The Heart of Christianity
The heart of Christianity is simply this: relationship with God. The Old Testament breathes it; the New Testament shouts it. In the beginning, God created people to know Him and be known by Him, and since the fall, God has redeemed people to restore them to their original purpose. God has then commissioned His people to be His ambassadors to make Him known to others, so that they too may know and be known by God both now and forever. People were made to live with God. God intended us to have constant access to and interaction with Him. True Life is to know the One True God and Jesus Christ, the One sent from God (John 17:3).
It HAS To Work For Everyone!
Because knowing and living with God is the core of Christianity—-something that God intends for all believers to experience-—one thing must be true: the “secret” to fellowship/living with God has to be fundamentally simple . . . because it has to be accessible. It has to work for everyone. It has to work in every era of history. It has to work in every culture. It has to work for young children and for their grandparents. It has to work for baby believers and mature believers. It has to work for the literate and the illiterate, for the employed and the unemployed, for the single and the married, for the frantically busy and weary ones as well as the those with more tranquil lives. It has to work for a mother with small children and a CEO of a large corporation. It has to work for the manual laborer and for the rocket scientist. It has to work. It has to, or else God was either lying/deceptive in His promises or powerless to fulfill His purposes.
What about YOU?
So, the question is: are you living with God? Are you acknowledging Him in all your ways? Do you expect to hear from Him and to experience His real, practical guidance in your everyday life? One author observed, “If God doesn’t rule your mundane, He doesn’t rule you, because that’s where you live” (Tripp). If you think it’s impossible for you to experience intimate fellowship with God in your present everyday circumstances, then you are actually imprisoned in a wrong view of God and His purposes and promises. See, God intends to live with you. That’s why He gave both His Son and His Spirit. He is with you all your days. He will never leave you, so that you . . . you . . . you all day, every day, in all your mundane circumstances . . . you can say, “Yahweh is my Helper.” This has to work for you.
Day by Day
Take some time to ask God to grow in your heart genuine faith to believe the truth that He is a real Person who is practically accessible to you, personally interested in you and your life, thoroughly familiar with every detail of your personality and daily realities, and graciously willing to live with you and talk with you and counsel you and share all of Himself and His resources with you. Ask Him to give you hope and diligence in pursuing life with Him. It’s so easy for us to forget God and to ignore Him as we go throughout our days. Ask the Spirit to grow your awareness of and familiarity with God so that you think about Him and interact with Him just as you interact with the other people who are around you. You are a Christian, you belong to God through Jesus: it’s a relationship–a relationship with a real Person who is always right there with you. Know Him. Talk with Him. Listen to Him. Enjoy Him. Obey Him. Ask Him for advice. Tell Him “thank You.” Spend time with Him alone. Spend time with Him in a group setting. Introduce others to Him. Don’t ignore Him: LIVE with Him!
About the Book
Stop and think about it. The Bible never commands you to read your Bible every day. Why? Because, for the vast majority of believers throughout history, that has been an impossibility. Nevertheless, although the Bible does not command the believer to read Scripture on a prescribed schedule, it clearly gives another command and repeatedly teaches another concept: one that is much more far-reaching and difficult to learn and obey. The Bible tells us to meditate day and night. The goal of meditation is to know God and to walk with Him; and because God has revealed Himself in His Word, meditating on Scripture is an essential discipline for the believer. Therefore, meditation is indispensable to knowing and obeying God. Constant Fellowship: A Handbook on Scripture Meditation is designed to help the believer develop Biblical life patterns of meditation.
A little bit about the author:
Miriam Champlin grew up in the jungles of Suriname, South America. Throughout her teenage years, the Lord began to deepen her love for the Word and desire to know Him. Upon returning to the United States in 2004, she attended Northland International University and an graduated with an undergraduate degree in Bible. She has since completed a masters degree in Bible translation and currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. Miriam is a part of Hampton Park Baptist Church and engages in mutual discipleship with her brothers and sisters there.