Yesterday's devotion was about my convictions of Salvation and eternal life. In that devotion, I expressed that I believe the only way to be saved is through the grace and gift of Jesus Christ. No works or efforts on our part are necessary, only our belief in Jesus. Today, I want to share with you that, all though works, going to church, confessing sin, etc are not "required" for Salvation, those things are of the utmost importance. It is through these things that our relationship with God grows!
This is what I have experienced in my walk with Christ. When I take time to pray and ask Him for forgiveness, I feel a certain connection with Him. I suffer from anxiety attacks and those attacks are coming everyday now. But the more I pray and talk with Christ, the shorter those episodes last. It is an amazing calming effect when I pray and open up to Jesus. I think of it like the relationship between two close people. The more they stop everything they are doing and talk to one another about everything, the closer they become. It's the same thing as going to Church. By spending time with other believers, we tend to find ourselves getting closer to God. God chooses to communicate with us many times through somebody else. At Church, and anywhere else for that matter, we have a golden opportunity to share with others our thoughts beliefs, fears, and personal situations. In the end, we can learn from them, and they can learn from us. If you have children, think about it like this. No matter what your child does, good or bad, you love them no more or no less. But when you spend time sitting down talking with them and doing things with them, your relationship grows much richer. If that is so with humans, how much more so would it be with God? We do things for the Lord not to be saved, but because we are saved. I can tell you first-hand that the closer I draw to him through "works", the closer He draws to me through peace and happiness. Why would I want to receive less from Him by distancing myself from Him? Oh, what a true friend we have in Jesus!
John 15:10-11 says, "If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love...I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy will be complete."
Father, thank you for getting closer to me these past few months. It has been a rough road for me personally. And although I know the storms continue to rage worse than ever, I do feel Your presence like never before. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.