How to Grow in your Relationship with God
What we mean when we talk about growing in your relationship with God, is enlarging your understanding of who Jesus Christ is, your love for Him, and obedience to His Word. “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” – John 17:3 (NIV)
What would it look like for you to take the next step in following Jesus? When we get excited about our personal walk with Christ, we desire to know Jesus better. The more we know Christ, the more we want to be like Him. The more we’re like Christ, the deeper the roots of our faith grow. What are the next steps in your faith journey with Jesus?
1) Surrender Your Life. As you walk through life, our prayer is that you will feel God pulling on your heart to come to him. It looks different for each person, and God will use various people and circumstances to draw people to himself. But one thing is for sure: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9. Whether you feel a vague emptiness in your life, or you feel like you’re drowning in a deep pit, God’s desire is that you come to Him and ask Him to save you. He’s waiting right now!
So how do you do it? Surrender your life to Christ – Jesus loves you and wants a close relationship with you! The Bible says that you can know for sure that you are God’s child and headed towards heaven (John 1:12 and 1 John 5:11-13). Here’s a great link from the Billy Graham Association recapping how to receive Christ: https://peacewithgod.net/
2) An important next step in your walk with God, after you have given your life to the Lord and received his gift of salvation, is to be baptized. Baptism is an outward expression of what you’ve personally done in your heart (putting your trust in Jesus). The Bible clearly teaches that baptism is the first step of obedience after surrendering to Christ: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” – Acts 2:38. It’s the way we publicly declare our allegiance to Jesus Christ. Jesus declares in Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.”
Here is how to be baptized at Grace
3) Lastly, communication is important in any relationship. These several aspects of communication will aid your growth with God…
A) God speaks to us through the Bible. He reveals Himself, His will for our lives, and how He has dealt with people in the past. Once you surrendered your life to Christ, it is so important to grow in your relationship with Him by regularly reading the Bible.
In the Bible, God tells us that we’ve been given “everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him…” – 2 Peter 1:3 and “If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” -2 Peter 1:8-9.
Ask God to show you who He is and what you need to adjust in your life in order to follow his leading. God’s Word brings needed hope, encouragement and correction to our lives… “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Meditating on God’s word brings His blessing (Joshua 1:8). For a list of all the benefits of God’s word see Psalm 19 and 119.
Access the Bible on your computer, iPad, Kindle or mobile device and read it or listen to it daily. A good place to first start reading the Bible is the Gospel of John, then Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Psalms, Proverbs. We recommend reading the rest of the New Testament before starting the remaining Old Testament books.
B) God also communicates with us through the Holy Spirit, who comes into your heart the moment you believe (or put your trust) in Christ. He will give you power to understand God’s Word, to live the Christian life, and to be everything that God calls you to be.
C) We communicate with God through prayer, by sharing our praise of Him, along with our thoughts, concerns and needs. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.” – 1 John 5:14-15 Note: underline added.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
It’s a great idea to set aside a daily time to study God’s word and talk to Him in prayer.
D) We communicate and fellowship with other believers, as our best growth typically occurs in community with other believers. We gain insights into God’s word through preaching, small group Bible studies (click here to see Grace small groups) (web note: add link to Grace S.G. page), and supporting one another while living life together. We encourage you to regularly attend a Bible teaching church that accurately proclaims God’s word.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
To see a list of small groups at Grace Church, click here.
E) We also communicate with non-Christians by sharing the hope that we have in Christ, and the wonders of being in relationship with Him.
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
F) Lastly, we also grow by using our giftedness to serve others. The community of believers, and the world in general, are made a better place by followers of Christ investing in people’s lives and our community.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:9-10 (Also see Rom. 12:4-8).
These principles listed above, on how to grow in your relationship with God, are summed up in Grace Church’s purpose statement: To exalt Jesus Christ by making disciples who: Love Jesus, grow with others, and serve the world.