Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lukewarm Test #2 - Relationship or Rules?

Jesus desires for us to have a real relationship with Him.  He doesn't want a superficial relationship that consists of lip service and checking man made rules off of a list.  He doesn't care how many times our bodies sit in a church service.  Sitting in a church service does not make a relationship.  He cares if our hearts are fully devoted to Him in all that we do.

A real relationship is fostered by time together.  For example, in order for my husband and I to really know each other, appreciate each other, and deeply love each other we have to spend real quality time together.  Just knowing the other person exists will not make our relationship. 

It is the same with Jesus.  Just professing that He is real does not create a relationship with Him. 

Romans 10:9 - If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Many times this verse is read and people check it off of a list.  Yep, I believe in Jesus so I'm good, people think.  However, in the original language the word "believe" is a verb.  A verb is an action.  When we truly believe in Jesus, we can't help but live for Him and about Him.  Our hearts turn towards pleasing Him rather than ourselves and others.  Our thoughts and hearts revolve around Him.

Ways to create and grow a relationship with Jesus:
  • Upon waking, give thanks to God and ask Him to guide you throughout the day.
  • Keep a prayer journal.  In the journal, write prayer requests.  When the prayers are answered, write the date and the answer next to the request.
  • Memorize Scripture.  Keep a small notebook to write a Scripture each week to memorize.  Throughout the week, you may notice God speaking to you through the Scripture.  Write these occurrences in the notebook on the page with the Scripture.
  • Read your Bible DAILY.  Take notes in your Bible.  The more you mark it up, the more it becomes yours.
  • Be involved in a Bible study.  Whether it is on your own or in a group, studying portions of the Bible will strengthen your love for Jesus.
  • Love on those the world views unlovable.  Make eye contact, smile, engage in conversations, etc, with people that you come in contact with.
  • Surround yourself with others who truly have a relationship with Jesus.  You will encourage each other.

So are you wondering if your heart is in a relationship or just checking rules off of a list?  Here is your test...

Matthew 7:20 - So you'll recognize them by their fruit.

When one is truly in a relationship with Jesus, the fruits of the Spirit pour out onto others.  The heart is focused on Jesus rather than on self. 

Galatians 5:22-23a...The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.

Do you see these fruits pouring out of you??  If so, keep growing in your relationship with Jesus.  If not, it is not too late to create a relationship.  As long as you are breathing, there is time.

Commit today to grow in your relationship with Jesus.  May He be your #1 priority always.