Text: “Come, Follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people”. Matthew 4.19
Icebreaker: Do you know Robbie Williams? (We can also use the Queen or another icon of our present culture) It is amazing how much we can learn about someone without actually “knowing” them! We can have loads of information about what they do, what they like to eat, and even some very personal information about them but we don’t know them personally.
So what is it to have a real relationship with Jesus?
1) It is to know Him personally
I am sure that we all have people who we like and look up to as an example to us. It might be sportspeople or people who are famous for different reasons. The fact is that we may know a lot about them, but that doesn’t make us close or their friends. Jesus doesn’t want us to relate to Him in this way. He wants us to be close to Him in a relationship that is alive, dynamic and growing all the time. Let’s move beyond only knowing facts, stories or even what people tell us about Him – it is time to have an encounter (or one more encounter) that will move us a step closer to Him and with Him.
2) It is to have confidence in Him
There is no relationship with Jesus if we have no confidence in Him. This is confidence in the truth that He is God and the only Saviour – the only way to an eternal life with God. A definition of confidence is “the feeling or belief that one can have faith or rely on someone or something”. We can rely on God – because we know that He is who the Bible says He is; He can do what the Bible says He can do, and He will do what the Bible says He will do. The way to develop confidence in who God is, and to know more deeply that He wants a relationship with us, is to know the Bible better. God has lost none of His power, none of His Love and none of His will to save!!! What is revealed in the Bible is still true now.
3) It is to trust Him
Trust is “the firm belief in the reliability of someone or something”. To trust in Jesus, we need to know Him in a personal way, to have confidence in what the Bible tells us about Him and what He says to our hearts – then we will be able to start to have a firm belief that he is reliable – He will never fail us.
God calls us to trust Him with our lives, families, carers, money and to know that because He cannot fail His ways are always perfect and the absolute best option for us.
4) It is to put His teachings into practice
The most significant measure of whether we know Jesus personally and of whether we are walking with Him is: Are we putting His instructions and commands into practice? If we know Jesus and walk with Him, His commands will be the law for us and not just suggestions.
We cannot deceive ourselves; it is impossible to know Jesus personally as a friend and not become more like Him. When we walk with Him and learn that His ways are the only way, and we become not just listeners, but practitioners of Jesus’ way – you become the message. You live it out in your life.
Conclusion: Jesus is so awesome that He is the most interesting person that we could search for and find. It is not enough that we know about Him, or that we only collect information on the way, but that we KNOW Him personally through who He is. Remember His promise “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29.13)
Prayer: God, thank you for the gift of life. Thank you because you are the way, the truth and the life. We pray today that we don’t stay only in the zone of “knowledge about you” but that we become friends with you. Please enter into our hearts as we say that you are the Lord of our lives and our Saviour. Amen.