Grace For The Journey
Yesterday we began a four-part study on how the Gospel leads us to change our lives, or more specifically, the principles we can learn and live by that will lead to real, substantial, and God-glorifying change. We began with the realization that . . .
Knowing what changes to make is not enough.
We also need to know how to make them.
Change does not come easily. The Bible provides all the truth and guidance and the Holy Spirit provides all the power we need to live as God wants us to. Yesterday we looked at the first three principles: (1) Change Your Purpose In Line; (2) Believe You Can Change With Gods Help; and (3) Study The Bible about Your Habit. Over the next three days, we will look at nine (9) more specific, practical truths the Bible teaches us about that will lead to real, substantial, and God-glorifying change. God’s Word is the best source of guidance for living as we ought.
Today, let’s look at principles 4 – 6:
Principle 4: Repent of Sin.
The Bible teaches in Acts 8:22 that sin requires repentance. Repentance is a change of mind – a determined commitment to cease sin and obey God (see Matthew 21:28,29; Acts 17:30; 11:23). Before you can change your conduct, you must change your mind.
The Bible teaches in Proverbs 28:13 that we are not to cover up our sin, deny it, excuse it, or blame someone else. We are to admit the sin and be truly sorry (2 Corinthians 7:10). But sorrow is not enough. We have truly repented only when we are so sorry that we determine to change our conduct.
Most other achievements in life
Require about 10% ability and 90% just plain
Determination and hard work.
In spiritual matters, every accountable person
Has the ability to please God; so changing to please God
Is 100% determined by our choice.
God has provided everything we need.
The decision is ours.
We will never change until we make up our minds to pursue the means God provides for us. The decision to do this is repentance, and no one will change to please God without it.
Principle 5: Develop a Plan of Action.
The Bible teaches in Proverbs 14:22 that we must devise to do good, not evil.
God’s example demonstrates the importance of planning.
He purposed man’s redemption (Romans 8:28),
The Temple (Hebrews 8:5);
The church (Ephesians 3:10,11) (cf. Genesis 12:1-7).
Likewise, God’s servants need to have a plan to succeed in His service (Daniel 1:8; Psalm 17:3; Luke 14:26-33; Acts 11:23; 2 Corinthians 9:7).
In what other important endeavors will we succeed without a plan? Consider the forethought needed to build a house, run a business or a household, program a computer, etc. Worthwhile activities, to be successful, need planning.
Likewise, to change your life,
You need a specific, practical checklist of steps
You will take to change.
Analyze the circumstances or causes
That lead you to fail to do right,
Then plan how to avoid those causes.
It may help to write your plan down and modify it as needed. This plan will include some specific points we are studying plus other points that fit your specific problem.
Many people fail to change to please God because they never planned to succeed. They did not plan to fail, but they failed to plan!
Principle 6: Pray Regularly.
Prayer is essential in two ways:
A child of God should pray for forgiveness.
If you are not yet a child of God, you need to believe in Jesus, repent of sins, confess Christ, ask Him to forgive you of your sin, and come into your life to be your Savior and Lord (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9,10; Acts 2:38; 22:16). When you have done those things, you become a child of God (Galatians 3:26,27; Romans 6:3,4; 1 Peter 1:22,23). When you sin afterward, you need to pray for forgiveness (Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 6:12; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:8-10).
A child of God should pray for God’s help.
The Bible teaches us in Matthew 6:13 that we are to ask God to “deliver us from evil” (cf. Matthew. 26:41). Tell God exactly what your problem is. Pray often and regularly (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Col. 4:2). Pray especially at the moment when you face temptation (Matthew 26:36-46).
God has promised that, if you ask His help, He will hear and answer (Ephesians 6:11, 13, 18; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7).
By using the means God provides, you can change to be what He wants. He gives motivation, guidance, and encouragement. All that is left is for you to determine to follow His will and then diligently act on that decision. He provides the tools. You must use them. What choice will you make?
Tomorrow we will look at three more Biblical principles we can learn and live by that will lead to real, substantial, and God-glorifying change.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”