Growing a relationship with God is simple! All of us, yes even you, were originally intended to have a relationship with God. The Bible tells us that God had a relationship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but sin came into the world when they disobeyed God and ate fruit from a forbidden tree.
However, God provided a way for sin to be forgiven by sending His son Jesus to earth. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, he provided a way for our forgiveness and restored our relationship with God. This, although tragic, was good news for all of us. For those making this journey for the first time, let me congratulate you on taking your first step. It is a choice that is going to change you for the rest of your life, but there are some things you will need to do.
The first step in growing a relationship with God to apologize to Him. God truly is a loving God, and once we say we are sorry to Him, He will take away our sin and make us a brand new person; a Christian. He will also gives us the free gift of Eternal Life. What this means is that when we die the next phase of our life begins; spending eternity with Jesus.
So now that you've the first step by apologizing to God, you need to ask His forgiveness for the things you have done wrong, and ask him to come into your life. The Bible says that "if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1: 9.) You can do this now, wherever you are, and whatever the time is by simply praying the following prayer:
"Lord God, thank you for loving me enough to send your one and only Son to die for me. I know I am a sinner, and that Jesus was crucified and raised to life to pay a debt I was unable to pay, in order That I may live with You forever. I want to turn from my way of life and follow Jesus. I invite Jesus into my heart as the Lord of my life. Thank you, Father, for giving me new life in the name of Jesus. Amen! "
That is it! God has now made you a brand new person. I can't say what type of new person you've become, only God and you will know that. Having prayed this prayer you may already feel a new peace in your heart. That is God showing you that He's come in. Even if you don't feel anything now, keep believing that God has answered your prayer and very soon you will notice that things are different inside.
You may well be wondering what is next and want to know more. Well, if you've just committed your life to Jesus by reading the above prayer, congratulations again. No doubt, if you are like I was, you'll suddenly find that you have all types of questions running through your head. Like:
- What does it mean to be a Christian?
- How do I pray?
- How do I grow as a Christian?
- Which bible should I read?
- How do I learn more about Jesus? and so on!
Read on and I will help ease your thoughts about some of these.
If you are like I was, you will be wondering what exactly does it mean to be a Christian? Well, if you've just read the above prayer and have asked Jesus to come into your life, then YOU are a Christian! You see, the word Christian means CHRIST-IN – as in somebody who has asked Jesus into their life. By accepting Jesus into your life, you have become a Christian.
The "What Next" of a Christian is to become more like Jesus. More like Jesus! "How is one supposed to do that ?," you ask. Don't worry, God has provided a guide for you. Everything you need to become more like Jesus is contained in the writings of the Bible. Through stories, parables, songs and verse, God shows us the way to becoming more like Jesus.
On of the first things asked by new Christians is usually; "Which bible do I need?" There are many versions available, but I would recommend you go with one of the new translations, like the New International Version, or, if you find you're interested in all the background information, you might try an educational bible like the ESV Study Bible. You will find both of these much easier to read then something like the King James version; not that I'm knocking it, I just find it's older dialect harder to read!
Now, the Bible is a big book; Actually it is two books, the Old Testament and the New Testament. It can be difficult to find a starting point, so my suggestion is that you start at the book of Mark. It is the second book in the New Testament – the one after Matthew.
Mark's gospel gives a detailed account of what happened when Jesus walked the Earth. I'm sure you will find it very interesting! Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to read it all at once. Read a few chapters at a time and then spend some time contemplating what you have just read. As a suggestion, try following a reading schedule like the one below:
Day 1 – Chapter 1
Day 2 – Chapter 2 & 3
Day 3 – Chapter 4 & 5
Day 4 – Chapter 6 & 7
Day 5 – Chapter 8 & 9
Day 6 – Chapter 10 & 11
Day 7 – Chapter 12 & 13
Day 8 – Chapter 14
Day 9 – Chapter 15 & 16
Once you have finished reading Mark, move onto John, or maybe Mathew, but I recommend staying in the New Testament to start; except maybe for the book of Proverbs. You might also want to add a chapter of Proverbs to your daily reading. Proverbs is nice in that it is contains 31 chapters, ie one for each day of the month. I'm not going to say that these are rules, but rather a good set of guidelines for you life.
With your studies of Jesus underway, it is time to start praying and listening to God. Just like in our everyday relationships, we get to know people by spending time with them. If we want to get to know about God and Jesus, we need to spend time with them.
Many people say; "I just don't know how to pray." Well, if you can talk to a friend, you can pray to God. Find a quiet place away from everyone, maybe start by reading a little from the Bible. I like to read out loud to prevent me from speed reading and passing over important passages. Sit quietly for awhile and listen for God. Don't rush into prayer. Contemplate what you've just read; did any of it make an impact on you?
Then just talk to Him. You don't need fancy words or special phrases. What is important to God is that you talk with him, and in doing so, you are praying to Him. When I pray, I sit and talk with Him as if I've known him my whole life. I go off into an empty room where it is quiet. I even have a chair in my room especially for Him! I may not see Him, but I know he is there!
Praise Him for the things He does in your life. Both the trials and tribulations! The blessings and the heartaches. For it is through these that He teaches and molds you to be more like Jesus.
Talk to Him about your day and any problems that you are experiencing. Ask Him to forgive your sin and for the things you do that make Him unhappy. God really is interested in every detail of your life. Oh, and don't forget to praise and thank God for who He is, and also for the great things around us. It's that simple.
One final note. Since you've found that you have a sudden interest in growing a relationship with God, know that He calls you to be part of His body, and His body is the church. Considered looking for a church home. It may take a while to find one you like, but you'll know it when you find it. Part of growing with God is not only being loved, but also loving Him through others. Don't miss out on it, start looking for a good church!
Source by Anthony Campanaro