How can Jesus change my life?
The decision to follow Jesus isn’t about ticking a box to ‘get into heaven’, but giving him all of your life, from this point on. It’s an act of trust, knowing that his version of life is better than ours. Jesus hasn’t saved us to live half-lives: he came to give us abundant life, starting now!
In his new life, we are given the strength and ability to live God’s way. We are able to give him all of our anxieties and fears and live in full confidence of his love and good plans for us. We are given assurance that death will be a great beginning, not an end, and that we will enjoy him forever. We can benefit from the spiritual gifts and blessings that he showers upon us. We can be secure in his love that has made us his sons and daughters, and bask in his delight to call us his chosen and beloved.
Below are some of the characteristics of our new life in Jesus.
When we accept Jesus, we are given access to a personal relationship with God. God is no longer unreachable: he is near (Ephesians 2:13). We are invited into a relationship with him more intimate, more beautiful, more loving than any other human relationship could ever be.
Our relationship with God grows as we invest into it. The best ways to do this are through conversation with him (called prayer), feeding on his words (through reading the Bible), and expressing our love (called worship).
Participating in a community of believers is a vital part of following Jesus, something we’ve been told not to give up on (Hebrews 10:25).
Local churches are the structure that God has given us so that we can learn about him, worship him and stay strong in faith together. Church families give us opportunities to support, inspire, encourage and learn from each other, and we can experience God in a special way when we are together.
Jesus modelled the kind of life that God wants us to live (1 John 2:3–6). He lived without sin, perfectly pleasing to God. And he redefined our identity by telling us to be like him (1 Peter 1:14–16, Matthew 5:48, Luke 6:36). That’s made possible when the Holy Spirit makes his home in us and empowers and equips us to live God’s way.
Jesus didn’t save us from sin to continue to live in slavery to sin, but to be free to live in his wonderful purpose for us (Galatians 5:13, 1 John 3:4–8, John 8:31–32, 34–36). When we follow Jesus, we live the way he told us to – not to earn our salvation or perform for God’s love, but in love and gratefulness we embrace the freedom lavished on us, since we know how much it cost (1 Corinthians 6:19–20, 1 Peter 1 : 18). We obey Jesus’ commandments because we love him (John 14:15).
You can read about how God wants us to live in the words of Jesus found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible. The rest of the New Testament also tells us how to live a holy life empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gave us the mission of sharing his good news (telling people about the salvation available to them) and being his good news (helping people in need).
Jesus healed people, brought dead people back to life, delivered people from demonic oppression and did great miracles. And he told us to welcome his kingdom of heaven on earth, giving us the authority to do what he did – right here and now, as we are, by the power of his Spirit living in us (John 14:12–17, Matthew 10:8).
As we live as Jesus did, in relationship with God and others, we are pointers to the world around us towards the kingdom of heaven that is to come. As he transforms us through his Spirit, we are a living demonstration of God’s plans for the world, and begin the transformation that will be completed when he returns.