Part 4 in the series –Your Salvation is Assured
Whether you’ve been a Christian for years, or just accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He wants you to be sure of your salvation. It’s very natural for you to have questions and even have doubts. That’s why God gave us Scripture – so that you could get to know Him through His Word. It’s filled with examples of His character and nature.
[Jesus said] “Because I live, you will live. Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you” (John 14:19-20 CEV).
As you read the words of Jesus, like the ones He spoke above, you find assurance that He lives in you. When you choose to follow His example and live by His standards, you begin to exhibit His character and nature. He lives in you and others see Him through your life.
He walks with you, always! He will not leave you. He is always with you. His love for you is unconditional. No matter what you are facing, you can have confidence in Him. He will walk with you through the good and the bad. He will be your strength.
Take a few minutes right now to reflect on your own salvation experience. When, where and how did you become a Christ follower? Thank God for the assurance you have in your relationship with Him. List them out to Him when you pray.
Reveal Your Spiritual Heart
Living intentionally in Christ is like cleaning out the clogged arteries that are feeding your spiritual heart. Doing the Next Right One Thing is like an aspirin that clears out the mess and allows the blood to flow freely into that spiritual heart.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, Paul says: “You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally” (MSG).
What he’s declaring is this: Physical training is good, but our bodies will end. Our spiritual heart, though, will never stop beating. We are eternal, spiritual beings. That’s why your spiritual well-being is so vital and why it’s so important to ask yourself, for each essential area, “What One Thing can I do in this area to bring pleasure to Christ?”
Pray that question to the Lord now. Let Him reveal to you what’s in your spiritual heart that needs to change, then jot down what He tells you to do – and start doing it:
- One word of encouragement at a time.
- One pound at a time.
- One dollar at a time.
- One deadline at a time.
10 Steps to a Firm Foundation with God
The only way to succeed is to be intentional. Ultimately, the only thing that’s going to make a difference in your life is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That ONE THING is the foundation that every single intentional thing you endeavor to do should be built on. Here are 10 steps to take to help you do just that.
STEP 1: KNOW CHRIST ON A PERSONAL LEVEL
James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder” (NIV). Knowledge of God and His existence isn’t all there is to it. We need to personalize what Christ did on the cross through the confession of sin and acceptance of Him as personal Savior (Romans 10:9-10).
STEP 2: LOVE THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL AND MIND
Matthew 22:37 urges us to give Christ the position of authority in this “first and greatest” commandment. Is Christ seated at the very core of my life — the heart? Is He the center of my affections, the longings of my soul? Does He occupy the seat of my reflective consciousness, the mind? If He is truly Lord, the answer will be yes!
STEP 3: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
Matthew 22:39 is the manifestation of our love for God in our relationships with others. There is no room for prejudice or respect of one person above another. Christ supplies us with the perfect example on how to relate to others. The biblical principle is acceptance, acceptance, acceptance (Romans 15: 7; Colossians 3:15; and Romans 12:16)!
STEP 4: BE WILLING TO SERVE
Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do … do it all in the name of the Lord” (NIV). Christian service isn’t doing what we like when we want. Nor is it feeling like we have to say yes to everyone’s requests. It is an awareness of God’s involvement in our lives and what it is He has in mind for us to do.
STEP 5: TRUST GOD
Trusting God and giving Him glory when things are certain or going well is one thing (Proverbs 3:56). Equally important is learning to trust Him when there is no apparent evidence of His concern for our circumstances. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).
STEP 6: HAVE A HEALTHY SPIRITUAL DIET
“Crave pure spiritual milk … so that you may grow up … now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (l Peter 2:2-3 ESV). Consider the importance of having three balanced spiritual meals a day. When you stop for a moment to grab that sandwich or salad, take a few moments to feed the spirit. It is an effective means for gaining spiritual strength and victory.
STEP 7: APPROACH GOD’S THRONE WITH BOLDNESS
Hebrews 4:16 is our invitation to approach the throne of grace with confidence. God understands our weaknesses and every emotion that we experience. What better place is there to take our disappointments or anger? We find mercy and grace in the time of need and in the “nick of time.” It is in prayer that we give God our attention. It is where we come to understand His perspective and find comfort. “Pray without ceasing!”
STEP 8: KEEP SHORT ACCOUNTS BY DEALING WITH SIN
We deal with personal sin as I John 1:9 instructs through confession and turning away from the sin. We deal with the offenses of others through facing the feelings, practicing the steps of forgiveness and then being willing to take any action that might be needed. Don’t hold onto grudges. Be willing to reconcile.
STEP 9: MONITOR YOUR SELF TALK
“Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV). Negative thinking is a self-defeating behavior that gives Satan a foothold and then a stronghold in a person’s life. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 and Philippians 4:8 give instruction on how to break the bondage of a negative mindset.
STEP 10: PERSEVERE
“Let us throw off everything that hinders. Let us run with perseverance. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus … ” (Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV). In the midst of our hectic lives, we need to keep things in proper perspective.
It’s been said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff!” Keeping our eyes fixed on Christ will keep the important things in focus! It is paramount to running the race before us in a Christ centered manner with patience.