Do we really need to read our Bibles, pray, worship, spend time with God? Does that stuff actually matter? Does it make us saved? Does it change anything?
Things I’ve heard lately: “How do I know if I’m saved?” “I don’t need to raise my hands in worship. God knows how I feel.” “I don’t need to read my Bible, I feel saved.”
Now, let me be clear right up front. John 3:16 says whoever believes in Jesus will have everlasting life. It says if we believe, then we are saved. I will never say that anyone is not saved if they don’t perform. The Lord indeed knows our hearts.
However, when Jesus told people to follow Him, He would ask them to give things up. Some gave up families, jobs, and homes. He asked the rich, young ruler to give up his wealth. And he always told people to repent. He never said that anyone could just go on sinning. He very clearly told the woman caught in adultery, “Go, and sin no more.”
We don’t believe in Jesus without knowing Him and if we truly know Him then we understand that He is not ok with us just living any kind of way we want. No, He doesn’t expect us to come to Him in a perfect state. What He does expect is that we spend time with Him and allow Him to change us, mold us, and grow us into the person He wants us to be.
How does this happen?
I can say that I’m married to my husband, but if I never spend time with him, how can I know him? If I don’t have conversations with him, then I will never learn anything about him. If we never spend time together, then we won’t grow closer together. What if I live somewhere else and choose to maybe call him twice a year? What kind of relationship would we have then?
And if we told you we were married, but we were never affectionate, we never saw each other outside of the church, never talked outside of the church, and didn’t even write letters or emails to one another or read each others writings, then would you really believe we belonged to one another?
Worship (being affectionate to God) is an outward way to show that we know Him, we are grateful for His blessings, and that we believe in Him. No, it is not required, but if you’re in a relationship with someone, isn’t affection usually expected?
Reading your Bible is the way you get to know God more. It isn’t required, but the Bible is our sword! It gets us right into the heart of God. It is how we grow and change.
Prayer is the way we get to talk to God. We are blessed to be able to speak directly to Him. Prayer is our lifeline to God.
Cultivating our relationship with Jesus is what grows us and helps others to see that we belong to Him. Then we become a true disciple for Him.