“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV
Oh the merciful grace of simple belief.
In case you have stumbled upon this and do not know, let me explain (and if you do already know stick with me here, please) – we are all sinners and condemn to eternity in Hell. However, God send his son, Jesus to die for our sins.
“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 NIV
If you believe this is true, Then all you need to do is say a simple prayer asking Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your life.
This is when you should begin to develop your own personal relationship with Jesus. The basics to any relationship is communication and the steps are:
Praying is talking to Him.
The Bible is the inspired word of God – it also says that Jesus is the word; therefore, reading your Bible is Him talking to you and you spending time with him.
All relationships die and wither away if communication stops – so logically, we should continue with this (and as you read, you find the Bible says pray without ceasing).
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here in Romans we see Paul (the apostle who wrote it) explain that it is more than just asking him into your life and reading and praying. We are to declare it. Here is an interesting question: have you declared, or told, someone today that you believe in Jesus? Paul says it is with this profession that you are saved. According to this, it is a vital step in our salvation. Who did you tell today?
“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” Luke 3:8 NIV
Producing fruit does not mean you need to become a farmer. In the book of Galatians (5:22-23) are a list of the fruits he expects that we will grow:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
When I first got saved, I was NOT very loving – but no one was very loving towards me so I didn’t feel I needed to be. I grew in Love. Because I was very love less – I wasn’t very joyful, but as I got to know Jesus I became more joyful.
SO, how are you doing with growing in peace? Lots of people battling fear during this pandemic and fear isn’t peace. Is your peace growing?
I don’t think we need to go through each of them – but I should probably ask about self-control. How are you doing at controlling yourself (or dyeing to sin – as we discussed in recent posts)?
I used to think, I was saved and that was that – I could continue in sin that grace abounded. But if I had actually read my Bible, I would have known that in Romans 6:1 if says we should not – God forbids it. I also heard we are saved by our works or by doing good things and our own merit.
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” Titus 3:5 NIV
You see – a relationship with Jesus causes a transformation.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
And what is very interesting here is that Paul is writing about salvation to those who say they believe. This is a message to the believer and the unbeliever.
”Wherefore if any man is in Christ, [he is] a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ASV
I know a few people who I know are not reading, praying, trying to grow fruit, letting God transform them and they are the same sin-full person they were before. I told them I am praying for them, and they think it is nice that I pray, but they see no use because nothing is wrong with their belief. But they are not a new creature.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 NIV
Jesus warns us – we can be false disciples of him. Either we lie to ourselves and convince our self that we are ok, comfortable in our complacency – or we slip away slowly, without notice – caught up with the cares of this world (I’ll read later, I am busy now – or I’ll pray later – then later comes later and later until it doesn’t come).
Can you imagine saying “But Lord, I professed you!” And he says “Nope.”
“But Lord, I used to pray, and I used to read, and I used to….” “Nope”
“But Lord I did all these things in your name!” – “Nope.”
Let’s not forget – we are responsible for our side of the relationship.
”Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Philippians 2:12 NIV
We must work out our own salvation – not with works, but by building a relationship with him.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
So as we grow in the Lord, we tend to do good things – it’s a side effect of love, joy, peace, etc. But we cannot do so many good things to get into heaven. 10 Hail Mary’s will not get you into the gates. Feeding 100 poor people doesn’t earn you salvation. It is only by grace.
Now, let’s go a little deeper –
Have you read your Bible today? Did you study it? No, not that pretty devotional that makes you feel good – did you read the actual word?
A little deeper? – Did you try to memorize any of it today? Did you meditate on it or think about the same verse or passage multiple times? Are you letting it get in you?
Are you letting it change you? Grow you? Transform you?
How is your prayer life? Did you have a quiet time for prayer? Did you also try to listen? Did you bless your food and life but forget to pray for the power and wisdom to use it?
Are your prayer effectively transforming the world around you?
Did you lay hand on the sick? Did you cast out demons? Did you raise anyone from the dead?
Jesus commanded us to go spread the news about who he is and convert people to him. He said when we do – heal the sick and cast out the demons.
“Um, sorry God, I am in a social distancing thingy and kinda busy being afraid and trying to die to my fleshly desires – so, I am kind too busy to go tell others about you!” Doh!!!
Spirit of fear BE BOUND! It is time to move in boldness and in power!
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11 NIV
Isn’t it time?
“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 NIV
So if Jesus came for you right now – this very moment – are you ready? Are you right with him? Are your sins all confessed, forgiven and turned away from? Are you going with him?
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~