One of the most important questions I have asked myself over my lifetime is, “how do I develop a close and personal relationship with Jesus?” I still ask myself that question even this morning. I am 66 and I still feel like I am lacking on my part of this relationship with my Savior. Why?

I decided I needed to learn as much as I can on how to develop my relationship with Him. I want to share with you my understanding that may help some of you also.

Any relationship involves work. We get out of it what time we invest in it. It is not only hard work but also heart work. Cultivation of the relationship is important. That means making a special effort to establish and then develop it, as in working a garden. We want our garden to grow and blossom, but you can’t plant and then ignore it. It takes time, work, and love. If you place value on the relationship it will thrive. Personally, I can’t think of any other relationship in life that is more important than our personal relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Praying, sometimes referred to talking with God, is of high importance. How can you develop a relationship with someone you seldom speak to? First and foremost be thankful. Be genuine and honest in that conversation and very transparent about what you are sharing. That conversation is best done in private in a quiet place where it feels like He is sitting beside you and holding your hand. Obviously you can pray anywhere and at anytime but I am speaking of a daily spot and at a time the two of get you can be together for coffee, so to speak. A great way to begin a daily walk with Jesus is that still, quiet conversation. Then throughout the course of the day talk with Jesus about your day. Thank Him for things and ask for help in others. Remember also, this is a two-way conversation. We must be still and listen quietly for a time for Jesus to speak to our hearts, a time of reflection.

Read your Bible regularly. It is His love letter to us. The Bible is God’s Word, and it reveals His character, promises, and instructions. Apply what you learn to your life. Don’t just read it or hear it but do it.

Fellowship with other believers by plugging into a church body. Stay connected and learn from the pastors’ messages from God. Be connected even deeper by being involved in a Life Group, sharing life with other likeminded individuals, deepening those friendships. Plug into a men’s or women’s group and develop a bond to one another.

Be Jesus wherever you go. Live your life as a testimony of your faith so others can see Him in your words, actions, and attitude. (we stopped at a Shell gas station Tuesday night and I noticed a woman going from pump to pump trying to get gas, nothing worked. I asked her when I was finished if she wanted to use this gas pump as it just worked for me. She said yes. I moved our car, and she brought her car over. I helped her with her card,and it just would not work. I inserted my card and it worked. I began putting gas in her car to her amazement. She said, “please stop! I only have three dollars in cash!”. I told her, “Noworries.” I said, “what would Jesus do?” She said,” just what you are doing!” I filled her car all the way up. The car was old, and she was a single mom who just picked her son up from the babysitter after working 9 hours. As I walked away, I turned to her and said,” you were just touched by an angel.”) Love God. Love others. Serve others. It won’t be long, and you will find your close personal relationship with Jesus will bear fruit. Keep in mind it will take effort on your part to develop, cultivate, and maintain this relationship. There will be times when you feel distant from God. That’s normal. But if it that distance grows, stop and ask yourself “who moved?” I think you will discover, it wasn’t God.

Jim Everett

 

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James Everett