Life in Christ
I spent the first 7 years of my life in Germany till my parents moved to Scotland as missionaries. As my parents were quite involved in the church, I too tagged along, going to the meetings, or services, twice a week and also taking part in the maintenance work of the church properties.
I didn't know much about God or the Bible etc, but I just joined in as I saw the joy that the people had, but didn't give it much thought. After a while I started to ask myself what motivates everyone in my church group to come to the meetings, work at the properties, giving up time and money for the church. And why was everyone so happy about it?! So I started to read my Bible to see what it actually says. I knew my parents believed it, my pastor believed it and everyone in the church believed it, but I knew very little about it, let alone believed it. What I found did rather surprise me. You can read about it here.
This was of course an amazing experience for me. I had experienced what Jesus spoke about in JOHN 3:3-5. I had been baptized and had received the Holy Spirit, therefore I was now on the way to heaven and had escaped God's judgment on my sins.
But a Christian life doesn't stop there. Receiving the Holy Spirit is only the start of an exciting life where I can get to know God more and more. I had gone to church for years to tick boxes, because my parents went. But that is not what Christianity is about. It is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is joy, peace and a clear conscience:
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (ROMANS 14:17). Jesus, talking about the devil, said:
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."(JOHN 10:10). This is the life that Jesus promises everyone who follows Him; life abundantly! The main thing about a Christian life is not going to church or abiding by a set of rules, it is deeper than that. It is about getting to know Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (HEBREWS 12:2). Once I understood this I started getting joy that I had never thought possible before, and peace, which is not linked to the circumstances but to the knowledge that God is taking care of the situation. Because of this joy I started to seek God regularly; reading His Word, and praying in the Holy Ghost first thing in the morning. This seeking caused me to get closer to God and things in the Bible started to make sense in a way I had never thought of before.
This joy also caused me to want to tell others about what God did in my life. So I went to people and asked if I could pray for them, and I have seen many miracles where people have been miraculously healed from pain and sickness (MARK 16:17-18).
Now, of course the guidelines and rules are important. Following them or not will determine if you have a blessed life or not (DEUTERONOMY 11:26-28). Imagine a football game with no rules and no referee. The rules in football define the game and therefore differentiate it to other sports. But the game is not all about the rules. I am not a Christian because I go to church, but because I choose to follow Christ and His teaching, simply because I have experienced the blessings of following Jesus Christ in my life. Therefore I chose to go to church, read my Bible, live a biblical life, with rules or guidelines. And as I read my Bible I get to know Christ more and more and He becomes alive in me, and real, encouraging me to seek Him further.