Summary: This series uses the acquaintance thru marriage relationships to help individuals understand where they are with their relationship with Jesus Christ. Part one focuses on acquaintance rleationships.
What Is Jesus Costing You?
We have entered into a new year and a new decade. This year I want to encourage you to look closely at your personal relationship with Christ so that you know. We need to know and understand why we believe what we believe. We need to know and understand what it means to worship God in spirit and in truth. We need to know and understand why we choose to accept the fullness of the relationship presented to us through Jesus Christ. We need to know and understand all of these things so that when we are asked, we can confidently share our beliefs and/or experiences with someone else. It is not a requirement that you believe as I believe, but whatever you choose to believe you should know at a minimum why you believe what you do.
Developing an individual relationship with Christ is like learning to drive a car. When a small child rides in a car, they sit in the back seat, often in a car seat. When they get in the car, they do not understand what the driver does to make the car move, but they know that the thing they are riding in begins to move. As they grow older, they begin to take notice of what their parent does to make the car move. They see the key going into the little hole and their parent turning it. They see their parent’s foot pushing up and down on the two pedals while their hands turn this big wheel. They see all of this, but the full understanding is not there. Finally they become teenagers and they want to learn to drive; they want to experience what their parents experienced. They take a driver’s education course where they learn the fundamentals. Their parents then begin to give them real time experience. Until they actually sit behind the wheel of the car, they only have an educational knowledge of how to drive the car. Their understanding is based solely on what someone else’s experiences are based on what they have learned. However, once they get behind the wheel of the car, they begin to understand and experience fully what it means to drive. The more experiences they obtain, the more confidence they have in their driving ability. As they experience driving in the rain, they begin to understand why they must slow down. As they experience sliding in the snow, they begin to understand how you turn into the slide versus away from the slide. All of these individual experiences add to their collective knowledge about driving. As they continue to get older and more experience, they learn to take care of a car with the normal maintenance activities such as oil changes, etc. Finally one day they get the experience of purchasing their own car and having a car payment. Although they will continue to learn through their driving experiences, they now have a personal knowledge and understanding of driving and are able to explain it and possibly teach others to do it. At this point it is not just about the fundamentals of the action, but being able to explain the rationale of why some things must be done a certain way.
Now consider how we develop our personal relationships with Christ. We start off just like that child in the back seat. We witness others praying and singing and talking about Christ, but for us it is just what they do. We do not understand fully why they do it, but we know once a week we go to a Church and this is what happens. As we begin to grow, we move from the backseat to the front seat. Now we are able to witness what the others are doing in their relationship with Christ. We start to pay attention to the testimonies and begin to wonder if the same things could happen in our lives. We begin to question how they came to where they are – just as the child watched their parents drive and began to question what it means to do certain things. As we continued to grow, more questions are asked and answered until finally we want to have that experience, that knowledge for ourselves. This is when we finally come to realize that God is a personal God and desires to have a personal relationship with each of us through His Son Jesus Christ. We begin to seek out that relationship – just like driver’s training. When we begin to interact with Christ one on one we begin to understand. This is the knowledge that begins to change how we see God and how we interact with Him through Christ. When this starts to happen, we are confident in what we believe and why we believe it and can easily talk to others about it. When someone asks how we can believe in a God that we have never seen we can give an answer that is fully based on reality and our personal experiences with Him. We can talk about our beliefs in Christ dying for our sins and thus bringing us back into harmony with our Father. It ceases to be about how many Scriptures we can quote based on what others have said, but how many Scriptures we have experienced. When someone quotes Philippians 4:19 which says “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” we can say “He already has and let me give you one example…” You see, it is the personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ that makes the Scriptures come alive and mean something.