Proverbs 19 8-19-20

So, you’ve decided to follow Christ. Now what? The first step is taken; what’s the next step? and the next?

2 Desire without knowledge is not good–how much more will hasty feet miss the way!

NOTE: Scriptures in red have links.

We have been forgiven much, so much that we simply cannot fathom His grace. We will spend the rest of our lives–both here on earth and in eternity–delving the depths of His love for us. The best news is that He now lives in You. You are partners with Him from now on. Every thought you have is fused with His thoughts; every motivation you have is fused with His will; the voice you hear is fused with your voice. But, how do we distinguish His voice from our voice? His will from our will? His thought from our thoughts?

The best place to start is understanding where we were before coming to meet Christ.

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. Ephesians 2:1-3 NLV

  1. We were dead spiritually. Jesus told us that we needed to be born again (John 3:3).
  2. We were children of the devil, obeying him. Jesus told the Pharisees (the most religious people in Israel) that their father was the devil (John 8:44).
  3. We followed the passions of our hearts, which were amplified desires (Romans 1:24).
  4. We were children of God’s wrath and anger. God has revealed ours to us (Romans 1:18)  and we, therefore, turned from our sin and sought forgiveness!
  5. THEREFORE, any thought, motivation, or voice that runs along the vein of the old self is us and can be influenced by the Enemy.

The best place to go after such a pitiable start is:

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 NLV

  1. God is rich in mercy, and He loves us so much! Here’s a quote I learned in high school, “I asked Jesus how much He loved me. He said, ‘This much,’ and He stretched out His arms and died.”
  2. He rose from the dead so that we could rise from the dead! He holds the keys to death and hell (Revelation 1:18) and He says that we need not fear death again (John 11:25-26).
  3. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places (don’t ask me to explain this one).
  4. We are examples of His grace and kindness that He shows the world. We attract people to Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).
  5. THEREFORE, we can count on Him reminding us who we are and what we are about. We are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), and righteous in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

May we never forget these words, And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. 1 john 5:11-12 NLV

It’s always good to remember that we have been saved from sin, forgiven and adopted into God’s family; we are being conformed to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29 NIV); one day, He will take us to be with Him (John 14:1-3, John 17:24). Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than that!

Abba (Daddy), You are wonderful! You are amazing! You are inspiring! May I follow closely on the heels of Jesus today. Jesus, guide me with Your counsel (Psalm 73:23-24). Holy Spirit, teach me, rebuke me–it is a kindness! (Psalm 141:5)–correct me and train me in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). My worst day in the woodshed with You, O LORD, is better by far than the best day here on earth with the rich and famous (it’s a lot like fishing and work, i.e. The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work). Lead on; I will follow. Amen.

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