“This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” John 15:12 (The Message)
I know I’ve talked about this topic before, but it’s worth repeating. I read a great book a couple years ago titled, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. I loved this book and it has stayed with me long after I closed the cover. While it was filled with great information, the part that spoke the most to me was how an eight year conversion from Muslim to Christianity came about because of relationship. If you want to be inspired and see how personal God is, I would recommend reading this book.
Maybe I keep thinking about this topic because for so many years I was so busy with little kids, careers, activities and so forth that I didn’t have as much time for relationships as I would’ve liked. While I filled my time with family and enjoyed it, God allowed me to stay in touch with a few friends who have challenged me, helped me grow spiritually, encouraged me and just plain been there for me. The last several years God has shifted my schedule some and while I’m still quite busy, I’m able to make a little more time in my life for relationships. Most of the time it’s spontaneous, but that’s when I know God is in the middle of it. A spur of the moment invitation to grab coffee, a quick call to see if I’ll be home so someone can “drop something off,” a phone call for prayer and encouragement in between meetings or talking in line when we happen to meet at Panera at 8 AM on a work day. Relationships.
God is all about relationships. He modeled that when Jesus walked the earth and desires a personal relationship with all of us. We get to choose if we have one with Him or not, because He has already issued the invitation to everyone. It’s up to us to RSVP.
I believe one of the best ways to share what is most important in my life with others is to invite them into my life, my authentic life. Quickly you’ll see I’m not all put together but that’s okay, because God isn’t asking for perfection. He only asks for our heart. He doesn’t want us to clean up before RSVPing, He wants us after a hard day’s work, all dirty and sweaty and tired. He’s mastered the skill of creating masterpieces. Spend any amount of time with me and you’ll see discover I don’t have all the answers, but I can point you to the One who does.
It’s all about relationship – first a relationship with the One who created us all and who wants so much to have a personal relationship with all of us. Next, with each other so that those who don’t know Him, can be introduced and decide for themselves. Not beaten over the head to make a decision, but just sit back and watch, if they choose, to see how Christ followers are normal people, not perfect, just forgiven. And then discover they are given the chance to be forgiven too.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017