“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” (Philippians 1:21 NLT)
The Apostle Paul’s words above challenge us, but no one can live a Christ-like life without Jesus. Being yoked (partnered) with Him and being filled with His Holy Spirit is the ONLY way anyone can begin to walk in the newness of life that Christ alone can give. We can’t live a righteous and holy life without being filled and enabled by God’s Spirit. What does that mean?
“Righteous” essentially means living in a manner pleasing to the Lord. “Holy” means “set apart for sacred use.” To live a holy and righteous life means to allow the Holy Spirit, who is the presence of Jesus living in our heart and mind, to give direction to our lives. How does He do that? A large part of that is through the Bible, His written instruction manual. Another part is through prayer, which is simply conversation with God. How do we learn about the Bible and prayer?
The first step is to make sure you’ve opened your life to Jesus. That you’ve been forgiven, and the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your heart and life. The Psalmist David said: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT)
Can you point to a time in your life when you invited Jesus to become your Savior and Lord? If not, you probably haven’t. In some respects, it’s like asking someone if they’re married. “Hmmm, let’s see. Umm, I’m not sure.” I can tell you the date I made a lifelong commitment to my wife. There’s no question in my mind that I’m married. I can also point to the Sunday night in April of 1963 when I knelt and gave my life to Jesus. I’ve failed Him, but He’s never failed me, and there’s never been a single moment when I’ve regretted that decision. So, make certain Jesus is Lord of your life.
Jesus loves sinners like you, and me. Open your life to Him today, right now. Why would you wait another second to be forgiven and given a new life? Click the link below and let Ron Hutchcraft walk you through a brief video message, so you’ll know exactly what to do and why. https://hutchcraft.com/the-bridge-to-god
Then, after you’re certain you’ve begun your walk with Jesus, the best and most effective way to move forward with Him is by finding another believer(s) to walk with you on your journey. It’s vital that you share with someone you can trust that you’ve opened your heart to Jesus and asked Him to come into your life. If you don’t know anyone, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to guide you.
If you’re not familiar with the Bible, start reading in the book of John. That’s in the New Testament. Read through John, then go back to the beginning of the New Testament book of Matthew, then just read straight through to the end of the New Testament, including reading the Gospel of John again. Initially, set a goal of reading a minimum of one chapter a day. If you don’t have access to a physical Bible, google it and you will find many options online. The translation I suggest is either The Living Bible or The New Living Translation.
Read with a pen and paper nearby. When you see a word or idea you don’t understand, or something you read isn’t clear, write it down so you can ask a friend, who is also a Christ-follower, what it means. Also, write things down that DO make sense, that are speaking to you, that you don’t want to forget. Put a date on the notes, so you can look back from a later perspective and see how much you’re growing.
Then spend time every day, throughout your day, praying. What is prayer? It’s conversation with God. He speaks to us primarily through His Word, the Bible, but also through godly Pastors and friends who know Him. Then you speak to Him, similarly as you would speak with any other person you care about. We don’t have to use special language or be in a certain posture. You can talk with the Lord all through the day. I’m speaking with Him even as I’m typing these words. He will guide your thoughts and give you insights into how He wants you to invest the time He’s given you into His Kingdom. The longer you walk with Him, the easier it will become to discern His voice and follow Him ever more closely.
I’m never sure who is reading these articles, so if ever you have questions or concerns, please let me know. The safest way to contact me is to copy and paste the email address above or type it in.
Blessings, Ed 😊