So you’ve read about Christ in the scriptures. And you’ve gone to church and talked about Him there. It’s something you’ve heard so many times that you can tell anyone about Jesus and what we believe about Him.
You know about Jesus Christ. But do you know Him personally?
I wonder that a lot. What I described in that first paragraph is definitely where I’m at. The stories about Christ are so familiar and His teachings are familiar.
But I can never quite decide if I know Jesus as a person, as my personal Savior, and as my king, or if I just know a lot about Him.
It’s been bothering me a bit lately. And I want to take the next steps to actually know Him personally.
What ways can we know Christ better?
Here’s four ideas:
Ask to Know Christ Better
Yeah, I know, this one sounds WAY too easy.
I mean, we’ve got to do more than just say, “Hey God, please help me get to know you better,” right?
But I think this is a great place to start. We’re all different, and we all interact with people differently. That’s a good thing because it gives us all different strengths, and it also means that there is no single right way of building a better relationship with our Savior.
And He knows that as well as we do. Better, actually.
So by praying and asking to know Him better, we can receive personalized instruction.
Maybe one of us needs to cut out negative influences in our life so we can better feel His Spirit. Maybe another one of us needs to let go of a grudge.
God knows what steps we need to take to better know Him. And He is more than willing to tell us.
In fact, sometimes the best thing we can do is ask. That might be what He’s waiting for.
After all, He promises us:
Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.3 Nephi 14:7
Asking God questions brings answers. Even if it’s slow and you don’t always like the answer, the answer still comes. For more on this, check out my post, Prayer: A Sincere Struggle.
Because this is such a simple approach, it can be an easy one to overlook. But Alma teaches:
…that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.Alma 37:6
It really doesn’t matter how small a thing it is. If it can bring us closer to God, the results can be awesome in the truest sense of the word.
Serve People Around Us
You might already be doing this one. If so, you are amazing! Keep it up!
But honestly, we could probably all do a little more of this. Even if it is just little things (again, like Alma mentioned), it can bring so much hope to others and to our own lives.
Okay, serving people is great. And yeah, in all the positive psychology studies and such, they’re always saying that if you want to be happy you should help other people.
That’s nice and all, but how does it help us know Christ better?
I guess the first reason I’d say this helps us know Christ better is that Christ Himself constantly served people during His life. More on this in a minute.
The second reason, and the one I’ll focus on more in this section is explained in this scripture:
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.Matthew 25:34-40, King James Version
Basically, when we serve other people, we are doing God’s work and serving Him in the process.
We can grow the Lord’s work just by helping people. We can visit people, give them food, talk with them, share our time, talents, and stuff with people.
And when we do, we’re really serving God.
Talk about two birds with one stone. What better way to spend our lives?
Following Christ’s Example
Like I mentioned in the previous section, if we serve the way Christ served, we can know Him better because we will be doing the same things He did.
But this concept goes a lot further than service. There are a lot of things that Christ did in His life that, if we mimicked, could bring us closer to Him in our lives.
- Gratitude – Jesus made a point to thank those who served Him, but more importantly, He always went out of His way to thank His Father in Heaven as well. For an example of this, see the post where I talk about His prayer before He raised Lazarus here.
- Teaching Others – Jesus took every opportunity to teach about His Father’s plan for His children. We’ve been asked to share the gospel in the world today, and when we do, we follow in His footsteps.
- Loving People Who Are Different – Whether it was a leper, a woman caught in adultery, or a Gentile, Jesus showed love to everyone He met, whether or not they were “worthy” of it. He recognized that everyone is a child of God, and He treated all of them like they were.
I’m not going to list everything here. That would take way to long.
But if we know about Christ, maybe we can practice doing some of the things we know He did.
Understand Christ’s Atonement
This is probably the toughest one.
Not that we can’t understand the Atonement. But it’s a big thing to understand, and it takes a lot of time to understand it.
Jesus performed the GREATEST act of love the world has ever seen. He took our sins upon Himself so that we could receive mercy while still fulfilling justice (see Alma 42 for a more in-depth explanation).
Frankly, I don’t know if we will ever be able to fully understand this sacrifice. At least, not in this life.
Doing what we can to understand the atonement will help us understand Christ and His love for us better though.
Taking the sacrament, studying His sacrifice, and using the atonement to repent and heal can all help us understand our Savior better.
I’m sure there are other ways to know Christ better. These four ideas are just starting points.
If we try to do all of these things at once, it might be overwhelming. I think starting with one or two of these things could help us to do what we each need to do to know our Savior better than we ever have.
It’s a process. But the end goal is this:
And this is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.John 17:3, King James Version
What could be better?
So try one this week. And if you have any other ideas of how to draw closer to Christ, or you have an experience with any of these things, comment with them below.
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