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New Christians

How to Find God

by Nancy McGuirk

Two distinct feelings can surface when we are lost. First is the feeling of hopelessness that comes when you don’t have a clue which way to turn. Who hasn’t felt that way in an unfamiliar city or neighborhood? You know your destination is reachable, but you know you’ll never make it without help.
The second feeling is frustration. You ask someone for help, follow their directions, and after many twists and turns realize they gave you misleading information. You trusted their guidance, but with a frustrating result: you were still lost.

There are many people today who feel both hopeless and frustrated in their search for God. Not only do they not know how to find Him on their own, they’re overwhelmed by the directions they’ve been given (many of which seem to point in opposite directions).

Spiritual hopelessness and frustration are symptoms of being lost, and it is just as possible to be lost spiritually as it is to be lost geographically. To find our way spiritually we need to turn to the directions that have helped millions of people reach their destination for many centuries: the Bible. God caused the Bible to be written to preserve a permanent record of how to find Him and walk through life with Him.

Before looking at what the Bible says about finding God, here’s an important truth to remember: we don’t find God; He finds us. It’s as if you traveled to an unfamiliar neighborhood to visit a friend, and the friend got worried when you didn’t arrive and went out searching for you. You didn’t find your friend; your friend found you. Jesus told a number of stories in Luke 15 that illustrate this truth. His words in Luke 19:10 say it best: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

If you feel lost when it comes to knowing God—hopeless, frustrated, or otherwise—it’s probably because God is looking for you. He sends His Holy Spirit into the world to awaken the hearts of people so they will come to see what He sees—that they are, in fact, lost. Without a knowledge of the bad news that we’re lost, the good news that we can be found isn’t nearly as valuable!

The Bible records an interesting conversation between Jesus and a Jewish leader who sensed he was lost. Nicodemus knew there was something unique and divine about Jesus, and he needed directions to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus told Nicodemus he could only get there by being born again—experiencing a spiritual birth just as he had once experienced a physical birth. Nicodemus’ story is a good illustration of one man’s feeling of “lostness.” Jesus’ answers to him will serve as directions for you and me as well. He gives us four landmarks that every person seeking God will ultimately encounter:
  1. God loves us and desires good things for us.
  2. We are lost because of our sin. It keeps us separated from God.
  3. God has provided a path for forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
  4. We must receive the free gifts of forgiveness and eternal life offered to us through Christ.

How do we receive God’s gifts of forgiveness and eternal life? We receive His gifts just as we would receive a gift from a good friend. We reach out for it . . . we embrace it . . . we say “thank you” . . . and we put it to use with gratitude.

In addition, there is one condition for receiving God’s gifts: faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” We exercise faith in God by accepting Christ as Lord and Savior of our life. John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

How do we express our faith in God? Prayer is the simplest way. You can find God through accepting Christ by praying a prayer as simple as this:

“Dear God, Thank you for sending Jesus Christ to die and pay the penalty for my sins. I accept your gifts of forgiveness and eternal life by believing in Christ as my Lord and Savior. Please help me to live a life that is pleasing to you in every way. Amen.”

If knowing God is the sincere desire of your heart, then He has heard and answered your prayer. And several things have happened:
  • Christ now lives in you
  • Your sins are forgiven
  • You have become a child of God
  • You have received eternal life
  • And you have been born again as a new spiritual person and entered in a new life

And so the next question is “Now what?” What do we do once we have a made the step of faith in Christ as our Lord? What does He want us to do? I hope you will go the the next video entitled ‘How to Walk with God” to find out.

How To Walk With God

by Nancy McGuirk

By putting your trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, you have made the most important decision of your life. Not only have you been saved from the eternal consequences of your sins, you have also been given the gift of eternal life and membership in God’s “forever family.” And, here on earth, you have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit who has come to live within you to guide and comfort you in your Christian life. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ is alive in you each day.
Your acceptance of Christ is not the end of your journey to faith—it is the beginning of your journey of faith! You will begin to look at life through faith-colored glasses, seeing the hand of God at work in and around you every day. Life will be a privilege and responsibility, a means for glorifying God as you learn to please Him in all things. And you will discover that what glorifies Him most is also best for you. Life becomes a win-win situation with Christ—God is glorified and you are loved, protected, and directed.

Just as your life before knowing Christ had characteristics, your new life with Christ will take on characteristics as well. Prayer, Bible study, worship, service, fellowship with other Christians— these and more will become important parts of your walk with Him.

Again, welcome to the family of God! Remember that the Christian life is not about religion, rules, and regulations, but a relationship with Jesus Christ. Pursue Him as you would your dearest friend. Talk to Him, read His Word, invite Him to go with you and to guide you in every situation. And depend on His forgiveness when you fail.

Some good daily tips to help you in your walk with God are:
  1. Spend time daily listening to God (Bible study)
  2. Spend time daily talking to God (prayer)
  3. Meditate on the grace of God (grace is receiving what we don’t deserve)
  4. Depend on God daily for guidance through the Holy Spirit
  5. Believe that God will never leave you and is at work even in times of trouble or sorrow to give you victory in Christ.
  6. Surround yourself with a group of like-minded believers in Christ (a church home and a Bible study group).

Today really is the first day of the rest of your new life! May you sense God’s love as you begin your journey as a follower of Jesus.

What Are the Principles of Prayer?

by Nancy McGuirk

As my teenage children began leaving for college, I would tell them the same thing my parents told me when I was a college freshman: “Be sure to call home and let us know how things are going. Even if you call late at night—that’s fine. Just let us know how you’re doing and what you need.”
Communication is at the heart of relationships, especially between parents and children. At its best, communication is two-way—a conversation. For that to happen, both people have to be in the same room, or connected by a phone line or email link. It’s the same in the Christian life. Communication is accomplished through prayer. And in order for us to converse with God—talk to Him and listen to Him—we need to meet together with Him on a regular basis.

Just as there are principles that define productive conversations between people, so there are biblical principles that can make prayer to God more fruitful:

The Purpose of Prayer
Oswald Chambers once wrote, “The point of prayer is not to get answers from God, but to have perfect and complete oneness with Him.” In the same vein, the Danish theologian Søren Kierkegaard wrote, “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.”

Think about how communication matures between a parent and child. When small, children ask their parents for things. As older teenagers, they ask their parents for advice. As young adults, they ask their parents for time together. And as mature adults, they ask what they can do for their parents. As peers, they just enjoy spending time together in one another’s presence.

See how the focus changes? The process of communication shifts over time from asking for things to simply being together. And that’s how it is with prayer to God. As young Christians, we ask God for lots of “things” before we come to learn that He knows everything we need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8). And He doesn’t mind! In fact, even when we are more mature Christians, there are still times when we have to ask God for things we need in this life. The difference becomes one of focus: we change our focus from the things we need to the goodness of the God who can provide them. And we learn to appreciate His goodness more than the “thing” we thought we couldn’t live without.

Prayer, therefore, is God’s way of moving us into a mature relationship with Him whereby we learn to enjoy being with Him while trusting Him to provide “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Procedures for Prayer
Almost everyone is familiar with the instructions Jesus gave His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). What we call “the Lord’s Prayer” is really the Lord’s disciples’ prayer—a pattern to be followed whenever they prayed (Matthew 6:9-13):

  • Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. If it’s true that the first words out of our mouth indicate what is most important to us, then adoration of God is a good place to begin. Acknowledging the holiness of God (hallowing His name) makes Him the central focus of our prayer (Isaiah 6:3).
  • Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The greatest challenge in the Christian life is submission: recognizing that God is God and we are not. Prayer is where we say, “I submit my will to Yours.” If Jesus Christ had to say, “. . . not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42), we will need to do the same.
  • Give us today our daily bread. A petition is “a request to a superior authority.” Even though our superior authority, God, knows what we need even before we ask, He invites us to present our petitions nonetheless (Philippians 4:6). It’s part of relationship-building, part of communication, part of developing trust.
  • Forgive us our debts. Is anything harder than confession—saying, “I was wrong . . . I am sorry . . . please forgive me?” The Bible says that God will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness . . . “if we confess our sins” (1 John 1:9). If we do not confess our sins, we will not prosper in our relationship with God (Proverbs 28:13).
  • As we also have forgiven our debtors. Jesus said that if we don’t exercise forgiveness towards others, God will not exercise forgiveness towards us (Matthew 6:14-15). In fact, the Bible says that the way God has forgiven us (completely and unconditionally) is the standard for how we are to forgive others (Ephesians 4:32). If we allow iniquity to stay in our heart (for example, the sin of unforgiveness) God will not hear our prayers (Psalm 66:18)
  • And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Protection is the gift of parents to their children, and God’s gift to us. God does not tempt us with evil (James 1:1:13). Instead, when we are tempted He provides us with a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) and armor by which we may defend ourselves (Ephesians 6:10-18).
  • For yours is the kingdom and the power and glory forever. Confirmation is when we say, at the end of our prayer, “Father, whatever happens, I am going to trust You because I know that I am Yours. You have all the authority, power, and glory, and I choose to put my faith in You.” It’s a way for us to remind ourselves that we have not come to God begging. We have come adoring, submitting, asking, confessing, forgiving, and receiving protection. Our final words are words of faith and confirmation—what we really believe.

You can use this outline for prayer a number of ways. You can pray it exactly like Jesus taught it to His disciples, or you can pray through it—praying meditatively through each phrase, expressing in your own words what Jesus taught His disciples to pray.

There is no set “procedure” for prayer, but if you incorporate the elements of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, you will be following a pattern suggested by God Himself.

Problems in Prayer
No one said communication was easy. We know it isn’t at the human level, and there can even be problems when we talk to God. Here are some issues to watch out for when you pray—and how to resolve them:
  1. “Unanswered” prayers. In our world we have come to expect immediate responses to questions, inquiries, and requests. Therefore, when God doesn’t respond immediately to our prayers, we think He hasn’t heard us, He is saying “No,” or is not responding for some other reason. The truth is, there is no prayer that goes unanswered by God. Just as a loving human father would never fail to respond to his child’s requests, so God is always responsive to ours (Luke 11:11-13). What we have to learn is that silence from God doesn’t mean He is not answering, or preparing to answer, our prayers. And it certainly doesn’t mean He hasn’t heard us, or is toying with us. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9) which means His answers may come in ways different from what we expected when we prayed. The apostle Paul wrote that, once we have prayed to God, we ought to let the peace of God guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
  2. Lack of faith. The Bible says, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). How many times do you ask God for things you already have or can already see? The whole point of prayer is to learn to trust Him for what only He can do—and that takes faith. The writer to the Hebrews went on to say, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). One way to develop faith is by meditating on the promises of God and then telling God you believe that what He has promised He will bring to pass (2 Peter 1:4).
  3. Not abiding in Christ. Some people have suggested there are no conditions on prayer—that we can approach God like a “sugar daddy” and get whatever we want. But Jesus said something very different: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). “If . . . then . . . .” Abiding in Christ and obeying His commands is a central condition for having our prayers answered. That means we can’t live carnally and expect to pray spiritually. We must submit to the Lord if we care going to petition the Lord for our needs.
  4. Unconfessed sin. We touched on this principle above—if we regard sin in our heart God will not hear our prayers. But here is how to resolve the issue: follow the example of David. He asked God to search His heart—to test him—and see if there was any sin to be found in him (Psalm 139:23-24). Because one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world of sin (John 16:8), we know God will show us our sin if we ask Him to. Confess your sins before you pray, and anytime God reveals them to you.

Principles and Parables of Prayer
For further study and reflection, here are some central passages of Scripture dealing with prayer:
  1. Pray. (Matthew 7:7-8; Philippians 4:6-7; James 4:2.)
  2. Pray in the will of God. (James 4:13-17; 1 John 5:4.)
  3. Pray in faith. (Mark 11:22-24; James 1:6; 1 John 5:15)
  4. Pray specifically. (Mark 10:51; Luke 6:12-13; 2 Corinthians 12:8.)
  5. Pray with thanksgiving. Philippians 1:3-4; Colossians 1:3-4; Hebrews 13:15.)
  6. Pray in the Spirit. (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 6:18; Jude 1:20.)
  7. Pray with other believers. (Acts 1:14; 2:42; Romans 15:30; James 5:16)
  8. Pray often. (1 Chronicles 16:11; Luke 18:1; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.)
  9. Pray unashamedly. (Luke 11:5-10.)

Power of Prayer
The true miracles of life are not seen in a changed environment but in a changed life. The greatest demonstration of power in prayer is not when our circumstances change but when we change in the midst of our circumstances. God’s goal for our lives is not to make us happy but to make us holy. Everything He allows in our life is to achieve that goal. You will know you are experiencing true power in prayer the day you are willing to pray, “Lord, not my will, but Thine, be done.”

Plan for Prayer
John Piper suggests why Christians don’t pray more than they do: “One of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant prayer life is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to . . . . We get up day after day and realize that significant times of prayer should be part of our life, but nothing’s ever ready. We don’t know where to go. Nothing has been planned. No time. No place. No procedure . . . . If you want renewal in your life of prayer you must plan to see it.”

Won’t you make plans today to make prayer a prominent part of your life tomorrow—and everyday?

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

by Nancy McGuirk

Understanding the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world and in the believer is foundational to the Christian life.
  1. Who is the Holy Spirit? He is the third person of the Trinity, the triune Godhead presented in Scripture: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are not three separate Gods, but one God manifested in three distinct persons As the Father created and the Son saved, so the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to guide, equip, and empower the follower of Christ. Because the Holy Spirit is a living personality, He can be submitted to, rebelled against, or grieved. He understands and communicates, comforts and counsels. Christ departed this earth and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in every believer.
  2. Where did He come from? As part of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit has existed from eternity past .Like the Father and the Son, He has no beginning and will have no end. In the Old Testament, He temporarily enabled individuals for a special purpose .But in the New Testament, He permanently indwells every Christian. Jesus told His disciples He was going to send the Comforter, or Counselor (the Holy Spirit) after He returned to the Father in heaven. The Spirit’s role was to remind the disciples of Jesus’ teaching, equip them with spiritual gifts, and guide them in their ministry. On the day of Pentecost, after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit was sent from heaven and came upon a large group of disciples. In a sermon he delivered that day, Peter told the Jews to repent and they, too, would receive the gift of the Spirit From that day forward (the birth date of the church, the body of Christ) every true believer in Christ has received the gift of the Spirit when he or she believes and is born again.
  3. What is the Holy Spirit’s purpose? The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to glorify Christ by pointing people to Him and equipping His followers to continue Christ’s work on earth in His absence. That equipping is through spiritual gifts and spiritual fruit .Jesus said, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me”.
  4. How does the Holy Spirit work in the believer? He guides, comforts and sanctifies (makes us holy). Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would teach and remind them of all He had taught them (resulting in their writing the Bible). The Spirit would also testify within believers as to the truth about Jesus . When we come to the Word of God, as believers, our minds are illumined as to who Jesus is. We come to an understanding of truth . We are no longer reading a history book, we are taking in the Word of God. When we go through hard times, He comforts us as we read the truth and as other believers remind us of what the truth is. We are reminded of God’s presence and His promises. Through the Word and prayer, the Spirit also sanctifies us. He enables us to live godly lives as He produces fruit by changing our character . He assists us in our prayers . He empowers us for service through gifts to build up the body of Christ (believers). Our body is His temple and He is a constant source of inner strength. We draw upon the Holy Spirit, as we walk with Him each day. As we pray, confess, and read God’s word, we renew our minds, we are transformed, and we are empowered (filled) with His presence . (The process of sanctification [increasing holiness] is beautifully described in Romans 8.) How do we know all this to be true? Because Jesus promised it . Just as we are saved by faith, we walk by faith . Faith is the key to releasing the power of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian should be able to look back on his or her life and recognize new desires, new friends, a new hope—a new person emerging. The Holy Spirit is the active agent in every area of the Christian life.
  5. What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? In His humanity, Jesus Christ was anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit . The way followers of Christ progress toward holiness (Christ-likeness) is by that same Spirit manifesting the character of Christ in and through us. Paul lists nine characteristics of a person who is “led by the Spirit:” love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control . This is not a finite list, rather a list of contrasting character traits to the person who is controlled by the flesh instead of the Spirit.
  6. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Just as the Spirit manifests the character of Christ through the fruit of the Spirit, so He continues the work of Christ by giving Christians special abilities to minister to one another. Spiritual gifts are manifestations of the grace of God given to believers according to the discretion of the Spirit . The are not natural talents or skills, but are supernatural empowerments given to build up the body of Christ to maturity. Every believer has received one or more spiritual gifts and is responsible to use them as a good steward of the grace of God. Spiritual gifts are mentioned in four passages in the New Testament: Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:7-14, 1 Peter 4:10-11.
  7. How are believers empowered by the Holy Spirit? Because the Holy Spirit is God, He is holy and sin is an affront to His nature . Our lives are a vessel through which the Holy Spirit ministers in the world and they must be kept pure. We are commanded to remain filled with (empowered by) the Spirit which we do by confessing all known sin and yielding to His direction. Our sin will not cause the Spirit to leave us, but it does short-circuit the power of the Spirit in our lives.
  8. How does He work in the life of the unbeliever? The Holy Spirit convicts the believer of his sins and the unbeliever of his unbelief. The word “convicts” means He exposes or reveals the verdict; He brings to light sin in the Christian’s life and unbelief in the non-Christian. The Christian is convicted of the need to stop sinning and the non-Christian is convicted of the need for Christ. In both cases, conviction leads to repentance. Conviction for the unbeliever works something like this: A man is driving along the road of life and passes a person standing at an intersection waving a flag for him to turn. The man ignores the warning and continues driving until he encounters another person doing the same thing at the next intersection. He continues driving, finding the road getting darker and rougher. He begins to sense he is lost. When he passes yet another person motioning for him to turn in, he does. Suddenly he finds himself on a brighter road with clearer directions. Out of gratitude, the driver joins those on the road waving the flags trying to convince others to turn in and be saved. Conversion to Christ flows out of conviction, and conviction is the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the unbeliever.
  9. How does the Holy Spirit work in the world? The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit because of its unbelief, but it can see what He does in the life of believers . As believers we are members of Christ’s body, the church, and the Holy Spirit came to empower the hcurch to witness to Jesus Christ. The world will not read the Bible so they must read our lives. So the Holy Spirit works through the church in reaching the lost world. But not everyone responds to the witness of the Spirit of Christ. For the scriptures remind us that the Holy Spirit is like the wind—we don’t know “where it comes from or where it is going”. But just as we can see the affects of the wind, we can see the affects of the Holy Spirit presense when He appears in people’s lives.
  10. What is the best way to witness? The best way to witness for Christ is to be more concerned about our own faith than the lack of it in someone else’s life. By spending time in God’s presence daily we become more like Christ; more yielded and filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are following the Spirit’s guidance, He will lead us into opportunities in which Christ’s love and light will flow through us to another person who doesn’t know Him. We should pray for God to open doors and provide settings in which a person hungry for spiritual life (prepared by the Spirit) is ready to receive what Christ might give him through us at that moment. It may be just a seed, or it may be water on a seed planted earlier. Or we may have the privilege of seeing the harvest as a person steps out in faith to embrace Christ. Someone once said that being an effective witness for Christ means sharing Christ’s love and in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results up to God. In that spirit, the best way to prepare to be a witness for Christ is getting to know Him better and being guided and empowered by the Spirit on a moment by moment basis. The more faithful we are to Him, the more clearly others can see Him through our lives.

The Power of God's Word

by Nancy McGuirk

Not long ago I heard some women talking about the different books they were reading in their book club. I felt a little out of touch, like I was missing out on something. As I drove home, it dawned on me—I am in the greatest book club ever! As a member of a Bible study, I am reading a book that is more powerful than any other book ever written.
The Bible doesn’t just inform or make us think. It transforms us! It’s alive. As Hebrews 4:12 says, the Word of God is alive and active. Not only does it tell us what to do, but we have a power to help us understand how to apply it. First Thessalonians 1:4 says, “For we know, brothers loved by God that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.”

The Holy Spirit gives us understanding and power.
When I read the many promises in the Bible where God says He will act on our behalf if we obey Him in some manner, it gives me confidence. I know that if I do what God asks of me, He has promised a certain result: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6); “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

That understanding gives me confidence to take on enormous goals. God’s Word activates my faith. Maybe that’s how some of you feel when you begin a Bible study. Perhaps you’re not confident about your ability to stick with it or to benefit from it the way you should. I’ll let you in on something: Most of us are scared, not only about this, but about a lot of things! We’re afraid to take risks, afraid of failure, afraid of missing out on something. But to the degree we’re not walking confidently in Christ, to that degree we are not walking as women of faith. How do we become women of faith? Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to train the child of God. We have to be students of the message, not just hearers of it.

If there was ever an example of a student of the Word and a man of faith, it would be Billy Graham. I went to a writer’s conference this summer where Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind series, was the speaker. He talked about what it was like to interview Reverend Graham when he assisted the great preacher in writing his autobiography Just As I Am.

Jenkins said he went into Reverend Graham’s office and a Bible was open on a stool. As they talked about prayer, Billy Graham said he prayed all day. Jerry said, “Really?” Graham said, “Yes. In fact, I am praying now that I will answer you properly.” Jerry pointed to the Bible and asked “How often do you read that”? Graham said, “Every day and throughout the day.” You see most of us talk about the importance of praying without ceasing and renewing our minds with Gods Word, but Billy Graham actually does it (Romans 12:2).

We say we believe the Word of God is powerful. But do we really act like it? God invites us: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). Who will He tell us these things? Again the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to train the child of God.

How does one know if they have the Spirit of God? If you believe in your heart Christ is your Lord and Savior and have confessed this with your mouth, you will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

How do we know this? By faith!

Thirty years ago a man shared God’s Word with me and said God wanted a relationship with me and my life was forever changed. Through God’s Word I learned I was loved just as I was and I did not have to earn my way to God’s approval. That was mind-blowing.

To be reminded each day that you are loved unconditionally just as you are is food for the soul. It changes your outlook. And your love begins to overflow to others so they can know Christ as well.

Over the years I have watched lives transformed by God’s Word. It encourages us, builds our character, shapes our marriages, refines our parenting, gives a new approach to money, and changes our outlook in the midst of tragedy. Most importantly, though, the Spirit uses the Word to draw people—not just to the message, but to the Messenger Himself, Jesus.

I was cleaning my office this summer and found some old letters. I picked up one letter and began reading the words on the second page, thinking what sweet and wonderful words these were. Then I turned to the first page and saw it was addressed to me—it was from my father! That changed everything. This letter was personal! That’s what happens to us when the Holy Spirit is at work in us. The Bible becomes personal.

Why is it that for some people this is just another history book, whereas for us, it’s the very Word of God? Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 1:4 again: “For we know, brothers loved by God that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.”

God has given the Holy Spirit the job of helping us understand His Word and make the scriptures come alive to us. Spiritual truth cannot be perceived with our natural minds. The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to train the child of God.

This principle Paul gives all Christians: the Spirit reveals truth about God. We don't figure it out ourselves. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:13, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.”

We have a choice of how to live our life; we can be women of the Word or women of the world. As a woman of the Word, your heart’s desire is to allow your life to be shaped, not by just any book, but by what God says.

As you pray for His guidance and the filling of His Holy Spirit in your heart, powerful things take place. Grace abounds. Miracles happen. And lives are transformed.

That’s the power of God’s Word.

My New Life In Christ Curriculum

Nancy McGuirk, Author
My New Life in Christ surveys the foundational areas of Christian discipleship and is written for the person who understands who her Savior is, but has not yet understood how to fully develop her walk with Christ. The eight chapters in this book include Living a Life in the Spirit, Living a Life in the Word, Living a Life of Freedom, Living a Life of Prayer, Living a Life that’s Different, Living a Life of Service, Living a Life of Community, and Living a Life of Joy. Each chapter provides scriptures to research as well as biblical stories for review. Each chapter is also broken into four parts: Introduction, Bible Study, Application, and Implementation.

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