I (Fred) believe each of us has the ability to know God as “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). It signifies the
close, intimate relationship of a parent and child. We all have that ability, but few of us fully experience it, for various reasons. No matter what your reason is, like a branch of a tree, consider abiding deeper in the Vine (tree trunk), in Jesus (John 15:1-8). By abiding deep in the Vine, he can grow in and through us so that we bear much fruit.
(If your faith is different from mine, or if you have no faith, I warmly welcome you here. The following is a description of the major world religions from my book: Spiritual Species–chapter 9 of A Search for Common Ground. If you find information there which you feel is incorrect or which can be improved upon, please let me know through the heading, “Contact Fred”.)
If you are a nonbeliever of God, is it because the evidence for belief in God does not pass through your filter of what is legitimate evidence? Is it because you have been told you cannot believe both in the theory of evolution and in God? I don’t agree with those who say that. Are your reasons against belief out of frustration of religious people, or because you think belief in God would cramp your lifestyle? Some people choose not to place faith in God for those reasons, though they intellectually think God is real. It may be worth going on a personal exploration—not for anyone but for yourself.
Have you held back from a relationship with God because the perception has been placed upon you that your kind, or your culture, is not right for God? That would be wrong of whomever caused you to feel that way. God has made you in his image, which makes you right for God.
Did you go to church in your past, and were growing a faith in God, but then for various reasons you quit? Like the lost son in Luke 15:11-32, consider returning and the Father will receive you with an embrace, celebrating your return.
Consider experiencing a personal relationship with God.
- Admit your need. Pray, “God, I am a sinner, so I keep stumbling in life. Sometimes I hurt others. Often, I dishonor you. I want to have peace.”
- Be willing to turn from your sins. Pray, “God, I am tired of stumbling in life and not having peace. I am sorry to you, to myself, and to others for my sins. I want to live a better life.”
- Believe that God will forgive you of all your sins. He does this as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross and rose from the grave for you. Pray, “God, I receive your forgiveness. I am your child and I look forward to knowing you better in my life now and then in Heaven after I die.”
- Invite God, through the Holy Spirit, to be the guide of your life. Pray, “God, I love you for all that you give to me. In thanks to you, I will seek to honor you and live out your purposes for my life.”
A Prayer:—Father God, your offerings—unconditional love, counsel, strength to “move mountains,” eternity within your presence, forgiveness and new life, a new day—are beyond what our human brains and spirits can fathom. So, as you know, we only take in some of them, or we ignore them, or even discard them, to our loss. Thank-you for your grace, for saying, “come home, there’s still a place at the table for you,” before it’s too late and the good things are gone. All through Jesus, Amen.”