Work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. 2 Peter 1:10
It is by grace that we are saved, not about the works we have done, but salvation is a gift of God. That is the fundamental truth about Christianity. No one can work their way to God, no one can buy their way to God and no one deserves to be right with God. However, the wonderful truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it is a free gift to us all.
While this is the best news the world has ever heard, this news was not meant to be left on its own. The book of James very clearly states that faith without works is dead. 1 Corinthians states that faith and all the spiritual gifts of God without the expression of love for others is just a noisy clanging cymbal.
The life of a believer isn’t about just sitting back and waiting for heaven. Life as a believer is more than this. It is about working hard. It is about tackling your issues head on. It is about making a decision to be transformed by the power of God. It is about sacrificing your own desires for the desires of the Lord. It is about choosing to abstain in favor of stopping others from stumbling. It is about getting up and doing when all within you wants to sit and stop. It is about desiring the most useful gifts. It is about helping others who can’t help themselves. It is about working hard to make a difference in the time you have left on this earth.
The life of a believer isn’t easy, but then again who said being called and chosen of God was a walk in the park. It’s not, but the result is an eternity of glory in heaven with your creator. Get up, get moving and get back to work!
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2
The anxiety of knowing God’s will has caused many to lose sleep. The fear of making a decision that is out of the will of God has stopped many to walk directly into the will of God. Yet the bible is very clear about how to start to understand the will of God. While prayer, bible reading, godly counsel and common sense can all help, they are not the secret ingredient that will give all the answers and direction you need.
In fact the secret to knowing the will of God for your life is much harder than just asking your local pastor’s advice. It is much more intense than a few nights of prayer and it is more complex than simply opening your bible. Not what everyone wants to hear, yet what many need to hear.
The secret to knowing the will of God for your life starts with one thing, a decision! A decision to turn your back on the common practices of your culture and face God’s changing grace face on. It means making a decision that people will not like, it means the self-help books have to go and the seven step program to success goes in the trash. In their places is an open heart to let God change you, transform you and mold you into a new person. That starts with a decision to change the way you think! Think God change not life change! When you allow God change then he automatically creates your LIFE to be changed!
In the process of your allowing of God, His will becomes crystal clear to you and those days of sleepless nights become a thing of the past!
When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God – Acts 4:24
Anyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus Christ knows the importance of prayer. It’s through prayer that we come to faith in Jesus Christ. It is through prayer that we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is through prayer that people are healed, restored and find the courage to intercede for their loved ones. Prayer is central for the believer, it is our lifeline and connection to our savior King.
We all know prayer is so important, yet so often the pressures and busyness of life take priority over prayer. For the early church a day could not pass without prayer being a focal point. In fact the very first church didn’t just keep prayer for their closets or for their morning commute, but prayer meant a gathering. They gathered together because while individual prayer was powerful and important, prayer as a community was what caused the breakthrough!
This church prayed when others were persecuted. Their leaders had been put in jail, and so they came together and prayed. When their leaders were freed from jail, they came together and prayed. Prayer was not an option but a firm fixture. The result? Nations reached with the pure gospel of Jesus Christ.
Prayer is not a one dimensional act of you just talking with God. Prayer is not just a two-dimensional act of communication between you and God, but in fact prayer is a multi-dimensional act of believers gathering together to communicate with their savior.
When the people of God gather together and make prayer a priority families, communities, regions and nations are impacted by the pure gospel of Jesus Christ!