This post was written in response to the question “How can I have a relationship with God?” which was sent in by Dan. If you have a question which you would like answered, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan, your question is a great one. I think many people wonder about Jesus, especially around times like Easter and Christmas, because they think that it is important to go to church on these days. While going to church can be good, it can also be confusing. Different churches have their own culture, and if you are not in the church all of the time, the new culture can make you feel foreign and lost. I know what it is like to sit in church and not understand what is going on. It is disappointing. It is frustrating. And it sometimes does not help you answer the questions which really need to be answered.
To answer your question, I will first share with you a brief explanation of how I started my relationship with God. I will then give you some pointers in how to grow in that relationship.
My relationship began the day that I realized that I did not deserve to know God. Someone explained what the Bible said in simple terms to me:
1. God loves humans and wants to have a relationship with us so that we can have full spiritual life.
2. We separate ourselves from God by choosing to follow our own ways instead of his. This is called sin, and results in disconnection from God, or spiritual death. Once our relationship with God is broken, we have no way to get it back ourselves.
3. God chose to come to earth as Jesus, live a life which had no sin, and then take the death that we all deserve on the cross. He showed he was God when he came back to life after 3 days. He died for everyone, so anyone who wants to have a relationship with God can just accept that Jesus made the way for that, and ask God.
4. We must choose to accept Jesus for ourselves. No one can do it for us. It is our choice.
I chose to pray to receive Christ. I told God that I have separated myself from God and gone my own way. I told him that I do not have a way to make myself right. And then I said that I believe that Jesus is God, that he came to earth, that he was without fault, that he died the death that I deserve, and that he came back to life on the third day. I thanked him for doing this for me, and asked him to help me start a new relationship with God.
If you want to start a relationship with God, know that He is waiting for you. It does not matter what you have done in the past. He loves you. You can pray the same thing that I prayed if you want. What matters is the attitude of your heart. If you want to know God, I encourage you to pray now.
If you have chosen to do that, I am excited for you! If you have chosen not to do so, I encourage you to consider what is keeping you from believing in Jesus.
Once you have chosen to receive Jesus, your new life with God can start! I promise you, it will be exciting if you are willing to let God direct you. Here are some ways you can get to know Him more:
1. Pray, which is just talking with God. That is a really great way to grow in your relationship.
2. Read the Bible. I suggest you start by reading about Jesus life in the book of John (you can find it here: biblegateway.com). Find friends who can help you understand it. You can count me as your first friend who wants to do that!
3. Tell others about your decision. Maybe others want to have the same hope. Or maybe you can find friends who already have faith, and can help you understand more about God. You can find such friends at some churches. Just make sure it is a church which believes that it is by Jesus’ grace that we are saved.:)