Imagine going to school everyday. Sitting beside the same group of people everyday. Yet, everyday, not one ever says a word. Do you think anyone would ever make sustainable friendships? I imagine not. Communication is such a key component to developing relationships and keeping them afloat. The more time you spend with a friend, talking about what really matters, the closer you become. The more you begin to understand their personality, sense of humor, what they mean when they say certain things.
It is the same with our relationship with God. We will never get a close relationship with Jesus if we never spend time talking with Him. This is why we pray. I know when you’re starting out trying to pray that it can feel a little uncomfortable, but isn’t it usually uncomfortable when you spend time with someone you don’t know very well? In the case of God sometimes it is challenging because we’re not even sure if He’s there. However, if we can have the faith to begin we will eventually discover He is present, always.
Prayer doesn’t have to be some big super spiritual skill. You don’t have to have the right words. Simply talk to God. Tell Him what you’re grateful for. Tell Him what you’re going through. Ask Him for help. Ask Him to help your friends. It doesn’t have to be long either. He hears all prayers, especially the short ones. It is also helpful to have a journal to write down what your thoughts are, what you feel like God might be speaking to you and Bible verses that stand out.
Ahh, the Bible. We want to hear God’s voice, but learning to hear God’s voice starts with His Word. Spend a few minutes everyday reading the Words He gave to us. Start in John and read about who Jesus is. Recognize the character of God. Recognize who Jesus is and how He loves us. When you read the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13, remember that God is love. This is not just a description of love, it is a description of who God is and how He loves us.
As we stay consistent in pursuing this relationship with God, we not only learn how He loves us, but how His love and grace empowers us to love other people. As we come to know His love, the way we love will naturally begin to change to become more like Him, much like we naturally become more like our friends.
Two closing thoughts about Godly love.
Godly love is given without any expectation of return.
Godly love is sacrificial.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
- How can you apply these lessons to begin a deeper relationship with God?
- Do you love all people or only those who you know will love you back?
PRAY: Lord, help me today to know You. I want to have a strong relationship with You. Speak to me today.
Revelation 3:20 (NLT) “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
James 4:7-8 (NLT) So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NLT) If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT) You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
John 15:9-17 (NLT) “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.17 This is my command: Love each other.