Read Psalm 63:1-4"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands."Reflect
What draws you closer to God?
The basics of the Christian faith should be second nature to every Christ-follower. As Christians, we strive to "love God with all our heart, soul, and mind" (Matthew 22:37). We try to engage the Bible and have a two-way connection with Jesus. We do our best to ponder God's Word deep into our heart.
Yet for most of us, something goes wrong. Somewhere along the way, we risk settling for a "god of rules."
The fact is, there are two types of Christians:
Notional Christ-followers--those who believe in "their concept" of Christ and interact with Him in a one-way relationship. In other words, a notional believer communicates to a concept of Christ in their mind, as opposed to experiencing a two-way relationship with the true Christ. There are no significant behavioral differences between the notional believer and an individual who claims not to follow Christ at all.
Relational Christ-followers--those who have a two-way relationship with the one, true Christ of the Bible. These individuals have a relationship with Jesus Christ through a saving faith based on the Word of God. This two-way relationship is initiated when we come to grips with our sin, we recognize our need for a Savior, and we receive Jesus Christ into our lives as our only Savior from sin. This relationship begins when the Holy Spirit places the new believer into the Body of Christ and begins a two-way relationship fostered by prayer (talking to) and personally engaging Scripture (hearing from God) on a regular basis. This kind of faith, if genuine, produces measurable behavioral results that are reflected in lifestyle choices and differences that make the Relational Christ-follower distinct both from the Notional one, as well as from those who don't claim to follow Christ at all.
How about you? How would you describe your faith? Are you ready to give up your notions about Jesus and begin pursuing the one, true God of the Bible?
Everyone seeks intimacy with God, whether or not they're willing to admit it. Ignore this need and you end up looking for Him in the wrong places. It's sort of like drinking the sand because you believe it is an Oasis, but it's only a mirage.
God's Word helps us to become a relational Christ-follower.
PrayLord, thank You for opening my eyes and my heart. Amen.We look forward to your comments, questions, and prayers in these devotionals!
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