Giving It All You’ve Got

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Eric Liddell went to the 1924 Olympics in Paris, and won the gold medal for the 400 meter race, setting a new world’s record. There was an Oscar winning movie about him called “Chariots of Fire.” When they asked him how he did it, he said, “I ran the first 200 as fast as I could, and then with God’s help, I ran the second 200 even faster.”

In other words, he exerted himself to the point of exhaustion, and when he could do no more, the Holy Spirit, who is Jesus, kicked in and finished the race.That must be what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said, “When I am weak, them am I strong.”

Maybe that’s the point of the story in the Old Testament about the widow who used the last of her resources serving God. He provided her with an abundance of oil. It was enough to fill every vessel she had. In fact, it was more than enough. She had to send to the neighbors for more vessels to hold it all.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the footprints poster, and its message. There are two sets of footprints on the beach, and then there’s only one set. So the guy asked Jesus, “Why did you leave me?” And Jesus said, “That’s when I carried you.”

Most of us try to hop onto the Lord’s back right away, and expect him to carry us the whole way. But, there’s where we’ve been going wrong. It’s after you have exerted yourself to the extent that you’ve given it all you’ve got that Jesus supplies what you need to finish the job. For example, when you use up all the patience you have, he will give you more. When you use  up all the love you have, he will give you more. When you use up all the faith you have, he will give you more. When you run out of hope, he will give you more.

The Apostle Paul compared living the Christian life to running in a race. It is strenuous, and it takes a lot a stamina to get through it. Salvation means more than just going to heaven when you die. It’s an ongoing process. Jesus is saving you from sin, the world, the flesh and the devil on a daily basis. This is what Paul says about it:

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (Philippians 3:13 NIV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1 NIV)

And at the end of his life, the Apostle Paul wrote these words:  For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7)

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Doing What Is Right

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

People used to be a lot wiser than they are today. They were familiar with God’s word and they knew how life works. I used to work with men who were a generation older than me. Whenever something good happened to one of them, the others would tell him, “You must be living right.” They knew that God rewards those who do what is right, and he punishes those who don’t. Most people today have never read this verse, “For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy.” (Ecclesiastes 2:26)

The Lord knows our hearts, and he wants us to be motivated by love. We know that sin is showing a lack of love for others. Sins are the stupid mistakes we make that prevent God from rewarding us. “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins (motives), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 23:24)

The word “Righteousness” is used two ways in the Bible:

(1) Your salvation is not based on the righteousness you do. It’s based on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. God counts your faith in Jesus as righteousness, and righteousness is right-standing with God.

(2) Righteousness is the opposite of sin. It’s doing what’s right. When you’re doing what the Bible says, you’re doing righteousness. “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.” (Deuteronomy 6:25)

God has promised to reward you for your righteousness. “Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” (Proverbs 11:31)

SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Your flesh, or your old sin nature, is your enemy. It is driven by lusts, and it wants what it wants when it wants it. It never stops trying to get its own way. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like . . . (Galatians 5:19-21)

First Corinthians 13 describes what God’s love is like. Your flesh is the exact opposite of that. Your flesh is: impatient, unkind, envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, and easily angered. It keeps a record of wrongs, delights in evil, rejoices with lies, never protects, never trusts, never hopes, never perseveres. And it always fails.

If your flesh is running your life, you cannot possibly succeed. You’re closing the door to God’s blessing and his favor.

The only way to overcome your flesh is to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit minute by minute. That is what the Bible calls, walking in the Spirit. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

All of God’s promises are like contracts. Put your faith to work by doing what God says; and, then you will receive what he’s promised. When you do your part, God will do his part. When you’re keeping the Love commandment, your faith is working because “faith works by love.” The master key to all of the promises of God is loving your neighbor as yourself.

THE PROBLEM IS SIN

Sin is violating the Love Commandment, and it prevents God from blessing you. “Your sins have withholden good things from you.”(Jeremiah 5:25) Love is fulfilling the law. When you’re loving your neighbor, you’re loving God too, because you’re obeying him. You’re expressing your faith in God and his word.

SIN IS BASED ON PRIDE

In my life, I had to face reality. I found out that I was not as smart as I thought. I thought that I could get everything I needed on my own, but I was wrong. I tried running my own life and failed miserably at it. The best decision I ever made was to surrender control of my life to God.

RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BASED ON LOVE

Righteousness is the opposite of sin. It is loving God. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good to those who love God.” You know when you’re keeping the Love Commandment, and when you’re not keeping it. If you want this promise of God fulfilled in your life, you have to love your neighbor as yourself.

GOD SHOWS FAVOR TO THE RIGHTEOUS

“For you, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12 NKJV)

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Envy Is A Sin

"Give us Barabbas!" (from The Bible ...

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Envy affects your heart and mind, and it makes you vulnerable to the enemy. Envy arises when you compare what you have to what your neighbor has.

Let’s say your neighbor has a high-paying job, a beautiful wife and nice house. You have a menial job, you’re divorced and you’re renting an apartment. As long as you’re envying that other man, you’re going to be miserable. You can’t enjoy the things that you do have. The Bible says to be content with the things that you have, and thank God for them.

Envy is a very effective roadblock on the road to your success. But it’s just another sin. You can get rid of it. When you repent of it, God will forgive you, and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

According to the Bible, anger and envy can kill you.  For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one. (Job 5:2)

These are the words of a man who envied the ungodly. They had everything they desired, and they did everything that they wanted to do.  For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. … Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. (Psalm 73:3-9, 12-14)

The story ends when the man realizes the horrors that are awaiting those people in Hell. He was thankful that God had saved him from it.  When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; until I went into the sanctury of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. (Psalm 73:16-19)

Envy destroys your health. This verse says that it affects the bone marrow.  A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. (Proverbs 14:30)

Replace envy with the fear of the Lord. Then, God will give you the things that you desire.  Let not thine heart envy sinners; but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:17-18)

Don’t underestimate envy’s power to destroy. The chief priests and elders killed Jesus because they envied him. He could do miracles that they couldn’t do.  Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. … But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:17-18, 20)

The Bible says to be content with the things that you have. You have the Lord. Not everyone does. He is more valuable than anything on EarthLet your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Hebrews 13:5-6)

If you want your circumstances to change, apply God’s wisdom to your life, and be led by the Spirit of God. He says to get rid of envy and strife.  But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:14-16)

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Spending Time With God

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“Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. ” (Job 22:21)

Reading an author’s work always makes you feel like you know him. That’s because he reveals his heart and his mind through his work. This is especially true of God, as the author of the Bible. When I was writing my first book, The Bible Believer’s Handbook, I spent thousands of hours studying the Bible. I didn’t know that I was also spending time with the Lord. That is how I got to know him and how to communicate with him.

If you want to know the Lord, you will have to read and study the Bible on your own. Nobody else can do it for you. There is no substitute time spent fellowshipping with God in his word. I think that’s what he is telling us in this verse, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

If I never spent any time with my wife, and I never talked to her, she would think that I didn’t love her. Because, when you love somebody, you want to spend time with them and talk to them. The Lord knows whether you love him or not. “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.” (1 Corinthians 8:3) It’s very important that you learn to love the Lord. You do that by spending time with him.

Marriage is a picture of the relationship Jesus wants to have with you. In an ideal marriage, the wife wants to please her husband and the husband wants to please his wife. Marie is my best friend and we’ve been married for forty-four years. I love her and I want to please her. We are both married to Jesus. We love him and we want to please him.

But it wasn’t always like this. I was a sorry excuse for a husband at first. I thought that the world revolved around me. My hopes and dreams and my career took priority over everything else. Marie was nothing like me. She was different from everyone I had ever known. I could see Jesus in her. I wanted to be like her, so I became a Christian too. I was a sorry excuse for a Christian at first. But God changed me from the inside out. He gave me a new heart—a heart full of love for God and man.

I recommend that you meet with God at the same time every day. The early morning hours are best. It’s easier to hear from God when everything is quiet and still. You can talk to him about anything you want. But, don’t be surprised when he starts to answer your prayers.

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Trusting In The Lord

Rafaela Blank & Augusto Etges

Memory Verse: Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

You are a member of God’s family. He doesn’t want you to be stressed out, and loaded down with problems. He wants you to bring your problems to him. Tell him about the things that are bothering you. Trust him to help you with them. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 56:22)

Worry is just another form of fear. It’s fear of the unknown and fear of the future. Fear is a destructive emotion that does not come from God. It is the opposite of faith, and it prevents God from blessing you. Don’t let fear take up residence in you. Fight it with the word of God. Fill yourself so full of the word of God that there’s no room for anything else.

GOD HAS PROMISED TO PROTECT YOU:
God has promised that to protect you and your family: “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is thy refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot upon a stone. . . .

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:9-12,14-16)

REST IN THE LORD:

Your soul consists of your mind, your emotions, and your will. Your mind and your emotions need a rest. Here’s how to obtain that rest. When you’re doing things God’s way, you know you’re doing everything right. “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.: (Jeremiah 6:36)

Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) When Jesus is in control of your life, he is responsible for the outcome, not you. You can say, “Jesus is the boss. He’s in charge. I just work for him.”  He is responsible for the final results, and he will cause all things to work together for your good.

Whenever you are worried or afraid, start talking to Jesus. “I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:)

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” (Psalm 56:3-4)

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Renewing Your Mind

Tree Beside the Saint John River
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Memory Verse: And be not conformed to this world: But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  (Romans 12:2)

The Objective: To become more like Jesus by understanding God’s word and learning his ways.

How to Do it: Read and study the Bible daily. Meditate on what you’ve read and apply it to your life.

God has given you a heart full of love. But you’re responsible for renewing the mind that you have. God’s thoughts are not your thoughts, and his ways are not your ways. You have to learn new ways of thinking and new ways to be. God’s wisdom and knowledge are available to you through his word and through his Spirit.

The spiritually dead have to rely on their own brain power. It’s all they have. They can’t figure out the things of God, because they can’t be figured out. They are revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. The people of the world simply cannot understand that it benefits them to serve God.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

“The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (Romans 8:7) NLT

You used to be like that yourself. Your mind was fully set on fulfilling the desires of your flesh. But now you’re learning how to please God instead.

The Holy Spirit is your mentor and your tutor. He is the greatest teacher of all time. He knows everything about the Bible because he wrote it. He knows everything about God because he is God. He knows everything about science because he is the Creator. He knows everything about history because he was there when it happened; and, he’s always available to you because he lives in you.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance. But, you can’t remember things that you never learned. That’s why you have to study the Bible for yourself. “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Reading and studying the Bible is a way of fellowshiping with God. He reveals his heart and mind through his book, and that’s how you get to know him. Jesus will eventually become so real, it will seem like he stepped right out of the pages of the Bible.

The Holy Spirit will explain what you don’t understand; And you will have a continuous dialogue with him concerning the Bible. You will become a reservoir of God’s wisdom, and then this scripture will apply to you:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth is fruit in due season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3)

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How To Become A Child of God

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The blessing and favor of God are reserved for his children. But you can easily become a child of God right now, by making Jesus Lord of your life.

Memory Verse: If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

When Adam gave control of his life to Satan, he sold us (his descendants) into slavery. We’re all born spiritually dead and separated from God, because we’re born into Satan’s domain. That is, everyone but Jesus. Jesus is the Second Adam.

Jesus is not descended from the first Adam. Because God is his Father, he’s not subject to the law of sin and death. Furthermore, he never sinned. His obedience to God has reversed the effect of Adam’s disobedience. That applies to everyone who belongs to him.

When Jesus is your Lord, you’re translated from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of God. Jesus is Your Redeemer and Your Savior. He has already paid the death penalty for Your sins. He died so that you can live.

Redemption and Salvation are only available by grace (the unmerited favor of God.) They can only be received through faith in Jesus Christ. (Faith is belief in action.) “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If you’ve never made Jesus the Lord of your life, I urge you to do it now. This is the most important decision you will make in your life. Will you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or will you reject him? That’s what determines your eternal destiny, whether or not you belong to Jesus.

There are not several different paths to God, one for each religion. Our God, the Creator, is unique. All other “gods” are nothing but idols. Jesus is the only way to God. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) You cannot have the Father without the Son, because Jesus and the Father are inseparable.

There is one True and Living God. He created the earth and all living things. He is the God of the Bible. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He consists of three persons: The Father, who is God in Heaven—Jesus, who is God in human form—and the Holy Spirit, who is God in you.

The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit who raised up Jesus from the dead. He gives you spiritual life. He baptizes you into the Body of Believers. He seals you until the Day of Redemption. When he comes to live in you, he gives you a new heart—a heart full of love. He gives you joy, peace, and self-control. He gives you the desire to please God, and then he empowers you to fulfill that desire. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

To make Jesus Lord of your life, pray this prayer with all you heart: “Heavenly Father, I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God, and that you raised him from the dead. I repent of all my sins, and I make Jesus Lord of my life right now. Please send your Holy Spirit to live in me forever. Thank you for saving me and for adopting me into your family. In Jesus name, Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer, and meant what you said, you are now a child of God. Your sins are forgiven and you have Eternal Life. You’re in right-standing with God. You’re a citizen of Heaven and a joint-heir with Jesus. You’re a new creation in Jesus Christ.

All of these blessings are yours because Jesus did you a favor (grace), and you received it through faith. Grace is God’s part of the deal and faith is yours. “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed . . .” (Romans 4:16)

Now that you’re a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you have a new heart. God’s Spirit is now living in you, and he will change you from the inside out. He will empower you to do things you never thought you could do, like overcoming old addictions. He’s the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. You are never alone, because he will never leave you nor forsake you. Now that you walk with God, you don’t have to be afraid of death or anything else.

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Give Thanks to God

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Memory Verse: Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Your life is your prayer, and there is a protocol to follow in prayer. It’s to express your heartfelt gratitude to God for what he has given you. Thanksgiving gets you in the gate, and praise gives you access to his presence.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good: his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100)

The sacrifice of praise is the sacrifice that God desires. Thank him when you feel like it, and especially when you don’t feel like it. Because that’s what makes it a sacrifice. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

In Philippi, Paul and Silas were beaten and placed into stocks in their jail. At midnight, they were singing praises to God; and, they were loud enough that all the other prisoners heard them. Certainly God heard them too, because an earthquake shook the prison setting all of the prisoners free. As a result of this incident, the Philippian jailer and his family came to Christ.

Paul and Silas could have spent their time complaining. They were falsely accused and unjustly punished, but instead of whining and complaining about it, they were singing praises to God. These men were disciples of Jesus Christ. They offered God the sacrifice of praise, and God changed their circumstances.

Don’t Complain About Your Circumstances:

“Do all things without murmuring and disputings:” (Philippians 2:14)
Don’t have an emotional reaction to every thing that happens. Don’t allow negative emotions to take control of your thought life. When something goes wrong, get over it and keep going forward with God.

Be a Praiser Instead of a Complainer:

Anyone can complain. Most people complain about every little thing that happens to them. Every day of their lives is just another gripe-fest. Don’t be like them. Take charge of your own attitude and choose to be happy. Practice being happy where you are, and with what you have. “For I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

God is pleased when you say, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) and actually do it.

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Here’s What I Was Doing Wrong

Lake Delton, WI, June 23, 2008 - This house an...
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I asked God, “Why are bad things happening to me? What am I doing wrong? And he answered me with the following scripture:

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” (Luke 6:46-48)

That explains it! That’s what I was doing wrong! I was the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. My spiritual house collapsed because it had no foundation. It could not stand up against the storms of life. It had to fail. It couldn’t do anything else.

God didn’t cause those bad things to happen. I did. I set myself up for failure when I ignored God’s instructions. It was impossible for me to succeed. “Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord, that ye cannot prosper?” (2 Chronicles 24:20)

I was calling myself a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. But, I wasn’t following him; I was following me. I was calling Jesus my Lord; but I wasn’t doing a thing he told me to do. I had to give up the control of my life and turn it over to him; and that’s what I did.

I made up my mind, that, for the rest of my life, I would do everything that Jesus told me to do. I turned my back on sin forever, and that’s what the Bible calls “repentance.” Since that time I have made it my habit to follow the Lord’s commandments as recorded in the Bible.

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Making Jesus Lord of Your Life

Jesus Collecting Disciples
Image by Travis S. via Flickr

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10

If you have never made Jesus Lord of your life, I urge you to do it today. It’s the most important thing you will ever do in your life. Because, it determines your eternal destiny—whether you will spend eternity in Heaven or Hell.

When Adam gave Satan control of his life, he sold us (his descendants) into slavery too; and, everyone is born spiritually dead, or separated from God. And all of us were born into Satan’s kingdom—except for Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus is not descended from Adam, because God is his father. He’s not subject to the law of sin and death, because he never sinned. He is the Second Adam. He made a way for us to escape from sin, death, and hell. His obedience to God has reversed the effect of Adam’s disobedience for everyone who belongs to him.

Redemption and Salvation are only available by grace (the unmerited favor of God.) And they can only be received through faith in Jesus Christ. (Faith is belief in action.) “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, lest any man should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9

Jesus is your Redeemer. He made it possible for you to be born again into the Kingdom of God. Jesus is your Savior. He paid the penalty of death for your sins. He took your place and he died so that you can live. You are buried with him in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life.

When Jesus is your Lord, you belong to him. You have God as your spiritual Father, because “whoever has the Son has the Father also,” and the Holy Spirit comes to live in you forever. He is the same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead.

The Holy Spirit baptizes you into the body of believers. He seals you until the Day of Redemption. He regenerates your spirit, causing you to be born again. He gives you a new heart, a heart full of love for God and man. He gives you joy, peace, faith, and self-control. He empowers you to do the things that please God.

All of this is yours when you make Jesus Lord of your life; and, you do that by praying a simple heart-felt prayer, like this one: “Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord, and that you raised him from the dead. I make him Lord of my life right now. Thank you for saving me. Please send your Holy Spirit to live in me forever. In Jesus Name, Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, you are now a child of God. You have Eternal Life. Your sins are forgiven. God has declared you to be righteous (in right-standing with him,)  and made you a part of his own family. Your citizenship is in Heaven and you are a joint-heir with Jesus.

All of these blessings are yours because Jesus did you a favor (grace). And you received it through faith, (believing that God’s word is true.)  “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed . . .” Romans 4:16

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