Part 2 in the series –Your Salvation is Assured
The Bible tells us that if we confess the Lord Jesus with our mouth and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we can be a child of God and be saved (Romans 10:9).
You have a personal invitation to know Christ and become God’s child. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NKJV). But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12 NLT).
From the very beginning God created man and woman for relationship with him. He placed them on the earth and gave them freedom of choice. Adam and Eve—the first of mankind—disobeyed God, and that sin separated God from them and everyone born after them.
- Sin caused a chasm between us and God. For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23 NLT).
- God made a way for us to re-establish relationship with Him through His Son. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 NLT).
- Jesus became a bridge for us through His sacrifice on the cross, death, burial and resurrection. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NLT).
- Jesus is the way, but you and I have to make a personal choice to accept Him as Lord and Savior. It’s the first step toward living the intentional life in Christ.
The difference between successful people and those who are not is successful people take action. Here are five ONE THINGS you can do starting now that will help you come to know God in an intimate way:
- Read your Bible every day.
- Talk to God in prayer.
- Spend time with other Christians in a church where the truth is preached.
- Share your story and tell others about Christ.
- Demonstrate your relationship with God by loving others.
Forgiveness – Your Path to Victory
Forgiveness frees us from the emotional pain associated with loss.
FACTS ABOUT FORGIVENESS:
- It is not a feeling. It is a decision you make and a choice to act upon that decision.
- It is a process, so remember you might have to make the decision more than once.
- It does not condone what was done.
- It does not necessarily mean that the relationship will be reconciled.
- It is an essential step in the process of grief that enables you to resolve issues.
- It is the key that unlocks the chains that bind you to the past.
STEPS TO FORGIVENESS:
1. Recognize that the hurtful events are being replayed, rehashed or rehearsed in your mind.
2. Go immediately to the throne of God in prayer.
3. Replay the series of events before God, identify and confess to Him what you are feeling.
4. Give yourself permission to experience your feelings in God’s presence and surrender them to Him.
5. Choose to forgive and make a statement of forgiveness to God (out loud).
6. Ask and accept God’s forgiveness for any personal sin. (See I John 1:9).
The next step is the turning point where we leave the past behind and move toward victory!
7. Change the focus from the problem and associated feelings to the character of God by reciting all the attributes of God you know. (God is all-powerful; He is omnipresent, unchanging, holy and worthy of praise and worship.)
8. Continue to praise and worship God through reciting Scriptures or singing songs of praise until the feelings of anger, hurt or sadness are replaced with feelings of comfort and peace.
Go through the first eight steps each time the painful memories are triggered until they no longer have the power to control your thoughts and feelings.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert, and streams in the wasteland” (NIV).
Tell Them about Jesus
I met my wife, Donna, when we were teenagers. Donna never saw me cry until the day my dad died. I stood at his side, held his hand and watched him take his last breath. I remember saying, “Dad, it’s okay—you can go home now,” and I let him go.
A year or two before he died, he recognized his health was failing and he went out and bought a cemetery plot. He called me on the phone and there was excitement in his voice. He said, “Randy, I’ve made the final plans for the cemetery. I’ve got our plot for Mom and me—you won’t believe the view!” For my dad it was about location. He was Mr. Positive. When he talked about death he always said, “I’m going home to heaven; don’t worry about it. Just drill a hole in the ground and drop me in.”
We took my dad’s body back to Muskegon, Michigan, his hometown where I was born, and he was buried in Mona View Cemetery overlooking Mona View Lake. Our family followed the hearse out to the cemetery. It was a rainy, cold, May day in Michigan. With the rain pouring down, they placed a tent over the top of the hole in the ground. After we’d said our goodbyes to family members, my brothers Warren and Larry and I were drawn back to my dad’s casket like magnets. Our wives had gotten in the car and the three of us just stood there with the water running off the tent. We joked with each other about Dad and the things he used to say to us.
I remembered very clearly him saying “Someday you’ll stand over my grave.” And while the three of us stood there I said, “Dad, that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Then I thought, if he could say one more thing to us, I wonder what he would say. My dad was in a coma the last three weeks of his life. I had gone to see him one afternoon. I walked out of his hospital room, and he was perfectly alert. When I walked back into his room ten minutes later, he was in a coma.
I never had a chance to talk to him again. So, I thought to myself, what would he say to us? You know, your parents’ words come back to you. And I can hear his voice sometimes in my heart. I believe my dad would say, “Keep following Jesus guys. It’s worth it.” He’d remind us, “Treat your wives with respect.” And he’d be sure to mention, “Take care of your mother.”
My dad’s last instructions wouldn’t be about bank accounts or careers. It wouldn’t be about disputes or arguments. It would be about the things that matter most in order to be intentional.
I am so excited that you’ve made a commitment to get to know Jesus Christ. The only thing that’s going to make a difference ultimately in your life is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
If my dad could have sat up one more time, I truly believe he would’ve said, “Tell them about Jesus.” You can strive to be intentional in many things, and intentional living works, but outside of Christ it’s going to be hollow. You have to know Him to really live fulfilled. It’s the ultimate ONE THING.
Did you miss the first blog in Dr. this 4-part series Establishing a Firm Foundation? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to catch up. Click here to read now.