damages our ability to relate to people.
Do you acknowledge that you have sinned?
JESUS is the only answer to this problem. He is the only mediator. He did everything necessary to restore relationships. He lived the perfect life, died, and came out of the grave alive.
Do you acknowledge that Jesus is the only answer to the problem of sin in your life?
YOUR MIND MUST CHANGE before you receive a restored relationship. This is not being sorry for getting caught. It is being sorry for doing wrong, turning from it with God's help and desiring Jesus as Lord.
Are you willing to turn from whatever is not pleasing to him?
LIVING TRUST restores the relationship with God. Living trust is not mere blind belief, head belief or now belief. Living trust is relying on Jesus Christ alone for your eternal life. Is this what you want?
How do you receive eternal life?
EXPRESS your trust in Christ by sincerely praying the following and God will give you eternal life:
"Lord, I have sinned. I am sorry for my sins. With your help I want to turn from my sin. Take control of my life. Help me be a responsible, growing member of your family in a local church. Lord, I want eternal life. I want an intimate, personal relationship with you. I want to know for certain that I will live with you in heaven forever. In Jesus name I pray. Amen."
"God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
God cannot lie! These words are true! On the basis of His promise and your response, do you now have eternal life?
IF someone asks you "do you have an intimate, personal relationship with God?", what would you say? IF you were to depart this world tonight, where would you open your eyes? IF at the gate of heaven you were asked why should you be admitted, how would you reply?
IF you truly trust in Christ alone, at the gate of heaven then . . . the Lord will say to you: "Enter, good and faithful servant . . . ."
When you trust Christ, He not only is your Lord and God, He also wants to be your Best Friend. If you truly trust Christ, you will want to do all you can to be His friend. Get involved in a local, Christ-centered, Bible-believing church and let someone there know that you've recently trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and they can help you grow in your relationship with Him! You are a NEW creation!