Connect with God

Do you have a personal relationship with God? That is what He desires more than you could ever possibly imagine. God gave us a book, called the Bible, and in it, He shows us over and over again the depths of His incredible love for us. It was His desire and plan to establish a relationship between human beings and Himself, and for us to reflect His very character – to be like Him.

“When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.”
(Genesis 5:1, NIV)

God wants us to have a full, abundant life! In the Bible book of John, chapter 10 and the last half of verse 10, Jesus says “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Isn’t that amazing! God loves us in way that is difficult for us to fully understand, and He wants us to have full and abundant lives! Why would we ever choose not to have a relationship with someone like this?

God created us in His likeness, so that means we were created as good and we have our own free will. Beaming with our own pride and selfishness, we chose to try life on our own; disregarding what God tells us is best for our lives. Sounds like almost every parent-child relationship you know, doesn’t it? This is what separates us from God both now and in eternity: choosing to go our own way, being willfully disobedient to God. This is all offensive to God, or as you may have heard it called, sinning.

But thankfully, God loves us so much, that He made a really easy way for us to have that loving relationship. Easy for us that is. You see, before Jesus’s death on the cross, God required a blood sacrifice for our offenses. The blood sacrifice requirement was to show us just how serious disobedience is to God. Blood is life. Something had to give its very life to make amends for our rebellious attitude and actions. And that had to be done over and over again as people continued to disobey God.

But then Jesus came. God sent His Son, to suffer and die on the cross (seen as a very humiliating death in the Roman empire) to offer a sacrifice for our rebellious attitude and actions. God’s act of love provided the only sacrifice needed from then on for us to reconcile and have a relationship with Him.

How to have a personal relationship with God

The Bible tells us that all you need to do to have this relationship with God is:

  1. Admit that you sin and recognize that it separates you from God

    “For all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God”
    (Romans 3:23, NIV)
    “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
    (Proverbs 14:12, NIV)
    “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
    (Romans 6:23, NIV)

  2. Acknowledge that Jesus died a substitutionary death on the cross for us, that He rose from the dead, that He is the only path through which we can experience God’s love and plan for our life, and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.

    “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    (Romans 5:8, NIV).
    “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time…”
    (1 Corinthians 15:3-6, NIV)
    “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
    (John 14:6, NIV)
    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
    (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV)

  3. Respond to God’s gift with faith.

    “That 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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
    (Romans 10: 9-10, NIV)

Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. And having an emotional experience is not enough. Receiving Jesus is by faith in our hearts and our minds, and an act of our free will.

Prayer is simply talking to God. He knows your heart and is concerned with the attitude of it much more than he is with what or how you talk to Him. Here is a sample prayer that you could say to God if it reflects how you really feel or you can use your own words.

“Lord Jesus, I recognize my need for You and that I have said and done things that are offensive to You. I ask for Your forgiveness and thank You for taking what should have been my place by dying on the cross for those sins. I believe that You died and rose again so that I can be forgiven and have a relationship with You for eternity, here on Earth and then with You in Heaven. I know there is nothing that I can do to earn Your gracious gift of salvation, I can only accept it. Please come into my life and help me learn to be more like You.

In Jesus name,

Amen.

Now what do I do?

If you just prayed that prayer or one similar from your own heart, there are some things that you should begin to do right away.

First you should tell someone. Tell a pastor or a Christian friend or family member who can help you grow.

“It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”
(Ephesians 4:10-13, NIV)

You should talk to God (pray) and read your Bible every day. God reveals His plans for you through His Word (the Bible) and prayer.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.”
(Psalm 119:105-106, NIV)

As an act of obedience you should be baptized. Baptism is an outward witness of an inner faith in Jesus. It is identifying with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection by expressing your death to sin, burial of your old life (immersion in water) and resurrection to a new life in Jesus Christ (bringing you up out of the water).

“So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.”
(Acts 10:48, NIV)

You should join the church. The church is where God’s family connects to and worships God together, grows together in knowledge of God’s ways and serves each other, their community and the world for God’s glory.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
(Hebrews 10:24-2, NIV)

You should seek a Godly mentor. Find someone that shows their great love for God, who can model Godly living for you and coach you in your new relationship with Jesus.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will be qualified to teach others.”
(2 Timothy 2:2, NIV)

Satan wants nothing more than to keep you from your new relationship with God and he will distract you with anything he can. That is why it’s so important that you do these things right away.

If First Baptist Church can help you in any way, or if this page helped you in any way we want to hear from you. If you want to know more or need to talk with someone face-to-face, our contact information is below on this page.