God offers his friendship to us all free of charge, but many people reject this because they think it means “religion.”
Having a relationship with God is simple, just as being in other form of friendship should be. We read in John 3:16 that: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Then you and your friends can know --enough to prove God is real for yourself and then bless the whole world with God’s Love.
Matthew 6:33 offer more counsel: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Psalm 145:18 is even more explicit: “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
In the progression of the Christian life, that’s the way it is. We are transformed into the likeness of Jesus by the Spirit of God. Sometimes we fall back into the rut of trying to change ourselves, and we end up frustrated.
We forget that we can’t change ourselves. You see, in the same way we submitted to the Lord in our initial salvation experience, we must daily submit to God. He will change us, and He will stretch us. Interestingly enough, we will never get to the point where God stops stretching us. In this life we’ll never come to a place where we have finally arrived, where we can “retire” as Christians, and just kick back. The only true retirement plan God has for us is heaven! We’ll never be perfect until we get to heaven. But that’s still our goal.
Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10-14: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death...Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.”
So then, we must be changed on a daily basis. It may sound overly simplistic, but continuing change in the Christian life comes from spending time with God. Maybe you’ve heard this truth a hundred times, and you agree that a devotional time with the Lord is vital. But perhaps no one has ever told you how to do it. That’s what has prompted me to write these for you.
GOD LOVES YOU.
Rev. Gatera is the Senior Pastor, Jesus Messiah Assembly Ministries. Kigali, Rwanda.