Building on the Basics
Real freedom isn’t won by ignoring the rules, but by obeying them so faithfully that they become second nature. Like a great symphony musician, you’ll find freedom in your Christian life, not by lazily skipping practice, but by perfecting the basics, mastering the fundamentals til your instincts become His, till His will becomes yours.
Spending set-aside time with Jesus
Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up. For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; in fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face. For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue. But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield. – Psalms 5:1-9, 11-12
The moments you spend with no one else but Jesus build the best foundation to a Christian’s day.
Don’t expect your quiet time to come along quietly, because you can usually tell how important something is to your Christian walk by watching how hard Satan works to prevent you from doing it. Yes if there’s one thing you need as a growing believer, it’s the early established, hard fought discipline of starting each day with your head in the clouds, the clouds of God’s presence. Jesus did. The Bible says that He “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place” (Mark 1:35). Not that your time alone with God has to be in the morning, but most of us have learned that leaving quiet time off till bedtime usually results in leaving it off altogether, or at least changes it from a season of refreshed commitments and confident resolve into a weepy, discouraging rehash of the messes you’ve made that day. You’ll make time for what matters. And this matters the most.
“If you meet the Lord before you meet anyone else, you’ll be pointed in the right direction for whatever comes.” – Elisabeth Elliot
Tomorrow’s Reading: Hope you’re ready to carve out a spot in your day that’s earmarked for just you and Jesus to enjoy together. But what are you supposed to fill up a quiet time with?
If you died tonight, where would you go? Heaven or Hell? If you confess your mouth, JESUS IS LORD & believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross for our sin & rose from the grave, you will be saved! -Romans 10:9. For all have sinned & fall short of the Glory of God! -Romans 3:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God has everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:23.
|What is truth? Who has it? Let’s face it: In today’s world, it’s hard to know what’s true anymore. How’s your journey going? Has your search for real answers only led you down a dead end? Truth is more than just talk. Real truth is soul bending. It’s deep, profound and life changing. We invite you to find this truth and enter The Passage.|
God created you in His image. He wants you to know Him personally, so you may experience the love, peace and destiny He offers.
GOD’S DESIGN “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
GOD’S LOVE “For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
GOD’S PLAN “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
What prevents us from experiencing the life of love and destiny God desires for us?
PEOPLE ARE SINFUL. Sin keeps us from knowing God personally and from experiencing His love, peace and destiny. Sin enslaves, blocks and separates us from God.
PEOPLE ARE SINFUL “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Sin is our innate refusal to go God’s way and instead, to go our own way and do our own thing. God is holy, that is, perfect in who He is and all He does. Our sinful nature and actions offend God’s holy nature and result in a broken relationship and separated from Him.
PEOPLE ARE ENSLAVED “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin’” (John 8:34).
PEOPLE ARE SEPARATED “For the wages of sin is death…” (spiritual separation) (Romans 6:23)
WAGES = PENALTY
People are sinful and separated from a holy God by a great gap. We may try to cross that gap by living a good life, not harming anyone, attending church or other religious meetings, or by giving money to our favorite charities. All of these efforts fail because the sinful condition of the heart remains unchanged, enslaved to sin.
The third principle (Below) explains the only way to cross the gap…
Jesus Christ came to provide the bridge back to a destiny with God. Jesus Christ alone forgives and removes our sins so we can know God personally, and experience His love, peace and freedom forever.
HE DIED ON THE CROSS IN OUR PLACE “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…” (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus Christ was able to pay the penalty for our sins not find Him guilty of any wrongdoing.
HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD “Christ died for our sins…He was buried, He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6)
Christ’s resurrection proved that He has the power over death to enable us to live eternally with God.
HE IS THE WAY TO GOD “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6).
HE SETS US FREE “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
|His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, in our place. In this way He paid the death penalty that we deserve.|
What would a person need to do in order to change their destiny to know God and experience the love, and freedom from sin that He offers?
We must individually receive Jesus Christ, because only He provides the destiny to God. Only then can we experience His love, and live in freedom for eternity.
WE MUST RECEIVE CHRIST “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
WE RECEIVE CHRIST THROUGH FAITH “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NASB).
Faith = trust, dependence on God
WHEN WE RECEIVE CHRIST, WE HAVE A NEW DESTINY. WE EXPERIENCE HIS LOVE, FREEDOM, AND ETERNAL LIFE. [Jesus speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB).
To receive Christ:
Knowing intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is not enough. Having an emotional experience will not change your destiny and allow you to experience His love, peace and freedom.
We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will.
Think About It
These two circles represent two kinds of lives or paths that people choose:
|SELF-DIRECTED LIFE Christ is outside the life. The different areas of life represented by the dots are self-directed and not in harmony with God’s desires.||CHRIST-DIRECTED LIFE Christ is in the life. This person has received Christ and His forgive-ness for their sins. Christ directs every area of life, resulting in harmony with God’s desire and plan.|
Which circle represents your life right now?
Which circle do you want to represent you life?
YOU CAN RECEIVE CHRIST RIGHT NOW BY FAITH THROUGH PRAYER. (Prayer is just talking with God)
God is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. You must mean what you pray, for God knows your heart and you cannot deceive Him.
Here is a suggested prayer: Jesus Christ, I need you. I confess that I have sinned against You and have been running my own life. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please come into my life and forgive my sins and set me free. Begin directing my life. Change my destiny. Make me into the person you created me to be. Thank you for answering my prayer by coming into my life and giving me eternal life. Amen.
Does this prayer express your heart’s desire? If it does, pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.
How to Know…
HOW TO KNOW THAT CHRIST IS IN YOUR LIFE Know He answered your prayer and came into your life? You can know that Christ is in your life because of the 1 John 4:14-15:
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in
God and His Word are completely trustworthy.
THE BIBLE PROMISES ETERNAL LIFE TO ALL WHO RECEIVE CHRIST “And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.(1 John 5:11–13, NASB)
Thank God daily that Christ is in your life and He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). You can know on the basis of His promise that Christ lives in you and you have eternal life, from the moment you invited Him in. He will not deceive you.)
What if you don’t feel any different?
DO NOT DEPEND ON FEELINGS This train diagram illustrates the relationship between fact (God and His Word), faith (our trust in God and His Word), and feeling (the result of our faith and obedience). Read John 14:21.
The train will run with or without the caboose (feeling). In the same way, we as Christians do not depend on feelings or emotions. We rely on the promises of God’s Word, not our feelings. The Christian lives by faith in God and His Word.
THE MOMENT YOU RECEIVED CHRIST BY FAITH, AS AN ACT OF YOUR WILL, MANY THINGS HAPPENED, INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING:
Being freed and loved by Christ is all good! He changed your destiny. Would you like to thank God in prayer right now for what He has done for you? By thanking God, you demonstrate your faith.
To enjoy your new relationship with God to the fullest…
SUGGESTIONS FOR CHRISTIAN GROWTH Our relationship with Christ grows as we trust God more and more with every detail of our lives. “The righteous will live by faith” (Galatians 3:11). This trust develops as we:
|G||Go to God in prayer daily. (Col 4:2)|
|R||Read God’s Word daily (Acts 17:11). Begin with the Gospel of John|
|O||Obey GOd moment by moment. (John 14:21)|
|W||Witness for Christ by your life and words (Matthew 4:19; John 15:8)|
GET INVOLVED IN A GOOD CHURCH (Bible-based, Christ centered) God’s Word admonishes us not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together…” (Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42–47). Several logs burn brightly together; but put one aside and its fire goes out. So it is with your relationship to other Christians. If you do not belong to a church, do not wait to be invited. Take the first step; call the pastor of a nearby church where Christ is honored and His Word is preached. Start this week and make plans to attend regularly. hear from you!
If you prayed this prayer & meant it. WELCOME to God’s family! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share the good news & we will help you walk with the Lord and we help find a good church for you. Jesus bless you abundantly! If you want to talk with someone on the phone please call 1-888-NEED-HIM
Celebrate the 4th of July with Video Gaming’s Finest Fireworks!
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain rule. After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it on July 4. A day earlier, John Adams had written to his wife Abigail:
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
Adams’s prediction was off by two days. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress.
Historians have long disputed whether Congress actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, even though Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin all later wrote that they had signed it on that day. Most historians have concluded that the Declaration was signed nearly a month after its adoption, on August 2, 1776, and not on July 4 as is commonly believed.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every year on July 4th America remembers its freedom from British rule, but as citizens of heaven who are only incidentally American citizens, we daily have a more significant liberty to celebrate.
What freedom do citizens of heaven have to celebrate?
Freedom from bondage
Freed by Christ
Freedom is universally desired
Freed from the law of sin and death
Freed from the bondage of satisfying God’s law
Freed from the sins committed under the first covenant
Freed from our sins by his blood
Freed from accusation
Freed from the power of sin
Caution: Do not think your freedom is permission to sin
Free to approach God with confidence
Freed from spiritual blindness
Freed from the curse of a decaying body
Free to be a slave to others
Caution: Don’t let your freedom from the law lead others to violate their consciences
Freed by the law of love