Congratulations on being CHANGED! Asking Jesus to come into your heart and life to be your King begins a whole new life for you. It means thing have changed for you!
2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Welcome to your CHANGED LIFE! You may be asking yourself, "What do I do with this change that has taken place?" I'm so glad you asked.
As great as your decision to live for God is, it is only the first step in your New Life with Christ. Living a life that is pleasing to God and making the CHANGE a permanent one, is not just a onetime decision, it’s an everyday choice and process. Paul writes in Philippians 2:12 “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” How do you do that? How do you make the CHANGE permanent? You learn more about God, grow in Him, and become a disciple of Christ. Here are six things that will help you grow in God and make THE CHANGE permanent.
1. Read the Bible Daily – If you were going to college to be a doctor, in order to be successful in school you must read and study your text book. That would apply in any field, including Christianity. In order to be successful at living a Godly life, YOU MUST READ AND STUDY YOUR TEXT BOOK! Don’t just read it, DO WHAT IT SAYS TO DO!
Begin reading in the book of John and learn more about Jesus and the love He has for you. Don’t feel like you have to read three chapters at a time, but read every day. Then, don't just read it, LIVE IT!
2. Attend Faithfully a Church that:
A. Loves to Worship - If a church is passionate about worship, then they are passionate about God.
B. Preaches and Teaches the Bible in a Way that You can Grow – The last thing that you want to do is plant yourself in a place where you will not grow.You will not find an Orange tree planted in Alaska.Why?It will die because it does not receive the essential life giving aspects that an orange tree needs to grow.The same goes for Christians.Plant yourself in a church that preaches and teaches the Word in a clear, relevant, powerful way so that you can receive the essential life giving aspects you need to grow as a Christian.
C. Offers Opportunity for Fellowship with Others – Godly relationships are essential for growing in Christ.Begin to spend time with people that are striving to live a Godly life so that you can help each other grow.You become like the people you hang around.I Corinthians 15:33 says it like this, “Bad company corrupts good morals.”As you attend church you will find opportunities to be involved with a “Life Group.”Take advantage of the opportunity and get involved.
3. Begin Living a Lifestyle of Worship – Spend time on your own worshiping God every day. It’s as simple as just telling God that you love Him and thank Him for saving you and for all He has done for you. Learn to thank Him and praise Him in every situation, even the bad ones. Don’t thank Him for the bad situation or problem. Thank Him that He will see you through it and that He will be glorified in it.
4. Pray Daily – Forget the “Thee’s and “Thou’s” and just talk to God like you would talk to a friend. HE IS LISTENING. Begin with worship. Tell Him you love Him. Thank Him for all that He has done for you. And then tell Him what you have need of. As a father of three children, I provide for my children the things that they NEED: food, water, clothing, shelter, etc. I can remember when my boys were younger, they loved Star Wars. They had to have every light saber ever made. We would go to the store and they would want another light saber. My response would be, “You don’t need another light saber.” There were times, however, that they would come sit next to me and give me a hug and tell me “I love you daddy” with a genuine and sincere heart. It was in those times that I wanted to rush out and buy them another light saber because they showed me love. It is the same with our Heavenly father. He provides what we need because He loves us and we’re His children. He gives us what we desire when we love on Him.
5. Stop Living the Way You Use to Live – I am not sure what kind of lifestyle you had before coming to know Christ, but as a Christian we are called to live a Godly life. Christians ARE NOT perfect. We do, however, ask God for His forgiveness when we mess up or make a mistake, and then seek His Word for strength, guidance, and wisdom so we do not make that same mistake again. I once met with a gentleman who had just gotten saved a couple of weeks prior to our meeting. During our meeting, he used obscenities quite frequently. At the end of our conversation I told him, I know that you are a new Christian and you are just starting on this journey, but one thing you need to work on is your language. He responded, “Pastor, I am so sorry. But if you knew the words I was thinking and didn’t say, you would be proud of me.” I encouraged him and let him know that sometimes, making a change is a process. It’s hard to change twenty years of talking or acting a certain way in just a few days, but God will enable you to make those changes and to live, act, walk, and talk in a way that will be pleasing to Him.
6. Be Baptized – Jesus set the example for us to be baptized when He was baptized by John the Baptist. Baptism is a public acknowledgment of your commitment to follow and live for Christ. It is an outward sign of the old, sinful man being dead and buried as you are submerged under the water, and the birth of a new creation, the new man in Christ as you break through the surface of the water as you rise to a new way of living!
If you will make these six things a permanent part of your life, you will be well on your way to becoming the man or woman that God has called you to be. If you live in the Clovis, NM area, we would love to have you come and be a part of our church. If not, make sure you find a church that is doing the things I spoke about earlier. We pray that God will richly bless you as you seek to be permanently CHANGED for Him!