5 Signs of a
1. Spend time in the Gospels
The best way to get to know Jesus and His character, passion and purpose is to read the gospel account of His life. The Gospel account is the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Now you may know about Christmas and Easter, heard a few of His parables and remember being taught about the miracles He did but that is nothing like reading the narrative of the Gospels and being with Him. Since each one is a story of the life of Jesus, there will be redundancy but the differences between the authors narrative will keep it interesting. When you begin to see how Jesus reacted to others, listen to the messages He gave, see the reaction from the crowds around Him, notice the immense compassion He had, then you will begin to know Him. Read it in a translation that you can easily understand. Pray before you read and ask God to open your eyes to see what it is about Jesus that you need to know. As you read the Gospels you will get to know more about Jesus and find a deeper love for Him
2. Open up communication
Christianity is not a religion as some have made it out to be. It is a relationship between God, the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit and us. The most common form of communication taught is that of prayer. It is true that we need to spend time in prayer. But what kind of prayer are we participating in? No doubt it is asking God for something. It is fine to ask God for our needs, after all, He is the ultimate resource. However, we can also converse with God. He is interactive. Have you ever asked God questions? He does answer. It’s not a dialog as we know it between humans, but it is an inner communication. When God gives peace, helps return us to joy or gives us an assurance of something, He can do it through thoughts, scriptures, imagination, or impressions.
3. Keep your conscience clear
This is critical. Notice I didn’t write, “Don’t sin.” Now it is correct that scripture reminds us that it is our sins that separate us and God. We are not to take sin lightly. Instead, God has given us a mechanism in which we can have a clear conscience and continue an open relationship with Him. Remember, the whole new testament is about God’s grace. Paul reminds us that where sin was in abundance, grace was more! Jesus set the standard high for forgiveness when Peter asked, “How many times should we forgive, 70?” Jesus didn’t hesitate. He said, “Seventy times seven!” Forgiveness is high on His list. In fact, Jesus came that we could be forgiven of all our sin. His death on the cross made it possible.
So does this mean we can do what we want because we will be forgiven? No. Paul also wrote, “What, since there is so much grace should we go ahead and sin?” He emphatically said, “No!” Instead, we need to keep our conscience clear with Jesus. It is a relationship and we need to keep from building barriers between us. We do this through a two-step spiritual exercise.
The first step is to confess that we have done wrong. Denial is insidious. It keeps us from owning our behavior. We will rationalize, blame others, minimize and many other mind tricks to keep from admitting that we have done something wrong. In the church we have another dynamic at work. It is pretending. Instead of admitting we have issues and support one another, we pretend that our lives are “fine”. It is as if we wear masks that portray an outward appearance that everything is okay. It is this pretense that keeps us from growing in the Lord. How can we confess sin when we are under this pressure to be perfect? We need to throw off the mask and confess to God that we sin and accept His forgiveness.
The second step is to repent. Confession is great. We are agreeing with God that we have done wrong and need to clear our conscience. Repentance, however, goes farther. It says, I have done wrong and need to turn around and go the other way. This is where we ask Jesus to help us be free from the temptations, habits and cravings of our sinful behavior. The Holy Spirit, who Jesus sent, will help us with this.
4. Obey His commandments –
Jesus made a very emphatic statement when he said, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” (John 14:15) When asked what the greatest commandments were, Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”’ (Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus lived a life of selfless love. He has called us to do the same. We are to be disciples of love. Loving God and loving mankind.
5. Participate in worship and adoration
Worship is a very important part of loving Jesus. We emphasis His human life He lived here on earth and need to be reminded that He is deity. We worship God in triune manifestation, that is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Expression of our love and heartfelt thanks to Jesus, and adoration for Him because of His majesty will draw us closer to Him. We can do this through singing and listening to worship music, prayer, meditation and communion. Worshiping Jesus draws us nearer to Him and helps us love Him more.
If we spend time doing these five steps, we will find that our heart is drawn toward Him and that He becomes the focal point of our lives.
So what can we do? How can we develop a deeper relationship with Jesus?
There are five things that you can begin that will help you develop a deeper relationship with Christ.