We want people to grow in God’s love by spending time with Jesus Christ and other believers.
Have you ever tried to have a deep and meaningful relationship with someone you really care about? While there are many important things that go into a healthy relationship, one thing you probably know is that they take time. You probably know that if you expect to be close with someone, then you must be willing to invest time with them. You begin to grow closer to someone after a meaningful investment and sacrifice of your time. It should be no surprise to us then, that our relationship with Jesus Christ is no different.
You see, after you come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, the journey has only just begun. You now have in front of you the most important and life changing relationship that you will ever experience. Not only did Jesus Christ die for your sins, but His desire is a relationship in which He transforms you into the exact individual God created you to be. Once we “Know” who He is, our lives can never be the same again.
So what does “Growing in God’s love” look like in the life of a Christian? Here at Impact we believe there are two primary ways to do this: spending time with God and spending time with other believers. Let’s take a look at what each of these look like in a practical sense.
First, we continue to experience and grow in God’s love through meaningful time spent in both prayer and study of the Bible. Through prayer, you are able to acknowledge who God is, confess your sins, praise and thank Him for all He has done, and finally lift up your needs and the needs of others. The Bible has a lot to say about the importance and power of prayer:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. -1 John 5:14
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. – James 5:13
We can also grow closer to God through the study of HIs Word. It is through the Bible that we we can see and experience God’s interaction with the world since the beginning of time. It sheds light on the nature of our world and shows us God’s great love and redemptive plan for us. When we are struggling with our everyday lives it brings us truth and encouragement. When we feel lost, it provides us guidance and assurance. Even when we feel that we are doing just fine, it convicts us and humbles us to remember God’s place in our lives.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. -Psalm 119:105
It is also important to understand our relationship with other Christians. When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, we become part of God’s family. That means to our left and right are our brothers and sisters in Christ who are on the same journey we are. Jesus makes it clear how important it is for us to love, support, and encourage one another. He knows that how we grow together has an impact on the world.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:34-35
One of the practical ways we grow in God’s love together is by participating in small groups. These groups are just ordinary men and women who are all doing life together. They love and pray for one another. When you need encouragement, they are there for you in the good times and bad. They hold each other accountable and encourage one another to keep chasing Jesus Christ. It is in these groups that we find a sense of community that brings comfort to our lives.
When we spend time with God and other believers we continue to grow in His love together. As that love transforms our lives, we will be convicted to lead others to experience that same love. We begin to see the world and the lives of every person the way that God does. We can look at another human being and see value no matter who they are. We end up in a state of conviction that puts a burning desire in our hearts to show God’s love to the world.
Join us in our next blog, where we talk about what showing God’s love to the world looks like.