When a baby is born most parents get a crash course in caring for a helpless human being. The overriding concern that drives their decisions is what is best for the child’s well-being? When a person is saved by Christ and reborn in the Holy Spirit, the Heavenly Father’s actions are like any parent and His focus is on the healthy growth of His child. His concern will always be for you.
What a great thing to have. The most powerful being alive has your best interests at heart. Romans 8:31(NIV) clearly tells us, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
When you were young you knew your parents wanted the best for you as well. So, in return you set out to please them. Maybe you were “Daddy’s Little Princess” or Mom’s “Big, Strong Boy” but whatever closeness you felt was something you wanted your parents to know you appreciated and you responded in kind.
God as your Heavenly Father is no different. He wants to know you appreciate what He’s done for you.
This is a process known as sanctification. There are three things you should start to do: find a church you are comfortable with, be baptized and set aside uninterrupted time for prayer, meditation and to read and study the Word.
Once you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior and have truly given your heart to Him, it can never be and will never be taken away. Those who accept Jesus and obey the laws of God will not be forsaken as promised in Hebrews 13:5-6 (NIV): “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” You have to really give your heart to Him not just make a kinda; sorta; maybe; well, I-think-did offer Him my heart dedication. It’s all or nothing with God. Once you have it’s time to begin the sanctification process. The first is to find a church home. In the Bible “church” does not mean the building or the faith of the congregation. (While such considerations are germane to this discuss, they will be discussed in depth in a later post.) Church actually means the body of believers. Jesus is quoted in Matthew 18:20 (NIV) as saying, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."is is not to say that you and a friend should buddy up on Sunday morning and call that a church service because the gathering of Christians offers more than just hearing the Word of God. The church offers authority and inerrancy of the Word, support and encouragement, a place to equip you for discipleship, comfort, inspiration, education, sound doctrine and fellowship.
Matthew 6:33-34, “But seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Life can get crazy. Work, friends, family and daily activities place overwhelming demands on our schedule. How can we possibly make more time for God? Do we worry more about what to cook for dinner than with prayer? Do we spend more time posting on social media than we do being Jesus to others?
2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to examine ourselves. Does our life line up with His Word? Are we doing things for the right reasons? Do we have the right attitude or motives? How do we really view God?
Obviously we can't tackle all shortcomings in one study, so where's the best place to start? Let's take a quick look at a few areas of concern that will yield maximum results. Please reference the listed Scriptures as a study tool in The Word.
Resign as general manager of the universe. Cease control of the world. We take on too much and lose focus.
This is a key area. We lead busy lives but we lead busy hearts and minds as well. We divide our life into sections like a pie. Why do we always give God a tiny piece? He wants the whole thing!! We seek earthly things for comfort and peace instead of turning to Him. Jesus talked about not letting the cares of this life and the pursuit of things choke out our spiritual life. (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:1-15). We spend too much time on things that seem important but in the end we can't take any of them with us (1 Timothy 6:7)? 1 Corinthians 7:31 also tells us to use the things of this world but don't abuse them.
There are always things we can spend less time on or cut out entirely: certain television shows, toxic relationships, hobbies. Take stock and start there. The things we see around us are only temporary. The things we don't see are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
You can also use short periods of down time throughout the day to reflect or even rearrange tasks to maximize time. Don't always think in terms of one big chunk.
Don't overwhelm yourself. Everyone is in a different place on their walk with Jesus and some are further along. Comparing yourself to others is an unfair judgment and brings envy. Breathe and enjoy God. Remember: One day at a time and one step at a time. Learn and grow in Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
View Him as your heavenly Father (Luke 18:17). This was the most important one for me personally. When we treat Him like a religious figure to appease He becomes unapproachable. When He is an obligation or a checklist he becomes burdensome and we don't see His value in our life. God has awesome thoughts about us and desires intimacy with us. Psalm 139:17 and Jeremiah 29:11.
Things change when we know He loves us and accepts us. We're assured He's there and have confidence to approach Him boldly (Hebrews 4:16). Spend time in prayer. It helps me to read my Bible while I pray. Hearing His voice and seeing prayers answered can be a huge motivating factor that can have an enormous impact.
Asking for Wisdom. Ask for help James 1:5-6; 4:2-3. Understanding a Bible verse we never did before can also change things in our walk with the Lord. Revelation from the Lord helps mold and strengthen us.
Putting things into perspective. Proverbs 27:1“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.“ Life is fragile and very short. I recently went on a road trip that indelibly reminded me of that.
I left early that morning as the fog was lifting. About an hour into my drive traffic came to a halt. I inched along the freeway for some time before realizing what happened. A tractor trailer had been rear-ended by a car that was then rear-ended by another car. I noticed a blanket over the driver's side window. I was surprised as the accident didn’t look bad or even serious. Regardless, someone was about to get a call they never wanted to get.
It was a sad reminder and several thoughts occurred to me as I drove by: First, that could have been me or someone I loved. Secondly, they had no idea when they left their house what would happen. Lastly, whatever they were on their way to do doesn’t matter now. It puts into perspective where our priorities should be.
Remember God made time for you. Jesus knew few would ever accept Him. He died anyway. He knew we couldn't repay Him. He never expected us to.
Take a moment to make Jesus your Lord? He will never disappoint. Pray this prayer from a sincere heart: “Lord Jesus I need you. I can’t do this alone. I believe you died and shed your blood. You rose from the dead because you're more powerful. Forgive my sins and grant me power over them. I want a new life and a fresh start with you. Be my everything and the Lord of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Here are a few more related scriptures to study and grow from. Remember time with the Lord is never wasted. Hebrews 11:6; Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:33 and 18:22; Psalm 127:1-2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Isaiah 55:1-3; Matthew 6:19-21; Matthew 24:37-39; Matthew 6:25-42; Isaiah 55:6-8; Revelation 3:17-22; 1Thessalonians 5 (whole chapter. Good stuff). Isaiah, 26:3-4; Luke 12:32-40; 2 Timothy 4:9-10; Proverbs 17:3; Luke 10:38-42; Mark 6:31-33.