Your faith is tested by your trials and challenges that you face in your life. How you react to your trials and challenges is a reflection of your spiritual maturity.
So when you encounter a trial, a challenge, a TEMPTATION – even though you may have MENTAL knowledge of God’s word, are you Christ-centered in your effort to overcome the situation or do you try to find a non-Christian solution to your problems?
Luke 8:6 NKJV Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.
Luke 8:13 NKJV But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have NO ROOT, who believe FOR A WHILE and in time of TEMPTATION fall away.
Are you the type of Christian or church-goer who is hyped up, happy-clappy & joyful ONLY on Sundays during the church service? And then from Monday to Saturday you are a totally different person who’s struggling to find joy and victory because of the weekly challenges?
In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said that “the seed IS the word of God”. The seed is not money or anything else but it is God’s word.
YOU are the SOIL. But what type of ground or soil are you?
Jesus explains that the seed that fell on rock are people who receive the word with joy but these people do not have any strong foundation to stand on when they face temptation.
Jesus himself was tempted by the devil, but when tempted, He was rooted in the word of God and He gave us an example of how to overcome temptation by responding to each temptation by the written word of God. Are you doing the same?
How to be Rooted in God’s Word
1. Meditate on God’s word DAILY. Psalm 1:2-3 says “…But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he MEDITATES day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper”.
A tree planted by the river will obviously have its roots benefiting from an abundant supply of river water.
2. Trust & Believe God ALWAYS. Do not believe only when there are no problems, but believe God’s word despite the circumstances. Jeremiah 17:7,8 says “Blessed is the man who TRUSTS in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
3. Walk in the Holy Spirit and NOT the flesh. Galatians 5:16-18 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
Therefore in order to be rooted firmly in God’s word you need to Mediate Daily and Believe God’s word all the time no matter what your circumstance. Also allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and will give you strength to overcome.
Do you find yourself looking at the bad state of the economy around the world and thinking to yourself: “Lord WHERE are You? Lord WHY is this happening?”
Or perhaps you are looking at all the suffering, the killings and all sorts of strife that are happening and somehow it’s very difficult to convince an unbeliever that God exists – or sometimes you are trying to figure out what God’s overall plan is through the chaos that goes on around the world.
Judges 6:13 NKJV Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, IF the Lord is with us, WHY then has all this happened to us? And WHERE are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has FORSAKEN us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Gideon had doubts about God’s love and God’s good intentions towards the children of Israel. Gideon had witnessed so much suffering amongst his own people that he just felt that God had forsaken them and that God didn’t really care about them anymore.
Gideon looked at the state of the children of Israel and the poor, miserable and hostile conditions they were living under because of the Midianites.
The truth is this: It’s NOT God who had forsaken the children of Israel, but it is the children of Israel who had forsaken God by worshiping other gods and doing evil. Judges 6:1 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years
The children of Israel did such evil as worshiping idols and other gods like Baal. (Exodus 20:1-5) God had already told the Israelites that they shall worship only ONE God but they didn’t listen; God had already told them that they shall not make for themselves a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, but they did not listen; God had already told them that they shall not bow down to idols but they did not listen; God had already told them that He was a jealous God who refused for them to worship any other God, but they did not listen to the ONE TRUE GOD.
SO WHO WAS FORSAKING WHO? Gideon got it wrong – the Lord had not forsaken them – but they had forsaken God and then God allowed the Midianites to overpower the children of Israel temporarily – at least until some of them realized that they need the ONE TRUE GOD and not Baal to save them from the Midianites. Judges 6:7-8 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel CRIED OUT TO THE LORD because of the Midianites, that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel…
So Why Do We Experience Suffering?
Sometimes when we see suffering, chaos whether in the economy or socially or spiritually – we must ask ourselves – “Who has forsaken Who?” The type of suffering that the children of Israel were experiencing during Gideon’s time was NOT primarily caused by God, but it was caused because the children of Israel did evil in God’s sight AND also because the Midianites had no respect for the Israelites and their well being.
If EVERYONE loved his neighbor as himself – then there would be no strife and killings against one another. If EVERYONE was focused on being a blessing to other people then may be the social and economy situation around the world would be in better shape because NOBODY is being selfish.
Yeah right!!! Don’t be so simplistic!!! Only in a perfect world!!! – you might say.
That’s why EVERYBODY NEEDS JESUS. That’s why EVERYBODY NEEDS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. It’s the perfect solution.
God already promised that He will never leave or forsake us.
It is the duty of every Christian to speak to unbelievers who do not know God or who have forsaken God and bring them back to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
It is the duty of every Christian to make disciples of all nations in the name of the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit.
What a wonderful place it would be to be in a place where EVERYONE is a child of the Most High God.
When you are facing trials in your life – who do you decide to praise? When you are facing a financial challenge or you can’t seem to get a new job – who do you decide to praise?
Do you know that whenever you complain about your problems, trials & challenges in life – you are actually pleasing the devil? When you complain, or when you are depressed, or when you are anxious because of life’s challenges you validate to the devil that he is succeeding in his evil plans against you. Remember that “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” John 10:10 NKJV.
Therefore when you have an attitude of complaining, anxiety, depression and such, you are conceding the devil is conquering you in the various areas of your life. The devil has therefore stolen your joy and in doing so, he also destroys your ability to overcome.
Therefore whenever you are facing life’s challenges, WHAT DO YOU DO?
James 1:2-6 NKJV My brethren, COUNT IT ALL JOY when you fall into VARIOUS TRIALS, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
James says that you must have an attitude of JOY when you face various problems or challenges in your life. In other words, don’t let the devil steal your joy; let the joy of the Lord remain in you; thank God for the challenge in your life and thank God IN ADVANCE that He has found a way out for you to overcome and grow through the challenge you are facing.
According to James, the challenges you face are a test of your faith and that the testing of your faith produces patience & endurance. When God allows trials to come your way, it is because He wants to build your character and make you a better person.
The most important thing to understand about God is that His thoughts of you are good and He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11,12).
God is your Father and He would not allow you to face challenges in your life unless He wanted you to learn from it and become stronger through the trial.
THE BENEFITS OF JOY
• Studies show that joy triggers healthy physical changes in your body.
• Joy and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain and protect you from the damaging effects of stress.
• Joy also shifts your perspective of how you see your life challenges. You begin to see your challenges from God’s eyes and God’s light and you will not see your problems from a threatening or overwhelming perspective.
• Depression has the opposite effect of joy in that you feel weak, sick, unmotivated and the like.
Therefore even though it doesn’t make sense to do so, TRUST God & trust His Word and obey Him. If God says be joyful in your trial – then DO IT.
John 16:33 NKJV “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus clearly states to His disciples that as long as we live in this world, we will have tribulation / trials / challenges in life. However Jesus says “but be of GOOD CHEER. I have overcome the world”.
In other words Jesus is saying even in your tribulation & challenges – continue to be joyful because in Christ you will also overcome the world.
The world teaches you to react and rely ONLY on your feelings ONLY. The world says “If it feels right – do it”.
But God teaches that you must BELIEVE and rely on His word FIRST. Then after you have believed and obeyed God’s word, your feelings will then follow the direction of God’s word in your life.
JOY is a FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT. When you have the joy of the Lord, you are walking in the Spirit.
ASK FOR WISDOM
James says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him…” James 1:5 NKJV.
When you have the JOY of God operating in your life (even in your trials) and PATIENCE is working inside of you, then you can ask God for WISDOM to help you find a way out of your trial.
Finally don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying hat there is no place for mourning or grief – like when you lose a loved one – but you cannot be depressed forever; you cannot mourn forever – otherwise you will be overwhelmed by negative emotions which will then affect your health and daily life.
Psalms 50:23 NKJV Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.”
Do you know of anyone who dislikes you? Are you being persecuted even though you have done nothing wrong? Are there people in your life who are just trying to do anything in their power to make sure that you don’t succeed? What are you doing about it?
Is it right to pray for the damnation of our (human) enemy? Should we pray AGAINST them or should we pray FOR them? What does Jesus say?
Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.‘ But I say to you, LOVE your enemies, BLESS those who curse you, DO GOOD to those who hate you, and PRAY for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, THAT YOU MAY BE SONS OF YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? THEREFORE YOU SHALL BE PERFECT, JUST AS YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN IS PERFECT.
Jesus clearly says we should LOVE, BLESS, DO GOOD and PRAY for our enemies or persecutors.
But why would Jesus command such a thing? It’s not an easy thing to love and do good to those who persecute us. But remember that the Lord knows everything and that He is wise.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
Jesus wants you as a Christian to be different from the world. The world teaches that you must “love your neighbor and hate your enemy”. GOD teaches that you must not only love your neighbor – but you must ALSO love your enemy – because to do so shows that you are “sons of your Father in Heaven”
Jesus Christ the begotten Son of God came to earth to save and die for the sins of ALL people INCLUDING those people who shouted “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” just before He was nailed to the cross (Luke 23:20-22). Jesus was being persecuted yet He was innocent. Out of LOVE, Jesus died for US ALL WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS (Romans 5:8 NKJV). Therefore, though we deserved damnation to hell, God by His love, mercy and grace sent His Son to die for us so that we may have eternal life. Shouldn’t we show the same love to those who are lost?
While Jesus was hanging on the cross for our sins; experiencing the most excruciating pain known to man He cried “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do…”Luke 23:34 NKJV. Jesus was the perfect example of a man who whilst experiencing great pain and persecution which had been caused by others, could still PRAY to the Father and ask the Father to forgive the very people who were crucifying Him on the cross.
When you LOVE, BLESS, DO GOOD and PRAY for your enemies it shows that you have FORGIVENESS in your heart. It means that you are not ruled by a spirit of bitterness and hatred. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
As a Christian you are supposed to BE LIKE Jesus. You must be a VESSEL TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE LOST – EVEN YOUR ENEMIES. In Luke 9:53-56 we learn that the Samaritans at a village would not receive Jesus and so James & John asked Jesus if they should “command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did”. Jesus had to rebuke them for wanting such a thing to happen to other people and so Jesus responded by saying “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
JESUS DOES NOT DESIRE THAT YOU PRAY THAT MEN’S LIVES BE DESTROYED. JESUS DESIRES THAT YOU PRAY THAT MEN’S LIVES BE SAVED – INCLUDING YOUR ENEMIES.
• There was a man named Saul in the book of Acts 9:1-19. He used to persecute and kill Christians. One day as Saul came near Damascus, Jesus appeared to Saul and said “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Saul had no idea that when he persecuted Christians, he was also persecuting Jesus. Nevertheless Jesus didn’t want to destroy Saul even though Saul had persecuted so many Christians. Jesus wanted to save Saul and to use Saul for God’s glory. So Saul was blinded when Jesus appeared to him and he couldn’t see for several days. Jesus appeared to a man called Ananias to go and find Saul so that he may pray for Saul. Now Saul of course was already well known for his persecutions against Christians and Ananias didn’t understand why the Lord Jesus was asking him to go and pray for Saul, an enemy of Christians. The Lord then told Ananias the plans that He had for Saul and of course Ananias obeyed and Saul got his sight back.
Saul later got his name changed to Paul. This is the same Paul (Saul) who wrote most of the New Testament in the Bible through the inspiration of God.
What’s my point? Like Ananias we need to obey the Lord Jesus and pray for our enemies, for Jesus may have a plan for them. We are NOT called to pray for the DESTRUCTION of people, but we are called to PRAY FOR their SALVATION. It is an act of LOVE.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Jesus praying to the Father: “Forgive them…” whilst hanging on the cross wasn’t easy. I’m not saying be naïve and let people take advantage of you. I’m simply saying obey Jesus, be more like Jesus and let the Spirit of God teach you to love and do good in every situation.
Romans 12:14-21 NKJV Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”* says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”* Do not be overcome by evil, but OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.
Jul. 18Holy SpiritComments Off on The Role of the Holy Spirit in Your Life
Who is the Holy Spirit? What is His function? Why do we need Him? How do I receive the Holy Spirit? How do I know the Holy Spirit lives in me?
Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions?
Who is the Holy Spirit
He is part of the Trinity or Godhead. He was there in the beginning when the heavens and the earth were created (Genesis 1:1,2).
He is a Person. That means He has a personality. He is the Spirit of God. He is the Spirit of Truth.
The Holy Spirit is NOT mysterious; NOT mystical; NOT an apparition; NOT magical.
Functions of the Holy Spirit
What did Jesus say would be the functions of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life?
He will be your Helper (John 14:16)
He will abide WITH YOU forever (John 14:16)
He is the Spirit of Truth who is meant to dwell in believers or Christians only (John 14:17)
Not only will the Holy Spirit dwell WITH you, but He will dwell IN you (John 14:17)
The Holy Spirit will function IN THE NAME OF JESUS (John 14:26)
The Holy Spirit will TEACH you all things (John 14:26)
The Holy Spirit will BRING REMEMBRANCE of all things that Jesus has taught us (John 14:26)
The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and will TESTIFY OF JESUS (John 15:26)
The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin (John 16:9)
The Holy Spirit will guide you into ALL TRUTH (John 16:13)
The Holy Spirit will GLORIFY JESUS (John 16:13)
The Holy Spirit will tell you of things to come (John 16:13)
The Holy Spirit helps you to be SPIRITUALLY MINDED (Romans 8:6,7)
The Holy Spirit witnesses and affirms that you are indeed a child of God (Romans 8:14-17)
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and makes intercession for us so that we pray according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27)
The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25)
The Holy Spirit enables us to bear fruit so that you may glorify God (Galatians 5:22,23)
The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts so that you may glorify God (1 Corinthians 12:1-12)
How Do I Receive The Holy Spirit (1) All born again Christians receive the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. It is by the Spirit of God that we are sealed as being children of God in Christ. Romans 8:14-17 NKJV For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22NKJV Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Therefore to receive the Holy Spirit you must become a born again Christian.
(2) If you desire to receive the Holy Spirit just SIMPLY ASK & BELIEVE. Ask by PRAYING to GOD and He will DEFINITELY answer. Luke 11:9-13 NKJV “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask Him!”
(3) REPENT – Acts 2:38-39 NKJV Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Repent is from the Greek word “metanoeo” which means literally: “change one’s mind.” In practical terms, it means ‘to do an about face’. You must consciously and practically change from sinful living. Remember that God looks at the sincerity of your heart to see that indeed you have repented.
The Evidence of the Holy Spirit in Your Life You begin to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are the characteristics of God which are LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, HUMILITY, SELF-CONTROL. These 9 fruits from the Holy Spirit show that the Spirit of God dwells in you and is working with you for the glory of God. Galatians 5:22-26 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
You will begin to use your spiritual gifts for God’s glory. (1 Corinthians 12:1-12).
Therefore in order to glorify God by your life and for you to be able to bring others to a saving knowledge of God, you need the Holy Spirit in your life. The Holy Spirit will help you in your weaknesses and He will give you strength and the ability to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
Are you facing spiritual warfare? Do you find yourself listening to the word of God but never actually believing or understanding it? Do you find challenges in applying the word of God in your life because you are forgetting what is written in the word of God?
What do you do when the devil takes the word away?
Luke 8:5 NKJV “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.
Luke 8:11-12 NKJV “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
From the seed that fell on the wayside; to the seed that fell on the rock; to the seed that fell on the thorns; to the seeds that fell on good ground – these scenarios that Jesus gave are both a picture of spiritual challenges / warfare and also the level of one’s relationship with God.
The word of God is spiritual food. The word of God is meant to make you spiritually healthy and it is meant to help you to grow spiritually in your relationship with God.
When Jesus was tempted by the devil to turn stone into bread, Jesus responded from the word of God by saying: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 NKJV. So the word of God is food for your spirit or heart.
So therefore in the parable of the sower Jesus says “The seed is the word of God”. Therefore YOU are the RECIPIENT of the seed (which is the word of God).
The seed mentioned is NOT money. But the seed is THE WORD OF GOD. And it is YOU who must RECEIVE this WORD. The word of God must be PLANTED in YOUR HEART so that you GROW and bear GOOD FRUIT.
WHAT IS THE CONDITION OF YOUR HEART?
Is your heart; mind; soul; attitude and spirit in the right condition to receive God’s word so that you can bear fruit? Or have you hardened your heart so that when you hear the word of God you neither understand it nor receive it? Are you so set in your own ways and in your own way of thinking that the word of God cannot penetrate itself in various areas of your life in order to help you to grow?
Any seed that is planted must have the right soil conditions for it to germinate & grow. Other factors include the right temperature, light, oxygen & water. In the same way if your heart is not in the right condition to receive the word of God, Jesus says that the devil will come and he will take the word out of your heart before the word can have a chance to make a difference in your heart.
The thing you must know is that even the devil knows the VALUE of the WORD OF GOD in a person’s life. That is why the devil will come and try to take the word from your heart. Remember that Jesus said “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” John 10:10 NKJV.
Therefore a thief does not steal something unless he believes that what he is stealing has value.
So if the enemy sees the value of God’s word, then YOU too must see that value and ensure that the word of God is enabling you to bear fruit and to have a close relationship with God.
And Jesus says that the devil steals the word from people’s heart because the devil is afraid that they “believe and be saved”.
So ultimately the devil doesn’t want you to believe and to be saved in your life or in whatever specific situation you might be going through. The devil knows that if he can hide the truth of the meaning of God’s word for your life, then he can prevent you from being freed through the knowledge of the word. Hosea 4:6 says “My people perish for lack of knowledge…” so you need to ensure that you have the right heart; that your heart is like good soil.
HOW DO YOU GET THE RIGHT CONDITION FOR YOUR HEART
Your heart must always be ready to receive the truth; that is the word of God.
The following verses below teach you how to condition your heart
Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV “TRUST in the LORD with ALL your HEART, And lean NOT on your OWN UNDERSTANDING; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN EYES; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”
Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he MEDITATES day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that BRINGS FORTH ITS FRUIT in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
To make the conditions of your heart right, you must
1. Trust in the Lord; believe God even if you do not fully understand; Have faith in God.
2. Don’t lean on your own wisdom or understanding; you don’t know everything; only God knows everything
3. Revere the Lord; Don’t live as if God does not exist
4. Delight in the word of the Lord
5. Meditate on God’s word – day and night
6. Hide the word of God in your heart
7. Submit to the leading and will of the Holy Spirit in your day to day life
The results will be that
1. You will be healthy spiritually
2. You will bring / bear forth fruit because your heart is like the good soil
3. Whatever you do shall prosper
When you do the above, the devil will fail to take the word away from you.
Have you ever asked yourself these QUESTIONS: “If I die – where will I go?”; “What is my purpose in life?”; “Does Heaven and hell exist?”; “Does God love or care about me?”; “What is the meaning of life?”
Do you sometimes feel a sense of emptiness in your life; as if perhaps you don’t seem to have any direction or purpose in life?
You’ve been trying to be good and to do the right thing, but somehow you are just falling short and not measuring up? Do you feel like you just don’t have the answers to life? Do you feel like that?
Well – you’ve come to the right place because I have the ANSWER for you.
You need to become a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:3 NKJV
What is a Christian? What does it mean to be “born again”? Does being a member of a church make me a born again Christian? If my parents are Christians does it automatically make me a Christian too? What are the benefits of becoming a Christian? How do I know that I am a Christian? Why should I become a Christian? How do I become a born again Christian? ANSWERS
GOD Loves YOU and Has a Plan for YOUR Life
First thing you need to know is that God loves you and He wants the best for your life. When God created you, He created you with a plan and a purpose. Every invention from the paper clip, to the cellphone, to the laptop, to the airplane has a purpose. No inventor would invent something and not give it a purpose.
In the same way your Maker, God made you for a purpose in life. You are not just a statistic in life. You are important to God.
In Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV, God says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace AND NOT of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
So God doesn’t think bad thoughts about you – God loves you and wants to show you His plans. He also desires to have a personal relationship with YOU.
Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV (God says): “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
The Devil Hates God’s Creation & Wants to Destroy It
It’s important to understand that while God has plans to prosper you, there is an enemy of God and of mankind who wants to steal, kill and destroy you and God’s plans for your life.
John 10:10 NKJV
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Man Has Sinned & Fallen Short of God’s Glory
From the moment that Adam & Eve listened to the serpent by disobeying God in the Garden of Eden, SIN existed in the life of man and thus caused a SEPARATION between God and man.
BEFORE man sinned, man had a PERFECT relationship with God and man was living a PERFECT LIFE without tribulation; without trials; without hunger; without poverty; without disease; without death.
However man’s sin ushered in all sorts of problems that we see in the world because man gave in to sinful fleshly desires Romans 3:23 NKJV For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 NKJV For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Sin has brought about death in two forms; death in physical form and death in spiritual form where one is spiritually separated from God.
Jesus came that you may have abundant life; that is a Godly driven life and also eternal life in Heaven.
JESUS IS YOUR SAVIOUR & HE IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD
John 14:6 NKJV Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Jesus became an example for us to show us how to live and please God. Jesus came so that through Him we may no longer have to be spiritually separated from God. Jesus came so that through Him our relationship with God may be restored and that our life would have meaning and purpose because God will be directing our path in life.
YOU MUST RECEIVE JESUS AS LORD AND SAVIOUR
If you are to experience God’s wonderful plan for your life and if you are to have victory over the devil, then you MUST receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
John 1:12-13 NKJV But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new
In other words you must be born again!
Receiving Jesus means the following
1. That you become a born again Christian
2. That you are a child of God
3. That you are part of the kingdom of God
4. That you have authority in Christ over all the power of the enemy
5. That Christ will help you to overcome the various challenges that you may face in your life
6. That in Christ you have eternal life YOU CAN RECEIVE JESUS RIGHT NOW
Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Revelation 3:20 NKJV Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Call on Christ now and BELIEVE that He will answer you. There is nothing more that God wants than for you to be part of His kingdom.
Pray this prayer to receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour right now:
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You. I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future. I repent of all of my sins and I ask You to cleanse me Jesus. Thank You for forgiving my sins. From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. Make me the person You want me to be. I receive You right now. I make You my Lord and Saviour Amen”
Now that you are a Christian, it is important to always remember the following
1. Christ Jesus now lives inside of you
2. You are now a child of God
3. You are a new creation in Christ; the old has gone and the new has come
4. Your sins are ALL forgiven
5. You now live your life by FAITH & BELIEF in God and in what He says through His word (the Bible)
6. The word of God is your manual for life and His word will guide and equip you for every good work
7. In Christ God will enable you to fulfill and experience His plan and purpose for your life.
8. In Christ you will overcome challenges & trials that may come to your life
9. The peace of God is available to you
10. God will never leave you nor forsake you
THEREFORE AS A CHRISTIAN YOU MUST
1. Read and meditate on the word of God
2. Talk to God daily (pray)
3. Talk to others about Jesus
4. Trust God in every area of your life
5. Obey the Lord
6. Have God control your life daily
7. Join a good bible-based church
Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article. If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below
Have you ever felt unclean in your life; both physically and spiritually unclean?
Have you ever felt like you have sinned so much that God wouldn’t even give you the time of day because you believe that you are so unholy and too dirty to even be in God’s presence?
Have you felt like praying is just a waste of time because you have sinned just too much and that God wouldn’t be willing to listen to you?
Have you ever been treated like an outcast by other people and experienced a situation where people just don’t want to associate with you because of some public sin or humiliation that you had in the past?
If you have felt any or all-of-the above let me tell you this: The Lord IS WILLING to clean YOU and you don’t have to be afraid to come into His presence.
Luke 5:12-13 NKJV And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him.
In the Bible people who had leprosy were shunned by society. They were banned and became outcasts (Leviticus 13:45-46). People wouldn’t dare touch a person who had leprosy because there were several fears associated with such a disease or condition.
In Luke 5:12, the scriptures say that the man who approached Jesus was “full of leprosy” – so the leprosy most likely covered his whole body and he looked hideous as a result and so he probably had been in this condition for a long time.
Imagine how this leper must have felt about life and about himself. He must have thought to himself: “Nobody loves me…”; “Nobody will touch me…”; “I have no friends…”; “Why am I this way…”; “God doesn’t love me or He wouldn’t have allowed my life to be like this…”;
So this leper’s physical condition had a negative impact on his self-esteem because even when he approached Jesus, He seemed to have a bit of doubt that Jesus would want to help or heal a leper like himself. Hence he said to the Lord “If you are willing…”. The leper may have been rejected so many times in life and he wasn’t sure if Jesus would really be willing to help him.
Fortunately this leper HAD FAITH that Jesus was ABLE to heal him or he wouldn’t have come to Jesus at all. However he seemed to doubt Christ’s willingness to help Him most likely because he had faced so much rejection in his life from many other people. To which Jesus responded: “I AM WILLING…”
Before healing the leper, what did Jesus do first? Jesus TOUCHED the leper – an unthinkable act in society, then He assured the leper that He was WILLING to heal him, then the Lord healed the leper.
What an act of LOVE by our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
That is exactly what God wants to do in your life. God doesn’t care how bad you think you sins are; He doesn’t care how unclean you feel. God is WILLING to help, heal and love you no matter your situation or condition in life.
John 6:37 NKJV “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out”
Mark 2:17 NKJV When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
God’s love is UNCONDITIONAL and because of such He will by no means cast out anyone who comes to Him.
Is God willing to help you? YES He is.
So if you feel unclean, unworthy, rejected, sinful – JESUS came for YOU. He was crucified for YOU. He loves YOU and HE wants to make you clean by His blood. Come to Jesus NOW and He will accept you.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN or A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST???
1. ACKNOWLEDGE: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This means that we have all broken God’s laws and God’s 10 Commandments like those mentioned in Exodus 20:1-17. For example, if you have told a lie; if you have stolen something; if you have lusted after somebody or if you have coveted. This means you are guilty of breaking at least one or more of God’s 10 Commandments. Breaking God’s commandments makes us sinners. The fact that we are sinners who have broken God’s law means that we are accountable to God who is the Lawgiver. Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”
You must acknowledge that you are a sinner who has broken God’s commandments and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
2. REPENT: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3), “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19)
Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action;
Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to
follow Him and to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
3. CONFESSION: “If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)
God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
4. BELIEVE: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God. You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive him, But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12)
By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Savior and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God
Why Not Make Your Eternal Decision NOW?
We become born again Christians by GRACE through FAITH or TOTAL TRUST in Jesus Christ as our Lord & Savior (Galatians 3:26) & (Ephesians 2:8,9). Salvation is a FREE gift received through FAITH in Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: You can choose to pray in your own words. This prayer is a sample prayer and it is only an EXPRESSION of your faith, belief & trust in Jesus. Salvation is by GRACE through FAITH or BELIEVING in Christ Jesus as your Lord & Saviour.
“Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your love. I thank You that You died on the cross for me and resurrected so that I may have life through You. I confess Lord that I have sinned against You and today I ask You to forgive me of all of my sins, past present and future. Today I repent and have decided to follow you. Thank you for forgiving all my sins. From this moment, come into my life Lord Jesus & take full control of my life. I want to follow You Jesus and I want to follow Your ways. Save me and from today, make me the person You want me to be. I receive You Lord Jesus right now by faith. I trust You as my Lord and Savior – Amen”
Have you accepted & believed in Jesus Christ as a result of reading this article and would like to know more about what to do next? If so please acknowledge by clicking the “I Have Accepted Jesus Christ” button below
Whenever you think about love, do you think of GOD?
Or vise-versa – whenever you think about GOD, do you think of love?
Do you also know, that whenever you demonstrate love to others or to yourself, that you are demonstrating the character & nature of God?
1 John 4:16 NKJV “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
You see God is love. Therefore love is God’s very nature and if we are to live a godly life and have a godly character then all we need to do is demonstrate and be motivated by love. Just like God.
It’s really that simple!
John 3:16 says “For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten that WHOEVER believes in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life.”
God’s act of LOVE through giving His Son Jesus Christ has brought and continues to bring about the salvation of multitudes of people all over the world so that people do not have to perish in hell as long as they have received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
God LOVED the WORLD. Jesus died for EVERYONE and WHOEVER believes in HIM.
Romans 5:8 NKJV “But God demonstrates His own LOVE towards US, in that WHILE we were STILL SINNERS, Christ died FOR US.”
Jesus didn’t die on the cross for just a particular people group, social class, country, religious group, age group etc.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross for good, holy and perfect people.
Jesus died for EVERYONE and out of LOVE, Jesus died for “WHOEVER believes in Him…” (John 3:16) and He died “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8) because God loves EVERYONE.
Like God, we need to demonstrate love to all people because by doing so we demonstrate the nature and character of God.
Like God, we need to demonstrate love to all people EVEN if they DON’T love us just as God loved us while we were still sinners.
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Bible Verse of the Day
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.