A friend of mine asked me a tough question the other day. Tough in the sense that it’s hard to give a concise answer. But it got me pondering. The question posed was this: “What does your relationship with God do for you?” To compound the challenge of trying to be concise, this question was posed on Twitter. That’s a 140 character limit, for those who don’t know. I spewed off a bunch of words to try to summarize & capture what my relationship with God provides, but it didn’t seem sufficient. I wanted a simple answer that was all-encompassing and yet could still be unpacked (when character limits were not in play, of course). After thinking about this for a few days, I kept coming back to these words that Jesus spoke, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) That’s it. That’s a simple statement that beautifully captures what I want to portray: through my relationship with God, I have been given life, and life to the full.
**Note, that section of Scripture comes from the passage of the “Good Shepherd” – click here to read this section in its entirety – it’s good!
Now, let me unpack that just a bit. The Bible teaches that we were separated from God because of our sin (Isaiah 59:2, Romans 3:23), that we deserved the penalty of death because of our disobedience (Romans 6:23), but that through the sacrifice and blood of Jesus, we are reconciled to God and able to have a relationship with Him (Ephesians 1:7, Romans 5:10). The apostle Paul says it this way in his letter to the church in Ephesus:
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:1-5
Through relationship with God we are given grace to live a new and different life (Romans 6:4), not characterized by our sinful human nature, but characterized by God’s Spirit (Romans 8:9). It’s a transformation that takes place when we put our faith in Jesus and find our life in Him. What is a life characterized by God’s Spirit? Well, you could read through my studies on the “Fruit of the Spirit” – but here’s the summary:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23
Living life in relationship with God, and following Jesus will turn your world upside down. It changes your outlook on life, as well as your priorities and motives. Not only does God transform our lives here on earth, but through him we are able to “take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19) – that is, eternal life.
Now, back to my original response – the life that comes from God does encompass a lot, and I will give here a partial list, with a few Scripture references, of what you can expect to experience when you come into relationship with God and live the life that is truly life:
Romans 15:4; Romans 15:13; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Hebrews 6:19
Psalm 19:8; Isaiah 51:11; Nehemiah 8:10; 1 Peter 1:8-9; Galatians 5:22
Isaiah 43:4-5; Joel 2:32; John 3:16; John 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; Hebrews 2:3
Psalm 4:8; Isaiah 26:3; John 14:27; John 16:33; Philippians 4:6-7
Isaiah 61:1; John 8:31-36; Galatians 5:1
Adoption into God’s Family
Luke 20:35-36; John 1:12; 1 John 3:1; Romans 8:16-17
Romans 5:15; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Ephesians 4:7; 2 Timothy 1:8-9
Philippians 4:12-13; Proverbs 19:23; 1 Timothy 6:6
Rest for the Weary
Isaiah 40:28-31; Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 119:105
Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 143:8; Romans 12:2
Isaiah 54:10; Romans 8:39; Psalm 23:6; Revelation 7:16-17; John 10:27-28
Psalm 55:22; Romans 5:3-4; James 1:2-3
Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Happy Gilmore. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!