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5 Secrets to a Great Relationship with God

by Pastor Tom Anderson

Remember when you first became a follower of Jesus? It was new. It was exciting. You may have felt exhilaration like being born all over again. Maybe you have a friend or an acquaintance who is just starting out on their journey with Jesus. The beginnings of faith are electric. But faith is more than beginnings, faith is a new life--a new way of living in relationship with Jesus Christ. Following up with a new believer is not about handing them a book or running them through a class. True follow-up is a person--like you! New believers need more than just information, they need to see and experience the new life that comes with Jesus. Here’s 5 secrets you can put into practice and share with others about building a great relationship with God.

1. Read what He has written to you. The Bible is God’s great love letter to us. I courted Karen in the age of letters. We wrote dozens of them to each other while in college or while separated by summer jobs. I read them two or three times at a sitting. Experiencing Karen’s words was like being with her. Her voice was present with me as I read. So we should treat the Bible. Peter advises, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up…” (1Peter 2:2). If you’ve never been a Bible reader, start with the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Just read one chapter a day. Ask yourself, “What is God saying to me here?” and “What will I do differently because of this?"

2. Talk to Him. What kind of relationship is it if you never spend time talking with or listening to each other? Answer: it’s not a relationship at all! Prayer is talking and listening to God. Prayer is your love letter back to God. Here’s a simple outline for speaking to God. Try writing your prayers and speaking them to God.

  • I love you because…

  • Thank you for…

  • I’m sorry for…

  • Please...

3. Be with His friends. When I married Karen, I didn’t get just her. I also got her family and her friends. Likewise when we begin a relationship with Jesus, we also get his friends--the church. These are people with long experience in following Jesus. I can learn from them and I can be inspired and encouraged by them. They don’t just pass information onto me, they provide me with personal experience of the Holy Spirit working in daily life. For this reason Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some…

4. Do what makes Him happy. When college boys suddenly start shaving, combing their hair and wearing deodorant we ask “what happened?” The answer is usually that a girl happened and he’s highly motivated to do things that make her happy. Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” As we read His word we learn what makes Jesus happy as well as what makes him sad. We begin to adjust our behavior accordingly.

5. Talk about Him! Most people can talk endlessly about their loved ones. If you don’t believe this, ask a grandparent to tell you about their grandchildren. Make sure you’ve got a half hour or so! Faith is not about religion, it’s a relationship. Love is built as we talk about our loved ones and this is especially true as we share with others about our relationship with Jesus. What’s he saying to you? How is he leading you? Blessing you? Changing you? These are all things to share with others. Paul said, “I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” (Philemon 6) It’s been said that if you really want to learn something, teach it to someone else. The more we talk about Jesus, the more we will grow in our relationship with Jesus.

It’s a simple plan: read what He wrote to you, talk to Him, be with His friends, do what makes Him happy, and talk about Him. Here’s wishing you a great relationship with God!


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