If someone asked you "Do you know Christ?", what would be your answer? If you are a Christian, your answer is probably "yes". But can we really say yes? When we are saved, we are entering into a relationship with God. It is up to us, however, how deep that relationship grows.
Think of your favorite sports star or a political leader you admire. You are a fan of that person, maybe you even have his or her autograph, but you are not best friends with that person, are you?
The above example is not a perfect one, but it will do. God is not at all like a sports star or a political leader, who only has certain select friends. Anybody and everybody can have a relationship with God that goes deeper than when you were saved.
So how can we establish that kind of relationship? 1 John 2:3-6 has the answer:
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
The key to knowing Jesus, that is, establishing an intimate relationship with Him--lies in keeping His commandments. Keeping His commandments has absolutely nothing to do with salvation. The passage states that keeping His commandments causes us to know Him, to become best friends with Him, not that we may be saved. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), which we receive when we believe in Him (Acts 16:31).
What are His commandments? You can find them all over the New Testament. Biblical Research Reports has an index of all of the exhortations commands found in the New Testament if you need help finding some.
How do we know when we have an intimate relationship with God? Look at someone who you know has an intimate relationship with God. Now consider what is different in that person that makes you think they have one. A person who has an intimate relationship displays the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in their daily life.
A person who displays the fruits of the Spirit loves unconditionally, overflows with joy, and seeks for peace. They will be long-suffering, they will be kind and good, and they will be faithful to whatever and whomever fidelity is due. They will be gentle to all and will be self controlled when human nature demands the opposite.
Wait, who am I describing? Who alone is all of the above? Jesus. How then can anyone measure up to that standard? The answer is no one. But since we are called to imitate Christ (Ephesians 5:1), then we are called to wholeheartedly follow that standard as best as we can.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. - Matthew 6:33
Does that verse say that they will be added to us in measure like Jesus? No; rather it just says that they will be added to us. While we can never be perfect in the fruits of the Spirit, we will be more loving, more joyful, more peaceful, more long-suffering, more kind and good, and more faithful. We will be gentler and more self controlled when we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (i.e. the righteousness of following His commandments). Then Christ's love will be perfected in us, and we will be walking as He walked (1 John 2:5).
This cannot be accomplished on our own. We may try it for a bit, but we will eventually stumble, and then give up. When we seek Him with our whole heart--not just with part of our hearts--we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). We will grow closer to God, and then people will look and say, "Wow. I want what they have." And then there's an opportunity to share the Gospel with them.
Sadly, few of us take time to prioritize our relationship with God. I myself haven't been consistently doing daily devotions, except during Bible Bee season. In some respects, we act no differently than our atheist neighbor down the road, except that dress up and go to church on Sunday. And even some atheists go to "church" (See this WND article).
Daily devotions should be an essential part of our daily routines. I chould probably italicize, bolden, underline and capitalize the word essential to emphasize the importance of it: ESSENTIAL.
I don't want to have to say "no" when someone asks me if I know God. And I don't want to say "yes" unless it's true, because I don't want to be liar (1 John 2:4). I want to be able to truthfully answer "yes" to that question, and that starts with seeking God with our whole hearts. Agree?
Blog Post IndexWhat Is Christmas? He Said Be Still Don't Fake It As Iron Trusting God With Goals True Friends You Have Been Called To Liberty We Overcome Memories With God All Things Are Possible Is Our Light Shining? Paul's Last Words #10: Conclusion Paul's Last Words #9: Our Faithful Lord Paul's Last Words #8: Who Are We Like? Paul's Last Words #7: Loving His Appearing Paul's Last Words #6: Keeping The Faith Paul's Last Words #5: Running The Race Paul's Last Words #4: Fighting The Fight Paul's Last Words #3: As A Drink Offering Paul's Last Words #2: Your Ministry Paul's Last Words #1: I Charge You Unicorns in the Bible Riches: Good or Bad? Do We Know Him? If There Was No Tomorrow As I Have Loved You Following Christ Forgiveness Faith and Works #4 (Final Part): Dead Faith Faith and Works #3: Works Are Your Witness Faith and Works #2: Works Aren't It Faith and Works #1: What Does It Profit? A God Who Approves Cannibalism? Happy The One Who Dashes Not Everyone Who Says To Me, "Lord" Rightly Dividing The Word?