I think this is a phrase that has become ingrained in the “church” language of many followers of Christ to the point where its meaning has become synonymous with the New Birth. Many times this phrase is used when we share the message of the Gospel with others. The question is asked, “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”
That is a pretty awesome question to ponder and varies in its significance depending on who Jesus is to you. For those of you like me, Jesus is both Lord and Savior and the thought of having an actual personal relationship with Him completely boggles my mortal mind. Like King David I ask the question, “what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:4 NLT)
The cross stands out as the most eternally significant event and is the reason why we as believers sing hymns like “Amazing Grace”. God in all of His magnificence satisfied the demands of His own justice and holiness through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. This overwhelming act of sacrificial love was made so that He might cleanse and forgive humanity’s sins to restore His relationship with us. This is the call of the gospel: God is seeking humanity as a whole and each one of us individually.
For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. (Luke 19:10 NLT)
If you have not come to know Jesus, I encourage you to seriously consider the message of the Gospel. You can read more here.
For those reading who have already come to know Jesus as Lord I ask you to evaluate the phrase “Personal Relationship with Jesus” as it applies to your life. Think about your other personal relationships, the interactions you have with those closest to you and how those relationships compare with your “Personal Relationship with Jesus”.
Here are a few questions to ponder:
I am the “Bride of Christ” and Jesus is the Bridegroom (Ephesians 5:22-33). Does my “Personal Relationship with Jesus” have the intensity, transparency and frequency of communication that is necessary in a human bride and groom relationship?
In Acts 4:13 we read, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Do I spend enough time with Jesus that other people recognize it?
In John 15:14-15 Jesus tell us that we are not His slaves but His friends because He confides in us and shares the word and will of the Father with us. Does my “Personal Relationship with Jesus” display a mutual sharing of confidence? Do I consider Him the closest of friends because of the things we share with each other?
These types of questions will always cause us to find ourselves wanting but yet I find them deeply encouraging to what is possible. When we consider the scriptures we find that a “Personal Relationship with Jesus” is driving force behind the Old and New Covenants. The Lord declares His heart to humanity in verses like this:
Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)
It is this love from God that calls each of us into a “Personal Relationship with Jesus”. My encouragement to each of us is respond to His love; seeking to truly know Him.
I want to know Christ…” (Philippians 3:10a NIV)