“I’m a Christian. I go to church. My family goes to church. I listen to Christian music. I wear Christian T-shirts. I’m all about being a Christian.” Sound familiar? Remix that. Christianity isn’t about all that. It’s about a relationship.
[THINK] The phrase “Christianity is a relationship” almost sounds like a cliché, just something people throw out when asked what makes Christianity different from other religions. But it’s relational to the core. It’s about a relationship with between God and humanity.
Moses and Abraham were called God’s friends.
Followers of Jesus are called family members.
Wandering believers are called prodigals.
God is referred to as a Father, Savior, Counselor, Healer (and those are just a few)—all roles that involve a relationship.
Read through the Bible and you will discover three things—who God is, who we are, and how people like us relate to a God like Him (and how a God like Him relates to people like us). At times that relationship has been extremely close, other times it has been distant, and sometimes it has been strained.
Everything about your faith in Christ involves a relationship. Take some time to let that soak in. Remix the way you think about God and following Him.
[LINK] Once you start seeing Christianity as a relationship, the Bible comes alive in a whole new way. Whether it’s walking in the garden with God, talking with Him in a tent, meeting Him on a mountaintop, crying out to Him in a desert, watching Him on a cross—Christianity is about you and God, and the honest, open dialogue that happens along that journey.
Look at this passage of Scripture from the book of Mark, when Jesus called the first disciples (followers). It’s one of those stories that many of us learned in Sunday school, coloring pictures of fishermen. But it’s more than blue people and green fish (we saw your early artwork!). It’s an invitation to a relationship:
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him (Mark 1:16-20).
“Follow me.” It was a simple invitation. It wasn’t a contract or a blood oath. It was an invitation to a relationship. Jesus is saying, “Follow Me. Walk where I’m going. See what My life is all about. And know that you’ll never walk alone again.”
[YOU] What does your relationship with God look like? Do you hold Him at arm’s length, not letting Him get too close because He may “mess up” your life—what you want to do, who you want to be? Do you even see your faith as a
relationship, or is it more of a ritual—just something you do?
God has gone to great lengths to not only demonstrate His desire to be in a relationship with us, but also to invite us into one with Him. We can see it from the garden of Eden to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God has moved to be a part of our lives.
Spend some time thinking about what your relationship with God really looks like—and what you want it to look like.
[NXT LVL] Because of His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus restored our severed relationship with God. Read 1 John 4:9-10.
Reprinted with permission from YouthWalk magazine, © 2006 Walk Thru the Bible, Inc. To learn more about YouthWalk, visit www.youthwalk.org.