Sometimes I’m asked “why the basics?” Why am I investing my life into helping people get the basics of faith? Why not dive into “deep” topics instead?
Here’s the truth of the matter...without knowing and applying the Bible basics in life, we’re destined to live life on the struggle bus. That’s why it’s the basics...the fundamental truths from God’s Word...that our enemy in life (the devil) works overtime to keep us from learning and putting into practice.
So what are the Bible basics? Are they trivial, non-essential things that are “beneath” us? Nope! They are the starting point...the essentials...fundamentals...they are pivotal, preliminary, quintessential, key, focal, critical, primary, cardinal and foundational. No matter how long we’ve known the Lord or how many times we’ve read our Bibles -- none of us ever “graduates” from the basics. It’s like the very foundation of your home...everything else in life rests upon how solid that basic foundation is, and continues to be!
>>Think about how important the foundation of your house is. The Bible basics are like that...they’re the very foundation for your LIFE!
The Bible basics are things like how to become a Christian...how to know for sure where you’ll spend eternity...how to know Jesus and hear His voice...how to get answers to prayers...how to use your faith to see results...how to be filled with the Holy Spirit...how to reign in life and lots of other basic things!
Let’s make the choice today to not live on the struggle bus! Rather, let’s invest in growing in our faith through hearing what the Word says on each of the fundamental Bible basics. What could our lives look like by next year, if we made an intentional effort to get to know more and more of the Bible basics...and put them into practice?
Here’s one idea...what if you took one Bible basic per month this year and dove into it? Listened to sermons and podcasts about it, read your Bible to find everything you could on that topic, read books by faith-filled authors and sought the Lord for wisdom on how to apply all of that to your life? Saturate your heart with what the Word says about that Bible basic. I have no doubt it would change your life!
How can I be sure of that? Well, the Bible is not some dusty old book...it’s a living, breathing roadmap for life...what a blessing from the Lord! We see this truth in verses like these:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)
The Bible is alive and active...so, even when we read verses we’ve already read before, God will show us layers upon layers of new understanding from those verses and how we can apply it to our lives. And, because the Word always accomplishes and prospers...getting the Word into our hearts is the greatest investment we can make into our lives.
Continuing to grow in the Bible basics is how we get off the struggle bus and take our seat with Christ, to reign in life through the authority He has given us. Let’s get passionate about learning and growing in the basics...make this YOUR year to strengthen the foundation of your life!
Say This: “Father, thank You that as I invest in learning the Bible basics, You help me understand them and build my life upon them. Lord, help me to apply what I learn from Your Word into my life, and thank You for helping to stir up in me the ongoing desire to keep learning and growing as I walk through life with You! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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I know an exciting little secret...when you get the basics of God’s Word, your faith will be strengthened and you'll be equipped to unlock your God-given potential and live a life you feel good about: a life connected to God, a life where you belong and matter to those around you, a life that is full of joy and laughter and a successful life that allows you to makes a generous dent in eternity. This is a life worth living!
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Filtering by Category: Righteousness
Who’s figured out already that becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that the skies are suddenly always blue, the birds are always chirping and the roses are always in full bloom? I remember learning early on in my faith journey that being a believer didn’t mean life got “magically” easier. In that season, it felt like my Christian life was on a perpetual roller coaster -- feeling up one day and down the next. I desired a consistent Christian life, but just didn’t even know if or how that would be possible.
Then one day, while on a roadtrip to Florida with my friend Michelle, God revealed to my heart His desire for my life -- His plan was for my Christian life to be consistent rather than inconsistent, to be victorious rather than defeated, and to be joy-filled and enjoyable too! And friends, God doesn’t play favorites -- what He revealed to me is true for your life too! Here’s what I learned…
It all started with Romans 12:2, which tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (NKJV). So, if transformation happens through the renewal of our minds...then, how do we renew our minds? We learn God’s Word! We replace things we’ve learned, read, been told...or maybe just have no awareness of...with the Truth from the Bible.
>>This is not passive, y’all -- this is active! YOU play a critical role in renewing your mind!
To renew my mind to what God’s Word said about being a victorious, overcoming and joy-filled Christian...I wrote out the following Scriptures and posted them all over the place! On my mirror, in my car, in my kitchen, you name it -- everywhere! -- so I could read them and speak them often. (There’s just something about hearing your own voice declare God’s promises for you in faith that makes it “stick!”) In doing so, the Lord was renewing my mind to what He said about me and the authority He has given me to reign in life, through Jesus Christ.
Here are a few of those Scriptures! I’d love for you to consider printing this out and posting these verses all over the place to read them daily AND say them out loud to renew your mind to these truths!
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” 2 Corinthians 2:14
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
Wow! Can you see how marinating your mind in these Truths will change how you view your life? It’s my genuine and earnest desire that you each come to believe and personally experience every one of those verses -- so grab hold of them today. There’s just nothing better than the victorious, faith-filled, overcomer Christian life -- and God wants it to be YOURS!
Say This: “Father, thank You so much that through Jesus’ sacrifice, I’ve been given the gift of righteousness to reign in life through Christ. Thank You that Your will for my life is that I live a victorious, overcoming, faith-filled Christian life. Thank You that You always lead me in triumph, You’ve made me more than a conqueror, You supply all my needs, and through You nothing is impossible! I believe it and receive it today, and I ask You to help me continue to renew my mind to the Truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
Do you sometimes feel like it’s a struggle to forgive others...and to forgive yourself? Do you have a hard time loving others, or maybe find it tough to love yourself? I’d like to share some basics truths with you today that I believe could help you break free from that struggle.
The secret to breaking free is found in how we frame our life -- what we choose as our central focus. You see, we can choose to view life through one of two basic frameworks for our life...sin consciousness or righteousness consciousness (say that 5 times fast!). Those are some meaty terms, so let’s unpack it a bit and get super practical about what this looks like.
To be primarily sin conscious means the viewpoint you have on your life is that you’re always sinning. Whatever sin happened that day, it gets center-stage in your thoughts -- and your mind uses that to confine your worth and overall perspective of yourself. And let me tell you, the enemy loves it when we dwell in thoughts of sin consciousness...because when you’re focusing on the sin, you can spiral pretty quickly into feeling depressed, unworthy, and like a total failure.
>> Who has been there before? I know I have. That is -- before I got revelation of what I’m about to share with you...
Yes, the Bible says we all have sinned. Romans 3:23 confirms that none of us are perfect in our own efforts: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (NLT). BUT -- that’s not where the story ends! Read on, in Romans 3:24: “Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (NLT).
The only way to NOT live with sin as your central focus is to replace it with something else...God wants us to replace it by focusing on our righteousness through Christ! He wants us to be righteousness conscious. Shifting our focus in this way colors our world with the realization that, through Christ, we are in right-standing with God. We are righteous and perfect in His sight. Not because of anything we’ve done, but completely because of what Jesus did FOR us on the cross. It almost sounds too good to be true -- but it IS true!
Check out these basic truths:
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:7,9 NIV
“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 NKJV
Righteousness, or right-standing with God, is a free gift that Jesus bought for us. All we have to do is accept that gift! Make the choice to focus your daily life on how He sees you -- He looks at you with love in His eyes. He accepts you. He approves of you. You belong. You are His beloved child. Living from that realization makes all the difference!
In order to love others and forgive others -- and to love yourself and forgive yourself -- it’s much, much easier when you live from a place of being righteousness conscious. Your love and forgiveness is a direct reflection of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. It’s not something you have to create or stir up on your own -- just reflect Jesus! Can you picture it?
When the framework through which you view your life is centered on the righteousness (right-standing with God) that Christ bought for us on the cross, it brings a “lightness” to your life -- it puts some pep in your step. It enables you to live full of joy, peace, confidence, assurance and approval. Aren’t those things each of us craves?
Living from the truth that we are righteous through Christ not only builds each of us up in our own lives but helps us walk out this life of love and faith. I encourage you today -- just flip the switch and CHOOSE to live a righteousness conscious life. And remember this: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1 NKJV).
Cheering you on today, my righteous friends!
Say This: “Father, thank You so much for the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and that I am made righteous in Your eyes. Lord, my heart’s desire is to put You first and follow Your ways, and I thank You that You forgive my sins. Help me to see myself the way You do -- righteous through Christ. Help me to reject any thoughts that are contrary to that truth. And, from this new perspective, help me to love others and myself more fully as a reflection of Your love and forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
“A faithful man will abound with blessings...” Proverbs 28:20, NKJV
To abound in something means that you’re swimming in it, you’re overcome by it and you’ve got more of it than you need. Swimming in an abundance of blessings sure sounds good to me - how about you?
Notice that it’s not just any person who gets to enjoy a life like that - specifically, it’s faithful people! So, what does a faithful person look like? The simple answer is this - a faithful person is someone who chooses over and over again to keep their word and do the right thing, even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when it’s inconvenient, and especially when they don’t feel like it.
So, let’s be people who do what we are supposed to do, when it’s supposed to be done. When we make a commitment, let’s stick to it, even when it becomes difficult. Let’s show up to work on time and stay until the job is finished. When we give our word, let’s see it through to completion.
Faithfulness is not a one-hit wonder - it’s something we get to put into practice on a daily basis. Being faithful matters, and it’s always worth it! Ultimately, when we are faithful with our words, actions and time, we put ourselves in a position to fulfill all the plans that God has for us - and we abound in blessings!
Say This: “Father, I want to show myself faithful from the littlest things to the biggest. I choose to be faithful today to my spouse, my kids, my job, my friends, and most of all to be faithful to You. I thank You that a faithful life leads to an abundance of blessings. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV
There is one little word that can change your world, if you let it. The word is "in" and this word has a lot to do with your life! Just like if you were "in" a sleeping bag for the rest of your life, it would change everything for you. Just like if you were "in" your car for the rest of your life, it would change everything about how you lived. We are "in" Christ and this reality changes everything for us!
Renew your mind to the truths listed below. Live like they're true. Pray like they're true. Approach the Lord like they’re true. Talk like they're true. Accept the reality! We are “in" Christ, so these things are true about you:
Jesus made you a new person!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV
Jesus is not condemning you!
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1, NKJV
Jesus sees you as just as righteous as He is!
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV
Jesus has forgiven your sins!
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace…" Ephesians 1:7, NIV
Jesus has made you complete!
"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him…" Colossians 2:9-10, NKJV
Jesus wants you to come to Him with freedom and confidence!
"In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12, NIV
Let's agree with God and who He's made us "in" Christ – instead of living by our failures, feelings, circumstances or experiences. Let's declare that we are "in!"
Say This: "Father, thank You that I am 'in' Christ. You see me 24/7 'in Him.' I declare by faith that I see myself the way You do. I am 'in' Christ! In Christ, I am a new person…the old is gone and the new me is here! In Christ, there is no condemnation. In Christ, I am righteous. In Christ, I am accepted. In Christ, I am holy. In Christ, I am complete. In Christ, I am marked for You. In Christ, I approach You with complete freedom and confidence! My ability to be 'in' Christ has nothing to do with my goodness – it has everything to do with Jesus and His mercy and grace. I receive it. In Jesus' Name. Amen."