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A Closer Relationship With God and Man
There are five essential things we can do to build a closer relationship with God and others:
1. Study the Scriptures Daily
Through the word of God, we can listen to His voice speaking to us, revealing His will and directing our steps. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me” (John 15:4). It is impossible for man in his own strength to escape from the pit of sin into which he has fallen and to bring forth fruits unto holiness. For “The carnal mind … is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
Therefore, a daily abiding in a relationship with the Lord is necessary for growth and fruitfulness. Occasional reading of the Scriptures is not enough. To abide in Christ means that the soul must be in continual communion with Christ and must live His life (Galatians 2:20). It is not possible for one branch to depend upon another for its life; each branch must have its own personal relationship to the vine and bear its own fruits.
2. Have a Fervent Prayer Life
Jesus had a fervent prayer life (Mark 3:13). And He gave us a perfect model of prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. And there many other models of prayer that encompass worship, thanksgiving and supplication in the book of Psalms. Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend (John 15:15). There should be a continual spirit of prayer through the Christian’s life. The connection with Heaven should not be broken (Luke 18:1). Paul labored “night and day” (1 Thessalonians 2:9); he also prayed “night and day” (ch. 3:10). His busy life did not interfere with his prayers.
3. Be Part of His Body or the Church
The apostle Paul admonished the believers in Hebrews 10:24-25 saying, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Believers should be part of Christian gatherings for the purpose of worship and mutual encouragement.
4. Seek the Purity of Heart
We must prayerfully search our hearts for sin (2 Corinthians 13:5, Psalms 139: 23-24). The Bible teaches that “your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). So, if we admit our sins and repent, we grow close to God for He promised that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
5. Live in Obedience to God’s Word
Jesus told His disciples, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:23). Obedience is the acid test of Christianity. Paradise was lost because of disobedience to God’s commands and it will be regained through obedience to God through His enabling Spirit that works in the heart (Romans 8:13-14). The Bible affirms that the Lord gives His children the ability to live obedient lives when they submit their wills to Him (Philippians 2:13).
When we get closer to the Lord, we will find that we will be at peace with our selves and also naturally grow closer to His children. For God will fill our hearts with His sweet love that will draw others to us with bonds of compassion, understanding and tenderness (Romans 5:5).
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In His service,