“Guess what I have?” dad asked his daughter Juliet. Juliet looked at him with a bored expression. SIGH. “I don’t’ know dad, what?” Clutching something in his hand, he waved his hand above his head. His eyes gleaming with pleasure, he repeated, “Guess what I have? And they are for you!” Curious, Juliet slowly approached her father. Realizing that he held some kind of tickets, Juliet jumped up trying to grab them as they played a game of cat and mouse. “Tickets! DADDDD! Tickets to what??!!” Her excitement and frustration mounted as her dad continued to move the tickets out of her reach. With a huge smile on his face, he finally handed her the tickets.
GASP! Juliet’s mouth dropped open as she read the name on the tickets. “AHHHH!” she screamed with excitement! “AHHH! Wait, wait! I have to call Susie! She is not going to believe this! Thanks, Dad!”
“There’s more.” he said in a singsong tone. Juliet suddenly became very still. “More?” she asked. “You and I have back stage passes so you get to meet him!” he proclaimed. “Seriously! Daddy, just think, maybe we will become friends and we will talk for hours! AHHH!”
You may admire a famous person, but without knowing them personally, like you do a friend,
you can’t develop a relationship, can you?
Although God, our heavenly Father, and His son, Jesus Christ are certainly well known, they are not like any famous people we have heard about, are they?
God and Jesus Christ aren’t inaccessible like famous people, with body guards and unlisted phone numbers.
But they are available 24/7.
Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:4
Famous people may have countless fans with whom they will never have a relationship and
whose names they will never know.
But we are not nameless to God.
God knows us, even if we don’t know God.
We are each important to God.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways. Psalm 139:1-3
We don’t have to pay for a back stage pass to meet God in order to start a relationship with Him.
In fact, God is the one who wants a relationship with us, forever. In His great love for us, God even paid to have that relationship. How? By sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die as a sacrifice for our sins.
This is how God showed his love among us:
He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:9-10 NIV
In order to have faith, we must first have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
When we believe in Jesus and invite Him to be a part of our life, He will come into our heart. Now, at this point some of you may be thinking that you know all of this. But I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to ensure that all of my readers were introduced to Jesus. Initiating this relationship with Jesus is a fundamental first step to having and growing your faith.
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;
and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”
As we celebrate the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ this weekend, it seems appropriate to make sure we all understand why Jesus came.
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Jesus did not come just so people would know who He was.
Jesus came to have an everlasting relationship with us all.
In His great love for us, He came to remove our sins/our mistakes from our hearts, bless our spirits with peace, joy and love while on this earth, to give us power to live our lives and to keep us with Him for all eternity
…and so much more!
Jesus proved He is the Son of God with the power to do all these things for us through many miracles while on this earth. But the greatest miracle was His victory over death.
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:1-6
Is Jesus a just a famous person to you or do you have a personal relationship with Him?
If you are unsure whether you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and know Him as your personal Savior and Lord, I encourage you to pray this prayer:
I recognize that I have sinned by the wrongs I have done, and the hurts and offenses that I have caused.1 I am sorry for my sins. Thank you for loving me enough to send Your son, Jesus, to die for the payment for my sins. As the Bible says, I declare out loud that, “Jesus is Lord’” and believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. 2 Thank you for saving me and giving me everlasting life with You. 3 Help me to grow my relationship with You and follow You in faith from now on. In Jesus name.
For more explanation of making Jesus Christ your personal Savior, visit this website: https://www.peacewithgod.net/
MY FAITH RELATIONSHIP
In The Beginning…..So what was the beginning of my faith journey? The first step was giving my heart to Jesus. And this is how it happened.
I was immersed in church activities from birth. I even have a certificate for my enrollment in the Cradle Roll at church. If there was a church activity, you can bet that we would be there.
But even though I started learning about God at an early age, trusting Him with my heart was different.
It was like hearing about a famous person but not meeting them.
At age 8, the preacher came to speak to our Sunday School class. I can remember sitting with the class in front of the preacher and feeling the tug of God’s Holy Spirit on my heart.
It was then that I believed in God’s son, Jesus, and gave my heart to Him.
It was nothing dramatic. I wasn’t a rebellious or devious child. In fact, I was a pretty good kid so there was no dramatic change in my behavior. But I did change, quietly in my heart. No longer was I just hearing about someone famous. Jesus was someone I personally knew and could talk to in prayer.
Now, I can’t remember everything I was thinking and feeling at age 8. Let’s face it, that was a long time ago. (We won’t talk about how long ago that was.) But I do remember feeling the tug on my heart the day I really met Jesus and many times since then.
Growing up I just assumed Jesus loved me. Like the song I learned early on says, “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” 4 Unlike my thoughts questioning people’s love or trustworthiness, I never questioned Jesus’ love or trustworthiness. It was the depth of my relationship and the amount of trust I had in Him that changed over time.
As I grew into adulthood, and “life” happened, I realized my faith, my trust in Jesus was as shallow as my relationship to Him.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith in Jesus but,
it was that I didn’t understand how to have a deep faith and deep relationship with God through Jesus.
As I have taken this journey in life, I have learned how to grow a deeper relationship and faith in Him. I pray you will all take this journey with me as we all continue to grow and deepen our relationship, love and faith in God.
FAITH REQUIRES A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS.
Ticket photo pixabay
Bible photo by Joshua Hanks, unsplash
Bible scripture photo by Wisconsin pictures, unsplash
Bible study photo by Kelly Sikkema, unsplash
1 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
2 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 NIV
3 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
4 Written by Anna Bartlett Warner
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