Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too.
(1 John 5:1)
I remember when I first believed that Jesus is the Son of God. I didn’t want to accept Jesus because of the way Christians treated Jewish people after World War 2. But I somehow grasped that Jesus is God’s Son. I can’t explain how; I just knew.
I had been reading the Bible and praying, just out of curiosity. But it’s not as it seems; I was far, far away from God. Most of the Bible didn’t make sense to me.
Yet somehow I knew Jesus was God’s Son. When I came to God, I wanted him for a Father. But I didn’t want Jesus. I somehow knew that God was alive and real and so was Jesus. It all came down to whether I would accept him.
So when I knelt down in the woods back at the hippie commune, I told God, “I really don’t want Jesus, but if that’s the only way you’ll be my father, I’ll accept him.”
That’s all God needed to hear! He only wanted me to accept him and his Son. He filled me with peace I’d never experienced before and couldn’t explain. For the first time in my life I felt a Father’s love and acceptance.
Suddenly, I went from hating everyone to wanting to love everyone! I got in my old car, hit the road and went to pay back everything I had ever stolen or borrowed, and try to reconcile all the relationships I had destroyed.
I tell people just to try Jesus for thirty days. Maybe I’m off-base, trying to come up with one more clever way to manipulate people into “getting saved.” I think so many religious people either commoditize or over-complicate what it means to have a relationship with God.
Having a relationship with God means just that, just like a relationship with anyone else. If I try to explain it, I’ll muddle it. I think everyone knows deep inside what it means to have a heart-level relationship with someone.