April 10, 2018 – John 4
Jesus said: "Yet a time is has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." John 4:23
God builds a relationship with people who serve His Kingdom and Believe His Word.
Whether you are a parent or not, you’ve probably experienced a time when a child is being dramatic to gain attention from their parent. Whether in a store or fast food restaurant, the child will want something, and be pestering their parent to get it. The demand for attention may even lead them to hysterics, with tears, yelling, crying, and angry outbursts. In that moment, the wise parent doesn’t react dramatically, but allows the child to calm down, and maintains care while not coming under the child’s demands. No matter what the child does to demand it, there is not much relationship happening until they calm down and the parent initiates it.
If Jesus made one thing clear, it was that we only enter heaven by having a relationship with God. The only way to heaven is through a relationship. It’s not based on how good of a person we are, nor the sins we didn’t commit, nor the good works we do for the Church or for people. It’s only through knowing Jesus that we enter heaven.
But here’s the problem, and it may shock you, but you are not able to build a relationship with God.
That’s right. We need a relationship, but we can’t build it. We can’t pray enough, read the Bible enough, pursue His ways enough, obey enough. All of those are good things to do when having a relationship with God, but don’t create a relationship with God.
Jesus said there is only one way to create a relationship with God: believe in Him, worship Him, and open our lives up to Him. Then, God CHOOSES to seek a relationship with US. He shows up and starts the relationship: in a moment during a worship service, at our bedside when we’re crying out in prayer, in that split second we decide to skip what our friends are doing and do what God would like. In those moments, we worship God, and God shows up! He initiates the relationship, and we then choose whether to accept Him or not.
There are moments when you will sense God’s Presence. You will feel a burden to stop and help a stranded passenger. You will be prompted to make a decision in a worship service. A person you need to talk with will come to your mind. Something will impact you in ways it never has before. That’s God pursuing a relationship with you. Don’t blow it off too quickly. Worship & Obey, and it will engage you in relationship with Jesus. Then see how God uses it to expand your faith and impact your life.
Listen to Jesus’ words in John 4, God is seeking a relationship with those who calm down, worship Him, trust in His Word, obey Him as best they know, and serve His Kingdom. Those things don’t dictate a relationship with God, but they open us up to receiving a relationship FROM God! So open yourself up today. Be ready and start doing the things to open yourself to it, and when He shows up, respond!