He Can Change Your Life!!
If you are reading this there is a very good chance that you have come here with things a sermon cannot fix. That may sound like a strange thing to say and I am not minimizing the effectiveness of a sermon, however, chances are, right now you are in need of something bigger, something better and deeper to fix what engulfs you. What you need is Jesus! God offers His people a covenant relationship and spiritual bond through Jesus Christ; a superior level of intimacy with God. (1 Corinthians 10:17). But how do you get that?
I am sure you have been around the individual who says “I am a Christian” yet his or her life is one of judgment, self-imposed restrictions, legalism, a clear lack of joy; certainly not someone you’d consider an example let alone a life you’d want to lead. Yeah, it happens! But that is not who Jesus is. One should never measure the effectiveness of Jesus Christ against the effectiveness (or lack thereof) in fallible human beings. One must remember that Christians are simply common people who are on a journey of change and discovery through Jesus Christ and most certainly do not always get it right. You do not have to be perfect to please God, yet this perfect God is pleased to embrace you.
Religion vs. Relationship
One clearly needs to separate out the difference between a religion and a relationship, two drastically different things, in order to fully grasp what all this talk about Jesus means. Let’s take a look at this.
Religion can be very different than having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Religions are man-made and are based on trying to get to God through rules, regulations, and works. Man-made religions all are based on people’s efforts at reaching God and being made right with Him through their own efforts. But here is the Good News! God loves you so much that He comes looking for you! That is why Jesus is so unique. He is not a god you seek, but rather He is the One True God who seeks you!
Christianity has long been seen as just another religion, however, true Christianity is not decision theology where one chooses God but rather it is God who comes to us, the lost, and we in turn surrender to God. God comes to us, through the power of His Word and His Spirit – and we surrender to Him.
God’s plan for man’s salvation and for being right with Him is told throughout the Bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. God’s plan is not based on people’s efforts and good works, but is based on His amazing love and grace for us all. His plan involved His precious Son Jesus paying the price for us on the cross. Knowing Jesus is not adhering to any one religion or trusting in our own efforts.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.” (Romans 3:22-25)
“For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10)
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Colossians 1:21-22)
His gift of salvation and eternal life is given to all so that we may experience the joy of having a right RELATIONSHIP of love with God.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
What Is Religion? (Self-Effort, Works)
The Goal: reaching out to God, trying to work your way into heaven
The Means: by diligent service and works, with hopes of a reward (heaven)
The Power: making a good, honest effort through self-determination
The Control: being self-motivated and self-controlled
The Results: apathy, failure, frustration, guilt, and eternal separation from God
What Is Relationship? (Personal Relationship)
Goal: trusting fully in Jesus, then living to please Him
Means: confessing sins, repenting, yielding one’s self to Jesus
Power: the Holy Spirit does God’s work in and through us
Control: allowing the Holy Spirit to control and direct our lives
Results: love, joy, peace, freedom, power, and eternal life in heaven
It is important to note that while a relationship with Jesus Christ is personal, it is not private. Having a personal relationship does not mean we isolate ourselves but rather we join with other like-minded believers to help each other grow in grace. It is important to be a part of a local church body where you can be challenged and cared for. And not only that, but God has also gifted you to be a blessing to others around you. He uses all of us in exciting and unique ways to complete the body of Christ. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” 1 Corinthians 12:27 (See 1 Corinthians 12:1-31).
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5
What’s in It For Me?
That is a fair question! We make decisions based on fact, experience, benefit, personal wants and desires, and anticipated results. Why consider Jesus if it means a life of drudgery, restrictions, do’s and don’ts, and is no fun? Let’s take a look at the benefits:
Forgives All Your Mess Ups (Psalm 103:12)
Who wants to think of himself or herself as a sinner? I certainly don’t. But I suppose it all depends on your measuring stick. If I stack myself against others in society I look pretty good. If I stand in the presence of a holy God, my sin (mess ups) are ever before me, and the need for a Savior evident. Jesus tells us that as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions (sins, mess ups) from us.
Heals Your Heart, Soul, and Emotions (Psalm 103:3)
Surely in this life we will have struggles, illnesses, losses, yet God promises that He is always with us and that the ultimate healing comes when we pass from this body of corruption into heaven where we put on a new self that does not die or get sick. (See 2 Corinthians 5:4)
Saves You from Falling Over the Cliff (Job 33:28)
He restores us to Himself and reaches His hand into the pit of hell to redeem anyone who calls upon His name. “He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit, and my life shall look upon the light.”
Covers You with Unconditional Love and Compassion (Psalm 103:4)
His love in not a conditional love based on your good merit. It is a love regardless of what you do or do not do. “Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion;”
Adopts You As His Own (Galatians 4:1-7)
Once we were alone in the world, but God sent His Son Jesus to find us, that we might receive full rights as sons and daughters of God. “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”
Changes Your Life (Galatians 5:22-23)
God places within you the attributes of who He is by instilling the fruits of His Spirit in your heart and life. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Does Not Abandon The Oppressed (Psalm 146:7)
The Lord is a just God, having all wisdom, discernment, and knowledge. He protects the innocent, upholds the broken and covers us with His righteousness. “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free.”
Compassionate and Gracious, Slow To Anger, Abounding In Love (Psalm 86:15)
God is not like man. He does not anger easily, withhold His affection, nor seek to prove His point of view. Rather, He comes in like a flood of love and compassion to cover you, to restore you, and remind you that you are of great value, deeply loved, and called by His name. He is the God of second (and third, and fourth, and fifth) chances. His love knows no bounds.
Does Not Treat Us As Our Sins Deserve (Psalm 103:10)
God is holy. His holiness requires perfection and yet with a compassion we cannot fathom, He made the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice of death, so that you and I would not be left out in the cold but have eternal redemption.
Created Heaven And Wants You There!
Can you believe it! The very God of all creation longs to have you with Him, forever. Scripture is filled with verse after verse proclaiming His love and care for you. “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.'” (Jeremiah 31:3) When was the last time someone told you that they loved you with an everlasting love? Jesus tells you everyday. Can you hear Him?
In Jesus you are Accepted, Secure, and Significant!
I am accepted… John 1:12 – I am God’s child. John 15:15 – As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 – I have been justified. 1 Corinthians 6:17 – I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – I have been bought with a price and I belong to God. 1 Corinthians 12:27 – I am a member of Christ’s body. Ephesians 1:3-8 – I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child. Colossians 1:13-14 – I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Colossians 2:9-10 – I am complete in Christ. Hebrews 4:14-16 – I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.
I am secure… Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:28 – I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances. Romans 8:31-39 – I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 – I have been established, anointed and sealed by God. Colossians 3:1-4 – I am hidden with Christ in God. Philippians 1:6 – I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me. Philippians 3:20 – I am a citizen of heaven. 2 Timothy 1:7 – I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. 1 John 5:18 – I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
I am significant… John 15:5 – I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life. John 15:16 – I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. 1 Corinthians 3:16 – I am God’s temple. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 – I am a minister of reconciliation for God. Ephesians 2:6 – I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm. Ephesians 2:10 – I am God’s workmanship. Ephesians 3:12 – I may approach God with freedom and confidence. Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
Know Your Heavenly Father
Life is hard, but God is good. All of us know people who may have been negatively affected and/or harmed by a fractured relationship or no relationship with their earthly father. You may be one of them. This can have a huge impact on ones ability to see God as the loving Father that He is. Because we lack a loving, earthy role model, oftentimes our deep hurt manifests itself as anger toward God, but anger generally is not the leading emotion, pain is. Anger becomes the by-product of repressed, internal pain. It is important to know that it in in and through our struggles that we come to understand that our lives are so much bigger than we are, and that even in the times of despair, lack of clarity, love, acceptance or understanding, God indeed is a loving Father! He promises to shield, protect, embrace and accept us, no matter what.
In the book of Jeremiah, we see that God takes the place of the parent. “Leave the fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let the widows trust in me.” (Jeremiah 49:11). In Luke 15:20, we see the prodigal son return and the Father (ABBA is His name, which means Papa God, or Daddy) runs to welcome and embrace his son. This is one of the most tender names that can be given to God, and it conveys one of the most remarkable descriptions of His character. In scripture we see God’s greatness, his majesty, his power; but it is in such an expression as this “ABBA”, that we see He is a loving Father whose embrace, acceptance and love know no bounds or conditions. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.” (Romans 8:15). And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” When one considers the state of helplessness and dependence found in the condition of an orphan children, nothing conveys a more moving description of the character of God – of his love and kindness – than to say that he will take the place of the parent. Our God is intimately acquainted with you on a very personal level; of this you can be sure. (Psalm 139:3)
He is a Father of the fatherless,…. He shows mercy, compassion and protects you; covering you with His tenderness, goodness and care.
You may have been deserted or mistreated by a father or mother and, like fatherless ones, feel that you are in a helpless condition, and find it difficult to trust in God as a Father. But your heavenly Father will not leave you, has deep compassion for you, shows you favor, and provides everything you need. He who says “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18) can be trusted. For as it is written:
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
So today, if you are carrying deep hurts from your past, please do not harden your heart. None who ever hardened his heart against God has prospered. God is the joy of His people and you are the joy of His heart! He keeps His promises and covenants to bless His people and that means you! He is a God of mercy and tender compassion. He cares for the afflicted and oppressed: for sinners, who are helpless and exposed and for the fatherless child; He calls you into His family. You are precious in His sight.
For it is written “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3).
No matter what has happened in your past do not let it define your future. The Author and Finisher of your faith is indeed a benevolent Father who delights in you. “God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation” (Hebrews 2:10).
Your Father is drawing you to Himself today. Will you answer His call?
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
Romans 3:3 What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness?
1 Corinthians 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
2 Timothy 1:9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
Psalm 27:10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.
Isaiah 49:15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
Psalm 10:14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
So Now What Happens?
Seek to understand God’s plan: “So, I need to be saved from what?” Believing in God and the Scriptures in the Bible are crucial to your understanding and ability to make an informed decision. “What is a savior?” and “Why be saved?” The Bible teaches that all people have sin in their lives but that does not mean we are hopeless. God made a provision to reconcile us to Himself through Jesus, His Son.
What is sin? Sin is any act that displeases God. Sin separates us from God, who is perfect, such that the payment we are to pay for sin is spiritual death—permanent separation from God. Because God is holy, He must judge sin. The penalty for sin is eternal separation from God. Yet He has made a provision to rescue you from that fate and bring you into everlasting joy.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
What is spiritual death? Death is separation. A physical death is the separation of the soul from the body. Spiritual death, which is of greater significance, is the separation of the soul from God.
Understand who could save you from spiritual death. Because we are all born sinful, we are unable by our own efforts or reasoning’s—or in our own strength and morality—to please a perfect God. However, God sent His son Jesus as your representative and as your ransom from being held captive.
“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)
By trust and faith in God, we believe that God is who He says He is. He provided the payment for our sin by His own Son’s taking our place as a substitute. All sins, past, present, and future were forgiven by Christ at the cross.
“And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10)
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Admit that you have sinned. Once you understand that ALL have sinned and that you are a sinner when compared to the holiness of God, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness by repenting your sins. While some may think they are “good people,” everyone has committed sin. But that is OK. God loves us without condition and is always willing to forgive and forget.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Profess Jesus as your Savior. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Say, “Father in Heaven, I believe that Jesus died for my sins.” And God will impart eternal life to your spirit.
The gifts of the Lord are good. Believe that God loves you; He has shown this by giving His Son to face your punishment and die in your place as your sacrifice for all you’ve done wrong and for all your sins, past, present, and future. Repentance is the decision to turn away from sin and to turn to God and obey Him. Once you have done this, every other step will fall into place. This is about a love relationship that He desires with you personally. You are precious in His sight and the object of His affections. You are divinely loved by the Father.
Talk to God in your own words. Say a prayer to God, and just be you. An example prayer would be “God, I know I’m a sinner, but I don’t want to be. I’m not perfect and I mess up a lot but I’m willing to give You a try. I want You to come into my life, so here I am. Thanks.”
The result. Jesus died to pay for the sins of man but it does not stop there! He rose again, conquering death and making it possible to be saved; so we accept Jesus when the Holy Spirit calls us—not merely our thinking and reasoning it out, but realizing that it is based on God’s provision and His gift. Christianity is not just a volunteer religion. (Jesus called His disciples, they didn’t come to Him already determined to follow Him.) In the same way we cannot merely “accept” Jesus, but we can receive what He gives us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does call us—all to repentance and to follow God—through the hearing of God’s Word and accepting the Good News (Gospel). Those who do not believe have rejected God’s free gift, those who do believe only have faith because it is the free gift of God (grace).
If you put your faith in Christ alone, you will come into a loving and eternal relationship with Him.
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)
“For by grace are you saved, through faith; and this not of your own, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
So What’s Next?
Talk to Someone
Once you make a decision to accept Jesus Christ, it is important that you find a gathering of believers who can take you by the hand and help you get started on this journey. If you would like to talk to someone about your decision and how to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit our WAR ROOM and let a Prayer Warrior know you would like prayer. We will be happy to answer your questions. If you are not geographically able to attend worship at Fields of Grace, you can always tune in weekly to our Live Streamed Services on our Facebook Page.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Fields of Grace Believes that the Word of God speaks to all the issues of life, both large and small. Life is made up of both daily decisions and influencing worldviews.
Fields of Grace strives to be a voice of truth in a culture where everything seems to be relative. We are committed to teaching the Word of God, actively praying for each other and our world as a whole, demonstrating God’s power to speak into the hearts and souls of mankind, addressing the real issues that matter today.
We desire to help you navigate through life, offering encouragement, teaching, and inspiring you to live each moment in light of the truths found in Scripture. We desire for the Word of God to speak into your life.
Our prayer is that what you read and experience here will give you a deeper understanding into what the Word of God says; the ultimate goal being not just more knowledge, but rather knowledge that opens your soul to receive and share the life of Jesus Christ in your own life personally as well as with the world around you.
“Man’s way to reach God is religion; God’s way to reach man is Jesus.”
Hearing the Call
If the Holy Spirit has touched your heart with the truth of reconciliation, we would love to help you on your new journey of faith. Be sure to visit The War Room to request prayer.