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The Joy of Getting Personal

We are a bunch of broken people who have the opportunity to have a relationship with the one and only holy God.

Throughout my high school years, my family hosted foreign exchange students from 3 different countries. Along with the differences in culture, they also held various religious beliefs. These young ladies quickly became a part of our family and I learned a lot during those years of sharing a household with them. The experience solidified my own faith in Christ and forced me to be bolder about sharing that faith. For the first time, I wasn’t reading about Buddhism or Hinduism from a book. These religions had a face, a name, and an emotional investment attached.

One of my sweet sisters who lived with us spent hours telling me about her beliefs. She explained that her goal was to reach the state of “nirvana”- in which she would cease to exist completely. It was her belief that this could be accomplished if she lived a good life and her good deeds outweighed the bad. Even though she believed this, she expressed that it didn’t really matter what a person’s beliefs were because she felt that all religions were basically the same.

Throughout the year, she heard God’s Word and the message of the Gospel for the first time in her life. One of the things about Christianity that stunned her the most was that we, as Christians, could have a personal relationship with God. Growing up in the Church, I hadn’t given that much thought. Sit and think about that with me for a minute. We are a bunch of broken people who have the opportunity to have a relationship with the one and only holy God. That is an amazing truth that is easy to take for granted at times.

Another thing that shocked her about Christianity was that salvation wasn’t work-based. Grace was hard for her to understand. If I am being honest, it’s hard for me to understand too. It sounds too good to be true. The only thing we need to “do” is to follow Jesus. He freely and abundantly gives us grace.

We are able to have a personal relationship with the one true God! And if we stay connected to Him, continually growing in our relationship with Him, people will take notice. Jesus tells His disciples in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” His Spirit works within us, so we are able to share His grace with others. Let us remain in Him, continuing to grow in Him, see grace as the true gift that it is, and let us love people and bring them to a knowledge of His grace so that they will be able to experience the greatest of joys- a personal relationship with Him.

 

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