“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Do you want to feel close to Jesus right now? Can you feel His presence in and around you? Jesus wants to make Himself known to you; right now, and forever. Jesus will come and make His home with you if you’ll let Him.
In this article, I want to talk about what you can do to improve your relationship with Jesus. I want to help you understand how you can move closer to Jesus and as a result, experience more of Him in your life. Jesus isn’t something or someone to make a wish upon, or merely someone you would call on when you need help. Jesus is a living being who wants to be a daily and consistent part of your life.
In fact, the Scripture above shows that God the Father loves those who love Jesus – God the Son.
What does it mean to love? Well, loving someone often only happens when you form a relationship with that person. You would love your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends; you love them because you’ve spent time with them, you know them more intimately, and you trust them.
The same is true with Jesus. Spend time with Him, get to know Him more intimately, and trust Him. Through this, your relationship with Him will flourish and He will become very real in your life.
There are a few things that will bring you success on your journey through life. This success isn’t about financial success, but of a successful relationship with Christ. It’s a right relationship with Him that leads to true peace, true joy, and true victory over the darkness. It’s a right relationship with Jesus that leads to eternal freedom; now and forever.
Right living leads to peace
“Let him turn away from evil and do good;
Let him seek peace and pursue it.”
Right living can mean many things to many people. But in the bible, God sees right living as pure and holy living. Doing what the sinful or fleshly nature prefers is not right living. Right now, our society is fixed on the belief that everyone should be who or what they want to be and do what feels good. I agree with having freedom, but not this type of freedom.
Satan will have you believe that if you live to do what makes you feel good that you will live peacefully and be more productive and successful. However, this is a delusion. Living for self only separates you further from living for and with Jesus.
Jesus says “Deny yourself daily and follow me” in Luke 9:23. If pleasing yourself and living only to get personal gain is your thing, then you won’t be able to follow Jesus; at least not the way Jesus wants you to.
But when you do turn from sinful living and truly follow Jesus, you become transformed. Your thinking is different; your emotions are more stable and relaxed; you sleep better; and generally, you make better choices.
Following self, or, following Satan, leads to a discontent and discomforted spirit. There is only unease. There is only a constant need for more. There is no peace; no rest.
Unconditional love brings joy
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
So, there is no greater love than that which was shown to all people on earth when Jesus gave His life on the cross. Virtually all people were living in sin. Sure, there were certain cleansing rituals and various ways to make atonement for their sins of the time, but Jesus made the ultimate atonement for sin; then, now, and any sins to come. This created a bridge between God and His created people for those who would believe.
Now, choosing to accept Jesus and live for Him will yield eternal life. However, it’s possible to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, but still walk in sin.
If you harbor any hate, bitterness, or unforgiveness in your heart towards yourself or anyone else, you are living in a sin. Jesus’ command is that you love unconditionally, just as He loved you and me unconditionally. Even as sinners, Jesus died so we could live.
But when you do release a grudge and forgive someone, there is an instant joy and relief in your heart. This is how Jesus wants you to live each and every day. There is no time at all that God is okay with you holding a grudge towards someone. If God can forgive your sins against Him, can you forgive other’s sins against you?
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A surrendered heart is what pleases the Lord
“So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Again, living to please the sinful nature will only further separate you from God. Living in the flesh is exactly what will move you closer to Satan. What does it mean to live in the flesh or what exactly does the sinful nature look like? Paul tells us in Galatians 5:19-21:
Are any of these familiar in your life? Is there anything that you know would displease God?
I personally know that it feels good to sin. It almost doesn’t matter the sin; in the moment, sin feels good. But, soon after, Satan will condemn you for sinning. He will make you feel bad and belittle you in your thoughts. Even God will make you know in your heart that you’re doing wrong before Him.
What I’ve found is that the temporary joy of living in sin falls far short from the lasting joy and feeling of freedom that I get when I deny myself the pleasures of the flesh. Sure, it’s hard to say no in the moment, but it does get easier the more you do it.
Trust God. Call out to Him in your moments of weakness. Surrender to Him fully and resist the devil and his schemes. Do this and you will please God. Do this and your relationship with God will grow and strengthen. Do this often and find spiritual maturity and victory in the Lord.
Turning to Jesus is the right thing to do in life. These days, it seems like the whole world has turned their back on Jesus and wants no trace of Him in society. The bible does say in Matthew 7:13-14 that only a few will be saved;
The narrow gate is Jesus. There is no other way into Heaven or to the Father. Many are deceived and believe that God is love and for everyone. Well, this is one of those half-truths. God is love and He is for everyone, however, God doesn’t condone all behavior and turn a blind eye; especially to those caught up in idolatry or the outright rejection of His Son.
But if you’re willing to seek Jesus and you want to live for Him, all you need to do is turn from evil and live rightly before God. All the instructions are in the bible. That’s the only book you ever need to read in life to be completely successful before God. When you do make these changes, Jesus will manifest Himself in your life. He will be closer to you than ever.
Start by making the changes in your life that I’ve identified in this article; live rightly, love unconditionally, and have a surrendered heart towards Christ. Make Jesus your priority and focus. Yes, go to work or school, but go as an example of Christ, not willing to make any sacrifices to right living.
Strive to do your best for God wherever you are and with whatever He puts before you. This pleases God, and you will grow closer to Him, and He to you.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a private prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.