STRENGTH­EN­ING YOUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP WITH GOD

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Shanique Sa­muels Gleaner Writer fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

ASTRONG re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus Christ is im­por­tant for Chris­tians to con­tinue on the path to sal­va­tion if they are to make it into the ‘land of milk and honey’. It makes ab­so­lutely no sense to ac­cept Je­sus Christ as Lord and Saviour, take the wa­tery bap­tism, and live a life that is pleas­ing unto God if the ul­ti­mate aim isn’t to claim eter­nal life. How­ever, one key fac­tor in stay­ing true to the faith is build­ing and main­tain­ing a strong re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus Christ.

Min­is­ter An­dré Dixon from the Greater High­way Church of Christ Apos­tolic in Carter­wood, Trelawny, shares some tips on strength­en­ing your re­la­tion­ship with Christ. He says ba­sic ways to strengthen your con­nec­tion to Je­sus is to get to know Him and have a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with Him. In­stead of tak­ing what some­one else tells you about Him, you should see His work man­i­fest it­self in your life and learn about Him for your­self.

CON­NEC­TION

“The word ‘con­nec­tion’ has more than one mean­ing, but for this pur­pose, ‘con­nec­tion’ will be looked at as ‘a re­la­tion­ship by which a person or thing is linked or as­so­ci­ated with some­one else’, in this case, your per­sonal con­nec­tion to Christ.”

Dixon ex­plained to Fam­ily and Re­li­gion that the Bi­ble con­tains the word of God, there­fore, read­ing and study­ing the word is guar­an­teed to strengthen your con­nec­tion to Je­sus.

“In any re­la­tion­ship, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is im­por­tant, so the more you talk with a person, the closer you be­come and (get to) know each other bet­ter. There­fore, the more we com­mu­ni­cate with Je­sus – the most com­mon way is through prayer – the closer you will get to Him and the more you will know Him.”

“In order to main­tain a strong re­la­tion­ship with Christ, we must en­sure that we nur­ture it. (For ex­am­ple) the first time I started a re­la­tion­ship with my wife, we al­ways wanted to be in each other’s com­pany to talk, laugh, and share ideas, and we re­ally felt that feel­ing of love and en­joy­ment in be­ing with each other. But as time went by, the feel­ings got less be­cause some­thing was miss­ing. Then I re­alised that a re­la­tion­ship is like a plant that needs to be cared for, and if we don’t, then it will die. It is in a sim­i­lar way that we need to main­tain this con­nec­tion with Christ. We must nur­ture our re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus,” ex­plained Min­is­ter Dixon.

“John 15:7 says, ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you’.”

That Bi­ble verse, he said, is one of many that dic­tate that there are ben­e­fits to be had from a strong re­la­tion­ship with Je­sus Christ.

“You feel free to wor­ship and you get a sense of se­cu­rity. It also makes it eas­ier for you to lead others to Christ, and (it be­comes) eas­ier for you to love your en­e­mies,” he said.

“It is writ­ten in the Word that He is the true vine, and if ye (we) are at­tached to that vine, then we should bear fruit, and if we don’t, then He will cut us off. Over the years, I have drawn a lot of sub­stance from this vine, which helped me to grow both spir­i­tu­ally and phys­i­cally, and I am one of those who can now say, where would I be with­out His love? It is be­cause of my strength­ened re­la­tion­ship with Christ why I’m here to­day,” he con­cluded.

One ba­sic way to strengthen your con­nec­tion to Je­sus is to get to know Him and have a per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with Him, in­stead of tak­ing what some­one else tells you about Him, but to see His work man­i­fest in your life and learn about Him for your­self.

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