Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Isaiah 29:13

“The Lord says:  These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips. But their hearts are far from Me!  Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”

Why is this verse significant to us and our journey on the road of true discipleship? Well each of us needs to decide where our hearts lie, are we trully seeking God out with our whole hearts or are we just giving lip service.

You have to understand, that God is not interested in just lip service, he wants us to give him our hearts so that he can work in and through us to affect the world around us. You need to take a serious look as to how you are living out your christian faith,

You need to ask yourself some tough questions, like:

  1. Is my life looking more and more like Jesus Christ every day?
  2. Do I take the time to spend with God every day so that I can hear and see what he has for me?
  3. Do I find myself longing to do the will of God on a constant basis or am I living to please myself?
  4. Where do my priorities lie?
  5. Do I read novels and technical manuals ravenously, but find it hard to sit for 5 minutes and read the bible?
  6. What kind of things are coming out of my mouth? Am I speaking so as to encourage others or am I destroying those around me with the words that come out of my mouth?
  7. Do I love those around me, even if they don’t love me?
  8. Am I willing to die for my faith today because I know that it is all true?
  9. Am I afraid to die today as I don’t know exactly if I am going to go to heaven or hell?
  10. Do I go to church, just because I know it is the right thing to do, yet feel empty and just as lost when I leave as when I came?
  11. Is there more to christianity than what I am experiencing?

I want to tell you some good news, I have seriously looked at all of these questions in my own life, and have discovered that serving God really is the only way to have a spirit and soul satisfaction like no other. To choose to serve and persue him whole heartedly is the best choice I ever made.

Now don’t get me wrong, before I knew that I could have a deeper relationship with God, I went to church and I sang the worship songs and I listened to the messages, but nothing changed for me, not on the inside or the outside.

I was still living my life, (miserable as I was) and going through the motions of church, but not having  anything deeper than that.  I wanted to go deeper with God, and not just give lip service to him, but I trully did not know how to do it.

I have discoverd though that if I was willing to stop playing christianity and playing church, saying all the right things , acting a certain way, to please people . If I was willing to lay that all down and become honest with myself and with God, I could have a life and heart change.

So, I started my journey in earnest, reading the bible all of the time, praying, going to church even more, but in reality, all I was doing was doing more of the same that I had done before. I was still trying to work my way into heaven and into God’s good books.

This does not work, and once again I was left feeling empty. So I had to figure out what was wrong, I did not really understand that there was a difference between giving God lip service and actually serving him with your whole heart.

But, God in his great mercy could see that I was seeking and his promise to us is that if we will seek him, we will find him, take a look at the following verse,.

Some of you have read this verse a few times, and some will have seen it for the first time, but God promises us that when we seek him out we will find him, he will open the door to his treasures and we will be able to know him more. What a promise,

Please know something, that when God promises something, he always delivers on his promises, not ever does he not follow through on his promises. So if he says that if we will seek him, and that we will find him, it is the truth.

Matthew 7- 12

  • 7.   “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
  • 8. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
  • 9.  “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
  • 10. Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
  • 11. If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
  • 12. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

So, I had to stop my seeking for a moment and discover what the word of God says about a person who is really whole heartedly willing to serve God, this is a part of what I discovered.

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Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Any good story always needs to have a beginning, middle and an end; the same is true of the bible. To answer any question we have about life and how to live it, as Christians.  Everything we need to know is all right there for us, but it can be very intimidating reading the bible and it is not always understandable.

 Before we begin each lesson we will start with prayer. Prayer does a few things for us, first of all it makes us stop and actually slow down for a minute. Then by faith we can enter into the Holy Sanctuary of God and present our request to him.

(I will explain how this came about in future lessons)

 I pray this kind of prayer before I do any kind of study as I trust that God will truly open up my eyes to know and see and understand his word the bible.  We are wanting God to ignite our passion for him and his ways and his word.

 We want to have our hearts (which is our spirit) made aware of God and his Holy Spirit in our lives. We want to understand and live out the text that we are reading. So the best place to start is with God himself.

 You have to know something, that God actually wants to have a relationship with you even more than you want it. Hard to believe but it is the truth.  We will discover more about that in future lessons.

 Ok, so now that you know the reason for praying before starting your lessons, I encourage you to do this every time you pick up your bible.

 For right now; lets take a few moments and ask our heavenly father to help us study his word and understand it. If you are comfortable saying your own prayers, I encourage you to do so, if you would like to pray what I have written please feel free.

 Prayer

Dear Heavenly father

Today as I come before you today, in faith  I ask for your will to be done, I want to know you deeper than ever before, help me as I study your word, to understand and see what it is you are trying to teach me.  I pray that you will give me a teachable spirit today, and that you will ignite my passion to know you more. Thank you Heavenly father/Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 Ephesians 1: 17-23

  •  17. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
  • 18. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
  • 19. and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,  
  • 20. which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
  • 21. far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  
  • 22. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
  • 23. which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

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