One of my best friends, Bill, told me today that the week before Easter he went on a weekend retreat and really liked it, walking away with an attitude of “I want to get to know Jesus better.” WOW, I wish more people could experience that feeling, what a different world we might have. Interestingly enough I asked a Bible study class last night this question, “How do you get to know God better?” The answers were “through prayer” and “studying the Bible.” Well that’s true but it’s just not enough for me.
My church has a long mission statement, too long, in my opinion, and I suggested this much shorter one. “Know God, Love God, Act like it!”
Shouldn’t have to explain much more than that. Says it pretty clearly to me.
But somebody is going to come back to the original question,” how do you get to know God?” For me there are 7 ways to get to know God.
First, is the obvious one, prayer. If God wants us to get to know Him it starts with a form of communications. Prayer is that form. Jesus outlined the formula for prayer with the Lord’s prayer. It wasn’t meant to be a prayer but a formula for praying and yet every Christian church in the world says this prayer every Sunday morning. You’d think after 2000 years we could be a little more creative with the formula. Maybe this is where repetition works best. The book of Psalms is loaded with prayers. Written centuries ago but read like our lives today.
Second, reading the Bible is a great inside to knowing God. I heard today that the average person can read the whole Bible in 75 hours. What are you doing for the next three days? Reading the Bible with personal reflection is a good way to know God.
Third, attending worship on a regular basis. Listening to preaching, prayers, praise and hymn singing all contribute to knowing God more intimately.
Fourth, Bible study, oh this is not the same as reading the Bible on your own but being in a Bible study group, lead by someone who knows how to teach you how to study the Bible. The best ones I’ve seen, and been a part of are the ones that take a year or more, and lead you through 75% of the Bible. It takes time and some in depth study to really get to know God. And of course it’s a never ending process.
Fifth, read books, written by Christian writers, both written from a historical perspective and/or a personal witness perspective. There are thousands of good ones out there.
Sixth, talk and share with other Christians about your Christian experiences and listen to theirs’. Spend time with Christian friends who are just as interested in knowing God as you are. Experiences in life are, shared among friends is a great way to become closer to God.
Seventh, serve those in need. Give of yourself without asking for anything in return and watch God change lives around you.
There you have it. Thanks Bill for the idea. Bless you.
One last thought to round off the shortened mission statement.
Know God, Love God, Act like it!
How can we Love God? I heard a religion Professor one time say it was hard to love God. God is so vast it’s hard to get our arms around that idea. But he said we can learn to love what God loves. Think about it. Love what God loves…….which is everything and everyone.
And lastly ACT like it. I try.