What should be the top most priority of all Christians? I personally think that helping others experience Christ should be our top most priority. It can only be done if we love God and our neighbour (Luke 10:17), and it will give meaning to all the things we do as Christians (e.g. assemble and commune, perform good works, fast and pray, etc.).
NGOs and non-Christian organizations also perform good works but it is not their mission to draw others to Christ. Believers of other religions also fast and pray regularly but it is not their responsibility to help others experience Christ. So whose responsibility is it to help others experience Christ, and how can it be done effectively?
According to the Apostle Paul, it is the responsibility of Christians to preach Christ crucified, risen and coming again (1 Corinthians 11:26; 15:3-4). It is an even greater responsibility of Christians to help others experience Christ in their lives. How can anyone claim “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) if they have not experienced Christ, and yet this is expected of all Christians?
We can never help others experience Christ if we have not experienced Him ourselves (Cf. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4). We can never show others how to connect with Christ if we do not have a personal relationship with Him. So how do we build a personal relationship with Christ? How do we get closer to the invisible God? How do we hold a conversation with someone who doesn’t audibly talk back?
The Gospel writers have shared the life of Christ with us in their writings. The more we study Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the better we’ll understand Jesus. When we meditate on his parables, we’ll discover the love, compassion, and tenderness that flow from him. As we read about Jesus healing people thousands of years ago, we begin to grasp that our Living God can reach out from heaven and touch our lives today. Through reading God’s Word, our relationship with Jesus begins to take on new and deeper meaning.
Jesus revealed his emotions. He got angry at injustice, showed concern about a hungry crowd of his followers, and cried when his friend Lazarus died. But the greatest thing is how we, personally, can make this knowledge of Jesus our own. He wants us to know him.
What sets the Bible apart from other books is that through it, God speaks to individuals. The Holy Spirit unfolds Scripture so it becomes a love letter written specifically to us. The more we desire relationship with Jesus, the more personal that letter becomes.
God invites us to have an intimate relationship with Him. He spoke through the prophet Isaiah: “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22) and also through the prophet Jeremiah: “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) Likewise, Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”(Matt 11:28), and “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.”(John 7:37)
To have an intimate relationship with Jesus, we must learn to trust Him with our deepest secrets. As God, Jesus already knows everything about us anyway, but when we choose to tell him what’s hidden deep within us, it proves we trust him.
Trust is hard. We’ve probably been hurt by others, and when that happened, maybe we swore never to trust anyone again. But Jesus loved us and trusted us first. He laid down his life for us while we were still sinners (Cf. Romans 5:8). His death was the ultimate expression of the Father’s love for us (Cf. 1 John 4:10). Hence, we must learn to trust God for nothing will ever separate us from His love again (Cf. Romans 8:31-32).
We may have much emotional baggage. It hurts to bring them up again and give them to Jesus, but that is the only path to intimacy. If we want the closest of relationships with Jesus, we have to risk opening our heart. There’s no other way.
When we share ourselves in relationship with Jesus, when we talk to him often and step out in faith, he will reward us by giving us more of himself. Stepping out takes courage, and it takes time. Held back by our fears, we can move beyond them only through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
At first we may not notice any difference in our connection with Jesus, but over weeks and months, Bible verses will take on new meaning for us. The bond will grow stronger. In small doses, life will make more sense. Gradually we will sense that Jesus is there, listening to our prayers, answering through Scripture and promptings in our hearts. A sureness will come upon us that something wonderful is happening.
Jesus never turns away anyone who seeks him. He will give us every help we need to build an intense, intimate relationship with him (Cf. Matt 7:7). The choice is ours.
We glorify God by loving and serving him, and we can do that better when we have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, His Son. As an adopted member of this family, we possess the right to enjoy our Father God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
We were meant for intimacy with Jesus. It is our most important calling now, and for eternity. So hesitate no longer. Act now!
Let us praise God with the Song “It Only Takes a Spark”: