For part one of this series, click here.
We would all love for our relationship with Jesus to be more personal. By this, I mean that we really want to feel a closeness to Christ. We want to truly feel the friendship of Jesus and know that we too are friends to Him. But how do we do that?
First, make your relationship with Jesus personal through study.
From childhood, you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (II Tim 3:15)
The scriptures can make us wise. I’ve often heard wisdom described as the ability to apply knowledge to ourselves and others. Obviously, if you want a personal relationship with Jesus, the first thing you have to do is have knowledge of Him.
How are we to even know who Christ is if we do not study the scriptures? If you take away the Bible and any reference to the Bible, you are left with very little knowledge about Jesus Christ. Study of the Scriptures is the first step in having a truly personal relationship with Jesus.
But where did scripture come from?
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Tim 3:16-17)
Now we see that all scripture came from God! And in studying it, we me be complete, and fully ready and able to accomplish all the good that can be done!
Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed, properly dividing the word of truth. (II Tim 2:15).
All these verses show the benefit of studying God’s Word. But how does that make it personal? After all, many people study the Bible like they study for a history test. They memorize the main names, places, and events and can rattle them off without much problem, but they still don’t understand the reasons for them. Yes, they know Jesus was born and died on the cross, but do they know why?
When you study the Bible and look beyond just the people, places, and events you can start to see what you need to learn from it. For example: Jesus died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for us. Sin came into the world, and those who sinned deserved death. God, in his grace, allowed animal sacrifices to be used in place of the sinners. Then Jesus came to earth and allowed himself to be the ultimate sacrifice, and in doing so, ended all need for animal sacrifices, as well as paying the debt that we owed–that being our own lives because of our sin. That’s pretty important.
What kind of person would go before the judge and say “Judge, I know this man has been sentenced to death for what he’s done, but I would like to take the death sentence in his place”?
Only a true, personal friend!
In reading and studying about Jesus and His death on the cross, we can see that He’s ready and willing to be a true personal friend to us. In fact, Jesus declared His friendship to each one of us almost 2,000 years ago when He said, “No man has greater love than this: that he would lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)
Are we ready to make the same commitment to him?