Strengthening your relationship with God
A strong relationship with Jesus Christ is important for Christians to continue on the path to salvation if they are to make it into the 'land of milk and honey'. It makes absolutely no sense to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, take the watery baptism and live a life that is pleasing unto God if the ultimate aim isn't to claim eternal life. However, one key factor in staying true to the faith is to build and maintain a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.
Minister Andre Dixon from the Greater Highway Church of Christ Apostolic in Carterwood, Trelawny, shares some tips on strengthening your relationship with Christ. He said basic ways to strengthen your connection to Jesus is to get to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him, instead of taking what someone else tells you about Him, but to see His work manifest in your life and learn about Him for yourself.
"The word 'connection' has more than one meaning, but for this purpose, 'connection' will be looked at as 'a relationship by which a person or thing is linked or associated with someone else', in this case, your personal connection to Christ."
He explained to Family and Religion that the Bible contains the word of God, therefore, reading and studying the word is guaranteed to strengthen your connection to Jesus.
"In any relationship, communication is important, so the more you talk with a person, the closer you become and (get to) know each other better. Therefore, the more we communicate with Jesus - the most common way is through prayer - the closer you will get to Him and the more you will know Him."
"In order to maintain a strong relationship with Christ, we must ensure that we nurture it. (For example) the first time I started a relationship with my wife, we always wanted to be in each other's company to talk, laugh, and share ideas and we really felt that feeling of love and enjoyment in being with each other. But as time went by, the feelings got less because something was missing. Then I realised that a relationship is like a plant that needs to be cared for and if we don't, then it will die. It is in a similar way that we need to maintain this connection with Christ. We must nurture our relationship with Jesus," explained Minister Dixon.
"John 15:7 says 'If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you'."
That Bible verse, he said, is one of many that dictate that there are benefits to be had from a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.
"You feel free to worship and you get a sense of security, it also makes it easier for you to lead others to Christ and (it becomes) easier for you to love your enemies," he said.
"It is written in the Word that He is the true vine and if ye (we) are attached to that vine then we should bear fruit and if we don't, then He will cut us off. Over the years, I have drawn a lot of substance from this vine which helped me to grow both spiritually and physically, and I am one of them who can now say where would I be without is love. It is because of my strengthened relationship with Christ why I'm here today," he concluded.