Summary: Before we start our relationship with God, we have to be reconciled to him.
How To Have A Personal Relationship With Jesus May 6, 2007
Starting the Relationship
Bill Leslie Story as intro to the series
Pastor of La Salle St. Church in Chicago
- Evangelical, inner-city pastor, Church sponsored by Moody Church
- burnt out, goes to Catholic nun for counseling, says he feels like he is a pump, and everyone who comes by takes a turn at the handle, and the well has gone dry, its all been pumped away.
She tells him he is pumping of the surface: he has to dig the well deeper,
"Do you Know what you need? You need a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
I had a conversation with one of our newer people this week, and she was explaining that what excited her about Runnymede was the possibility of actually having a personal relationship with God! Sounds like a good sermon series to me!
Begin with Reconciliation
In order to have a relationship with God, we need to actually start the relationship! We can assume that we already have one.
Starting a relationship with God is different than beginning a relationship with another human, it is even different than starting a relationship with a famous or powerful person.
You might think that you’d like to be friends with Sydney Crosby – he seems like a nice enough guy, and all you would have to do is show up at a dinner party where Sydney was going to be, strike up a conversation and see where it goes from there. You could do this since you have no history with Sydney – you only have to get to know each other and see if you make for good friends.
The difficulty with starting a relationship with God is that we have history.
It is more like trying to start a relationship with a parent that we ran away from when we were 16. It’s not impossible, but it is not as simple as starting up the conversation.
God created us to live in relationship with him. He made us to be his friend, his child, his companion. But In many different ways each of us has rejected that relationship.
Either consciously or unconsciously, with full knowledge, or unknowingly we said no-thanks to the relationship with God deciding that there were other things more important that the relationship we were created for.
You know in human relationships that there are things that you can do that will break the relationship – a friend tells you something in confidence and you blab it all over the city, you promise yourself to the one you love and then go sharing your love (or your lust) with someone else…
This is how Paul describes humanity’s rejection of our relationship with God: “People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
So God said, in effect, "If that’s what you want, that’s what you get." It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us.” Romans 1:21-25
When you read this passage with an understanding of the relationship that God made us for, and relate it to human relationships, you see that what we have done is not unlike sleeping around on our marriage partner. We were made to worship the God who made us, by worshiping things other than God, we have broken the relationship. By going to created things, or even things that we have created for the things that only our creator should give us, by giving created things, or even things that we have created things that we should only give our creator, we have been unfaithful and broken the relationship.
Paul says here that it is our unfaithfulness to God that leads us to do the wrong things that we do in our lives. The sin in our lives is a symptom of our unfaithfulness to God.
You might hear that and say “Oh yeah, that’s me.” Or you might be thinking, “What on earth is he saying, I never did such a thing!” The reality is whether we consciously broke relationship with God or not, that is our heritage and it is the stuff that we have to deal with in order to start the relationship with God.