Many people think that knowing facts about Jesus is the same as having a relationship with Jesus. This is being a fan of Jesus rather than being a follower of Him.
Have you ever had an encounter with God, or do you just know about God? As Christians, it’s important that we have actually had and continue to have encounters with God, rather than just learning information about God. Not everyone who wears the label of “Christian” or attends church will go to Heaven; you must have a relationship with God.
You cannot give what you do not have. If you have never encountered God, how can you lead someone else to an encounter with Him?
Just having encounters with God without growing in your knowledge of Him, however, will make your relationship unstable. You won’t be able to represent Him well or lead anyone to Him. We need both an encounter with God AND knowledge of who He is.
1. Who He Is • Mark 1:1 — “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (ESV) • Mark 1:24b — “I know who you are — the Holy One of God.” (ESV) Even the demons knew who Jesus was. But do we know who He is? Jesus was more than just a good man or a prophet; He was fully God and fully man — the Son of God — God’s solution for our sin.
2. Why He Came: Jesus came to re-connect us to God because God longed for us to be in relationship with Him again, the way mankind originally was in the beginning. Because of original sin, Jesus had to give His life in order to re-connect us to God. Jesus came to earth and gave His life on the cross to reveal God’s deep love for us.
3. Receiving His Love: “Love” is a word that is so overused in our culture that it has lost much of its meaning. We use the same word to describe our love for our family that we use to describe our love for a cheeseburger. But God’s love is not like our love.
Have you received? Or have you just been doing “the church thing”?
When it comes to reaching your campus for Christ, a relationship with Him is the ultimate foundation. If you haven’t received God’s love, you can’t share that love with someone else. Once we have received God’s love, and we draw close to Him, love will naturally begin to flow out of us to people around us. You won’t have to force it or fake it. Yes, there will be times when you want to hate and have to make the choice to love, but you’ll find that love naturally flows out of you as a by-product of your relationship with God.