“Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
~1 Timothy 4:15-16
Christianity is about your relationship with God, not merely a religion. Your salvation depends on accepting Jesus sacrifice for your sins. It’s a free gift.
You were created to have a very real, personal, intimate relationship with God. That relationship is blocked by the barrier that sin creates, since God is holy. The penalty for sin is death.
God still loved you enough to want to pursue a relationship with you. Period. It meant so much to Him that He was willing to sacrifice His Only Son, to shatter the barrier that sin created, and allow you to come into His Presence, and fellowship with Him.
When you accept His forgiveness for your sins, it’s important to learn all that you can about obeying His ways (which are all designed for your best life ever!), and honoring and pleasing Him, out of gratitude and love because of your salvation, not to earn your salvation.
The way that we do this is by following what God says in His Word. I’d like to share with you how to have that relationship with God that you were created for, once you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior of your life.
Living a God-honoring life is not only do-able, but is crucial. When God gave so much to make this relationship possible, we owe it to Him (out of love and appreciation, not grudgingly or out of terror) to follow the path that He established for us to follow.
Here’s how to live that life:
It starts with diving into God’s Word (His Personal Love Letter to you!!!) There is so much in there to learn – Who God is, what He’s done for you, the plans that He has for your life, the “owner’s manual” of this life – including eternity, etc.
Life is full of distractions and it’s so easy to let time slip away. I’d like to share with you how to please God by developing a deeper relationship with Him. There are 4 things that I highly recommend (all 4) to do just that.
1 – Spend the first 1/2 hour (at least), and the last 15 minutes of your day with God. Set an appointment with Him, time and place, and keep it! In this place, have a notebook or paper, a pencil or pen, and your Bible. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, and meet with your Creator, Friend, Lover, Savior, and Lord!
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Use this time to pray in preparation for your day (the opportunities and obstacles that you know you will encounter – difficult situations, people who need Him, etc., as well as any unplanned problem that may arise) In praying in preparation – God is already preparing our hearts for what we need to encounter, but when we “team up” with Him on it, we are more in tune to what He wants us to do in any given situation than how we want to handle it.
Then, open your Bible, pray for Him to reveal Himself to you through His written Word. Then read a passage. As you read, ask these questions (and write the answers that apply – this helps to solidify the thoughts in your heart).
* Does this passage tell me something about God that I already knew, knew but hadn’t thought about in a while, or didn’t know? If so, what is that attribute, and how does it affect my relationship with Him? What will I do now in light of this characteristic?
* Does this passage tell me something pleases God? If so, is this “something” an everyday part of my life? If so, make note to keep it there and grow in it. If not, decide to add it (not if you should), and make note of how to do that.
* Does this passage tell me something that displeases, disappoints, or angers God? If so, is this “something” in my life? If not, make sure to put barriers up to keep it out. If so, decide to remove it immediately (not if you should), and make note of how to do it.
When you leave your appointment, take Jesus with you through your entire day. Picture Him right there with you. Imagine yourself wearing a name tag that says, “Jesus Christ, as portrayed by ……….”.
For the last 15 minutes of your day, get alone with God, and give Him an account of how you spent the resources that He gave you for the day (time, energy, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, money, talents, etc.).
Maintaining this step keeps us accountable to God for our daily lives. Don’t miss this time even (especially) if you feel you have failed Him. Knowing that this accountability time is coming, makes us truly mindful of what we do with our resources for the day.
Don’t forget to thank Him for Who He is and what He’s done.
2 – Find a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching, Bible-reading, Bible-living church, and become part of it. God established the church for many reasons. Among the most important are, fellowship, encouragement, opportunities to learn, opportunities to teach, and accountability. All of these areas are crucial in your walk with Christ.
Hebrews 10:25 says, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
3 – Saturate your home and life with the things of the Lord, carefully guarding the shows/movies, music, and reading material that you allow to enter your heart. When we watch shows/movies, or listen to music that glorifies or even justifies, or accepts sin as “okay”, we become desensitized to how God sees sin – as an abomination.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
1 Timothy 4:15-16 says, “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
4 – Find a mature Christian (of the same sex) to be a friend/confidant/accountability partner. This is very important. Someone who knows you, can sometimes see things “creep” into your life subtly that you may miss yourself. This type of encourager is very important.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”
I hope this helps you as you study God’s Word to grow closer to Him.