There's a big difference between knowing about someone and really knowing someone. The difference is a personal relationship. We all know lots of things about lots of people, but when it comes to the people we really “know,” our list is much shorter.
Real relationships are something desired by most folks. Why? Because loyal, long-term personal relationships make life better, richer, more productive and more fun. They give us a sense of connection and community. They breed in us a sense of belonging, value and worth. The right ones change our lives for the better, and often for eternity.
In John 4 we find a story about Jesus' interaction with a woman who had some big relationship challenges. Jesus helped her see that her relationship issues were actually rooted in a spiritual problem. She didn't have God in her life. She had religion, but she didn't have God.
Jesus carefully and lovingly took the time to help the Samaritan woman come to faith in Him as her personal Lord and Savior. It was a life-changing moment, and an exciting moment.
After trading her religion for a genuine relationship with God, this lady couldn't contain her joy. She had to share it with the people in her community. She rushed back to her village and invited everyone who would listen to her story to come and meet Jesus for themselves. She instinctively knew that Jesus had enough love to go around. She wanted as many people as possible to know Him like she had come to know Him.
What was the result? The Bible tells us:
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” — John 4:39 (NIV)
And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” — John 4:41, 42 (NIV)
These folks experienced what the Samaritan woman experienced. They too put their faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ. They traded their sins for forgiveness, and their religion for a real relationship with God
What about you? Is your connection with God based on a few things you know about Him? Is it based in the rules and rituals of religion, or do you really know Him? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Has Jesus changed your life?
Jesus offers us the way to “get personal with God.” If you haven't taken Him up on His offer, you can do it right now. If you will sincerely invite Jesus Christ to come into your life, you'll discover His love just like the Samaritan lady and her friends did over 2,000 years ago.
Here's a simple prayer to pray — a prayer that will help you get personal with God:
“Dear Jesus, I come to you admitting that I am a sinner in need of your forgiveness. I believe that you are God's Son, the Savior of the world. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the grave. Right now I ask you to come into my life. Forgive me of my sins and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Take charge of my life from this day forward. Thank you for saving me. In Jesus' name, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer, here are some free resources for you:
Positive changes happen in us when we know, believe, confess and obey God’s Word. When we agree with what God says about us, our minds are renewed, and our choices and habits improve. In this new book from Pastor Dale O'Shields, you will find 25 biblically-based affirmations that will help you think right about God, yourself, others and the world.