Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Things First

My Daughters,

Before anything else is said, the basis for everything is your relationship to Jesus Christ.  I am not talking about going to church, reading your Bible, attending Bible studies, going on missions trips, or even praying before meals.  I am talking about a relationship with God the Father, through the blood of Jesus Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Without that, everything I am going to share on this blog is meaningless, temporary, and self glorifying.  And you will find it impossible to apply the things I am sharing over the long haul, because the Bible does not say "I can do all things because I am woman", but "in Christ who strengthens me.

So I'd like to take time to talk about how to find the strength to be all the we can be as women, and how to bring glory to God in our lives.  To begin, let's assume that you believe that there is a God.  Secondly let's assume that you believe the Bible to be true and God's inspired written word (if you don't believe these, please visit All About The Truth ).

The question you need to ask yourself is "Am I saved by the blood of Jesus Christ".  If you are relying on saying "the prayer" to ask Jesus into you heart, you might be sadly mistaken.  If you are relying on your goodness, you are sadly mistaken.  If you believe in God, that Jesus Christ is His son, that He died on the cross, and that the Bible is true - you have lots of company since the Devil and all his henchmen believe the same thing!  You say you go to church and read the Bible and do many good things?  Not good enough...those are good things, but in and of themselves they are nothing.  Jesus said in Matthew 7:22 - 23 "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles. Then I will tell them plainly,'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers'".  These people came with high qualifications - prophesy, miracles, casting out demons...pretty impressive isn't it, yet Jesus called them evildoers!  So the question you must ask yourself is, "Does Jesus know me? Do I have a relationship with Him"

To have a relationship with Jesus Christ means that you believe that God, the Father, send His only Son, fully man and fully God, the only perfect man, to take our sins on us and pay the penalty for our sins by dying in our place.  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever belives in Him will no perish, but have everlasting life" Jn 3:16.  In Romans 5:8 God tells us that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us".  Romans 3:23 says "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God".  We all know we are sinners - it's obvious!  No matter how hard we try we can not be perfect (ever told a lie?  Then you are a liar...ever taken anything that wasn't yours?  Then you are a theif).    So how can we make up for our sins?  Romans 6:23 tells us "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord".  We can only pay for our sins by dying and going to hell...but we can never get to heaven because God can not be in the presence of sin.  But God knew this, and loved us so much that He gave His ONLY Son, to live on the earth, live perfectly and love perfectly, and the be beaten and spit upon and hung to die in order to pay for your sins and mine.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

But how do we get that?  How can we get this free gift of eternal life?  Can I just say "the prayer" and then it's all taken care of?  Yes and no.  Romans 10: 9 - 10 says "if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one blieves unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."  You receive God's free gift of salvation by believing that Jesus is God's Son, that He died for you sins on the cross, and He rose again from the grave to give us eternal life with Him.  "For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved"

Confess that you are a sinner, that you can not save yourself.  Tell God that you believe His word and that Jesus died for you.  Commit yourself to turning from your sinful ways and thank Him for his forgiveness.  That is where it all starts...

Is that all?  Do you now have your "free get out of jail" card and you can go about your business?  Not at all.  Recognizing Jesus Christ as your saviour is the first step and the forgiveness of you past sins is complete...but what is next?  Let me give you an illustration - let's say a young man courts and wins a young ladies affections, asks her to marry her, goes to the church and says his vows, kisses his lovely bride and then walks out of the church never to see her again, or maybe he'll stop by the house once in a while and ask her for something...and maybe once in a while he'll tell someone what a wonderful wife he has and all that she's done for him.  Does he have a relationship with his wife?  Does she know him?  Is he fulfilling his vows?  Is he showing his love and growing in his relationship with her, getting to know her likes and dislikes...maybe making changes in his life to make her pleased with him??  Does this ring a bell?  So many have "said the prayer" and then act like that man - go on living their lives just as they want, ignoring the One who laid down His life for them and living as though what pleases Him doesn't matter at all.

This relationship with Jesus Christ is the process of making Him Lord of your life.  Studying Christ's life, God's see what pleases Him.  If you love someone, don't you want to do things that please Him?  God loves you so much that He wrote it all down in the Bible - things to bless you, to make your life a blessing to others, and if we follow His commands you will be blessed.

But you still sin?  Yes, we all sin.   But the question is, is your life marked by sin - are you continuing to sin habitually over and over again without remorse?  If so, question your salvation because when you accept Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you and is your guide - He will make you aware of your sins.  Once you are saved, you should study God's word and seek to apply it in your life.  Becoming Christ-like is a life long process and it takes dedication.  When you sin, confess it and ask for strength to overcome it the next time around.  Your life should become a ray of light in a dark world of sin...if your friends and family don't see a change in your life, then there probably hasn't been one.

If you are saved, then put God first in your life.  Give Him the first time in the day - read His word, do Bible studies, read books that teach you how to apply God's word in your life, find a mentor who is mature in his/her walk in the Lord and learn from them.  Pray genuinely every day, without ceasing...God hears your every prayer and will answer your every prayer.  But remember that God is not a lucky charm - He will answer your prayer according to His perfect will for you so sometimes He may answer with a "no" or "wait"...but pray and share with Him everything.

If you haven't read it yet, the best book I have found for women to grow in their relationship with God is "A Woman after God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George.  This book helps you figure out your priorities as a believer and how to bring your faith into every area of your life.  If you are a new believer, or a believer that struggles to live your life in a way that is pleasing to your Lord, please get this book and read it - look up the passages she uses in the book and use it as a tool for your morning time with the Lord.  You will be blessed if you persevere, I can guarantee it!  I read this book almost 2 years ago and it is the single most influential book (next to the Bible) I have read in my entire life - through the application of that book I have grown in my walk with the Lord more than in any other time of my life.  I wish I could have read this book when I was younger, much younger!

So, that is the foundation of all I will share - are you saved and making Christ Lord of your life...does He KNOW you and do you KNOW Him.

With all my Love,


PS If what I have shared with you here enabled you to claim your gift of salvation, or to take the steps to making Christ Lord of your life, I'd love to hear from you!  Please leave a comment or email me !

**I have used the Roman's Road for much of what I have shared, and you can read more on The Roman Road.Org

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