How To Stay Close To Jesus
by· Published · Updated
How’s Your Walk?
How do you measure your success as a Christian? How’s your walk? Are you cleaning up your act? Do people know (like the song goes) you’re a Christian by your love, by your love?
-Are you attending church every week?
-Do you contribute financially to your church or charitable organizations?
-Are you praying for your enemies and giving thanks for the trials you face?
-Do you read your Bible every day to grow closer in your walk with Jesus?
-Are you sinning less and loving the people in your life more each day?
How’s That Working Out For You?
Trying hard to be a good Christian doesn’t work. At all. Here’s the reason why—Christianity, first and foremost, is not about you. At all. It’s not about your church attendance, your contributions, your prayers, or your behavior.
Listen to what God has to say about “good works” done in an attempt to win His favor:
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a filthy rag” [i]
The Christian life is all about Jesus! His life, lived for you. His death, died in your place to earn for you forgiveness and salvation. His resurrection that ensures that, you too, have victory over death. His ascension, which promises that He is ever-present with you. And the promise of His return, that holds the hope of new life forever with Him.
As Jesus proclaimed from the cross: “It is finished!”
The “work” of salvation was finished on Calvary’s cross. While it is not wrong to want to grow closer to your Savior and Lord Jesus by attending church, praying, studying His word, and loving others, it’s important never to turn these activities into a narcissistic self-improvement plan.
Staying close to Jesus by worshiping with other believers and spending time in prayer and Bible study are important ways to help nurture and grow your faith. Offering your time and talents to God and His people from a place of love, and not out of obligation to do so, is one way to worship your Creator and Redeemer. But all of these activities are done, not to earn God’s love and forgiveness, but out of love for Him.
“For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.” [ii]
Rest For Your Soul
If you’re tired of trying to live a “good life” and are measuring your success as a Christian by what you are doing, come to the cross and find rest in the finished work of Jesus.
(Jesus said) “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”[iii]