The Only Way to Know We're in HimHere's how we can be sure that we know God in the right way: Keep his commandments.
If someone claims, "I know him well!" but doesn't keep his commandments, he's obviously a liar. His life doesn't match his words. But the one who keeps God's word is the person in whom we see God's mature love. This is the only way to be sure we're in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.
My dear friends, I'm not writing anything new here. This is the oldest commandment in the book, and you've known it from day one. It's always been implicit in the Message you've heard. On the other hand, perhaps it is new, freshly minted as it is in both Christ and you—the darkness on its way out and the True Light already blazing!
Anyone who claims to live in God's light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It's the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God's light and doesn't block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn't know which end is up, blinded by the darkness. 1 John 2:2-11
If you are a follower of Christ, then you should be having a "Quiet Time" every day. A quiet time being a time where you spend time reading the Bible, praying and reflecting on how what you read will change the way you live.
Without the last part of this process, you are basically just praying and reading. In order to be a follower of Jesus, you must allow the Bible to change your life. What is the point of reading the Bible if you are not going to follow what it says? It's not good enough to sit in church with your hands folded waiting for God to bless you. Or reading your Bible and then putting it away like you just finished a Stephen King novel.
So if you got baptized "once upon a time" and you left it at that, what now? Our pastor said something a few years ago that really hit me. He said that people always use the line "What if you were to die tonight. . . " when talking to someone about becoming a follower of Jesus. He said I want to challenge you to think about this, "What if you live?"
That really hit home with me especially, because that IS how I was saved, by someone asking me "If you were to die tonight and you stood before God and He asked you why should I let you into My heaven . . . what would your answer be?" So yeah, I have heard this since I was 16 years old. But no one really told me what to do if I don't die tonight. Do I just sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for "my time"?
Our youth pastor gave a great analogy last night. Imagine that I am late for youth and I come in where all of you are waiting. I sit down in front of all of you and I am hot and sweaty and out of breath. I tell you that right before youth tonight I was changing a flat tire on my truck and out of nowhere an 18-wheeler smacked right into me. I mean he was going 80 mph and he ran right over me. What would you say?
Well all these students said you are a liar. He asked them why they said that and they all answered, "You would look different if you got hit by a semi-truck." Some of them even said, "There would be nothing left of you."
Then he asked, "Isn't Jesus bigger and more powerful than an 18-wheeler? Shouldn't there be a noticeable change in a person who has been impacted by Jesus?" If you have been impacted by the God of the universe, people will know.
Can anyone tell you follow Jesus by the way you live?
OR Do you have to scream it at them? If you have to scream that you are a follower of Jesus, maybe it's because no one can tell otherwise.