Find a Relationship with Messiah
Finding a relationship with Jesus is the easiest thing you'll ever do...and the hardest.
I say the easiest because the work has already been done. It's not something you've done, but something Jesus did. His death and resurrection made salvation possible; for us, it's as easy as opening a present on Christmas morning.
But I also say the hardest thing because in order to open that free gift, you have to let go of thinking you can do this all on your own. You have to stop trusting yourself and start trusting Him.
So, here is God's plan...
This verse from the book of John shows us the extent of God's love. He loves us so much that He willingly gave the life of His own Son, Jesus, to save us from spiritual death. So, the next question is, if God loves us that much, why can't we all just have a relationship with Him? Why can't we all go to heaven?
With that question, enters the problem of humanity. Yes, God is love (1 John 4:8-9, 1 John 4:16) but He is also just and holy (Psalm 11:7, 1 Peter 1:15-16). God is perfect and sinless whereas you and I, well, we're not. We're not even close. In fact, we're so far from God and sinless perfection that we could more easily jump over the Grand Canyon than we could cross the chasm that exists between us and God. A chasm created by our sin (Romans 3:23).
On God's side of the chasm is life. Life that is both eternal and abundant (John 3:16, John 10:10). But on our side of the chasm is death. Not death like laying in a casket and being buried in the ground but death defined as tormenting, eternal separation from God (John 3:36, Revelation 20:15).
So how do we cross that chasm? How do us sinful people enjoy a relationship with holy and righteous God? By trusting Jesus.
God's laws, like the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:6-21) and in fact the whole first five books of the Bible, show us what sin is. If we read through them, we quickly realize that we're guilty of one, or two, or a thousand (Romans 3:23). It doesn't matter the number; even if it was possible to just break one of God's laws, that would be enough to keep us on our side of the chasm (James 2:10). Remember when I talked about jumping over the Grand Canyon? It doesn't matter if I can jump five feet and you can jump a hundred feet; neither one of us is going to make it.
That's where Jesus comes into the picture. Well, actually He has always been in the picture because He is one with God (John 10:30) and because He is the Word, the personification of the Law (John 1:1-2). But this is where His death and resurrection come into the picture. "Christ is the end (or the goal) of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes" (Romans 10:4).
He is God - spotless, sinless, holy, and righteous. He also became a man while remaining spotless, sinless, holy, and righteous. That means His death on the cross was the final sacrifice needed to bridge that chasm between us and God.
So what do we do with all this information?
The first thing is to recognize that you do sin. Admit it, confess it, acknowledge it, however you want to say it. I sin and you sin; it's wrong and it separates us from God (Romans 6:23, Romans 3:9-10).
The next part is to accept that Jesus' death and resurrection paid the price for that sin. Put your trust in Him and put your trust in His ability to be Lord of your life (Romans 10:9-10). It's OK to let go of what you cling to so tightly; He will do so much more with your life than you ever could. Read some more about this part at John 14:6, 1 Peter 3:18, and Ephesians 2:8-9.
The final thing is to talk to God about how you feel. You don't have to be in a certain position and you don't have to say fancy church words. God wants your honest heart (Psalm 51:16-17). Tell Him how you feel about your sin and that you are trusting Him to forgive your sin (1 John 1:9).
These next parts aren't requirements for entering a relationship with Him but they sure help you after the fact.
- Get a Bible if you don't already have one and read it. The book of John is the best place to start to learn more about Jesus' life and teachings.
- Talk to God regularly. Prayer is just a conversation between you and God who loves you so incredibly much. Don't fake it, over-analyze it, or make it repetitive. Just talk; God will hear you and after time you'll start to see results.
- Find another believer to help you grow and learn.
- Find a church that teaches about the Bible.