I stood out front of the hospital. We waited for an update on my father-in-law after a recent fall. I walked outside to get a breath of fresh air and stretch my legs. Nothing seemed severe, but we still waited for all the test results before we could relax. Off to the side of the entrance, I noticed some workers boxing up something. Their work piqued my interest during the boredom of the moment, so I walked closer. In the box, I saw a statue of Jesus wrapped in bubble paper. I stepped back trying to understand the scene before me. I think I let out a small gasp as the men turned to look at me. One of them spoke, “The hospital doesn’t need the statue any longer, so it is going to a new place.” I nodded and headed back inside. The family all laughed as I retold the story. The imagery of the Jesus statue all boxed up and the stress of the situation provided us the relief that comes from laughter.
Mark 8:36 “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
As God sometimes does, He takes a memory and teaches me something from it. I found the statue in the crate as one of these teaching moments. Do we keep Jesus in a box? Do we try to limit His impacts on our daily schedules? Some people think if they keep Christ restrained, they can live a life similar to the secular world. Those type of people feel secure in their Christianity as long as they attend church regularly and pray for forgiveness. Some people box God into Sundays and don’t acknowledge Him the rest of the week. Do you remember the old bumper stickers that stated: “God is my co-pilot.” Many Christians still want to pilot their destiny. But is that how God wants us to relate to Him?
Matthew 10:38 “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
God created us for a relationship with Him. But, He also created us to serve His purpose in the world. The Great Commission Bible verse found in Matthew 28:19-20 sums up God’s purpose for us, to bring others to Christ. But what does God want in our relationship with Him? Let’s look at how to strengthen my relationship with Him.
1) Talk with God daily. Relationships involve communications, and the way to communicate with God is through prayer. If you don’t know what to say, start with the Lord’s Prayer. Over time, prayer becomes more natural as we grow comfortable with sharing our thoughts and feelings with Christ.
2) Read the Bible daily. The words of the Bible are one way that God speaks back to us. But if we are not reading it, then how will we know what He is saying to us. Many apps and websites offer a new verse each day, and this can be a great way to start.
3) Become part of a small group. Find a Sunday School class or small Bible study group that will help you grow in your faith and hold you accountable for your growth in Christ.
4) Memorize a few Bible verses. When you come across a scripture that speaks to you, commit it to memory. I find it helpful to recall verses when I am stressed or feeling lost. My life verse, the one I go to in time of troubles, is Romans 8:28.
Matthew 28:19-20 “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
God does not want us to box Him up and only interact with Him on Sundays. He wants a daily relationship with us. Unpack the crate and invite Him in. Christ is waiting; He stands at the door and knocks. All we have to do is open the door.
Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”