Connecting with God

According to the Bible, what God is really after is a close, intimate connection with each of us. He wants you to grow in oneness with Him. He made you for that purpose. He wants to be your Father.

But through our own sin we sever the relationship. We’re selfish. We lie, cheat, and steal. We hurt, ridicule, and ostracize others. You and I have both done plenty of wrong, and so has everyone else. We don’t deserve to be God’s children.

But God still loves us.

He will stop at nothing to restore the connection. By substituting His own perfect Son on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, God brings reconciliation. Paul described it this way:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20 NIV)

It is up to you to choose your response to God’s appeal. He doesn’t force it on you. But He continually offers His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

How does all this work?

You’ve already made plenty of mistakes, so even though you were made in God’s image, that image is now marred. Does God remove all of the consequences of the mistakes you’ve made? Will He change history just for you?

No, that doesn’t happen. Just like the scar still visible from an old wound, you have to live with the results of your decisions. The more mistakes you make, the more scars you have. The more severe your sins, the uglier the scars. Like any good father, God allows you to experience the consequences of your actions.

Being perfect and holy, God requires justice. He cannot allow wrongdoing to go unpunished, or He would violate His own integrity. His law is clear – those who violate it are guilty and deserve death:

For there is no partiality with God. For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 2:11-12, 3:23 NASB)

Then what’s the answer?

Instead of correcting your errors, God chooses to remove your guilt and punishment. None of us can stand before God in our own power. He already knew that, so He provided a Savior in the person of Jesus.

Paul says of those who trust in Jesus, “They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24, HCSB), and “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 HCSB). What you could never do on your own, God has done for you.

The result is that God sees you as though you had never sinned:

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12 HCSB)

I will place My law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.… For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin. (Jeremiah 31:33-34 HCSB)

How do I take God up on His offer?

It’s really very simple.

  • First, understand that it is your sin that has caused the problem by breaking your connection with God. Take responsibility for that sin – acknowledge and confess it – and ask God to forgive you. If you are sincere He will readily forgive all your sin. He loves you that much.
  • When you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin, God reconciles you to Himself as Paul described above.
  • Confirm to God and to yourself that you are taking those steps by simply going to Him in prayer. Tell Him that you want to be reconciled. Recognize that you are putting your faith in Jesus Christ to save you.

That’s the first step of the journey.

Take joy in the fact that you have become a child of your heavenly Father! As you travel the rest of life’s road together, you can be sure that He will never leave you or forsake you. And that you can grow in oneness with Him throughout the journey.

You will also want to build oneness with His other children through a local family of believers. Find a church that teaches God’s word so that you have a support system as you grow into all that He desires.

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