ECHO Devotional: Day 1 – Receiving Jesus

Day 1

RECEIVING JESUS

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”   (John 1:12, ESV)

“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true god, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, ESV)

Since launching Anchor Church, we have had a number of mechanical and technical difficulties during our services. Plainly spoken, several things have “gone out”, sometimes right in the middle of worship.  One hot, summer night the air conditioner went out.  No problem, people just sweated and fanned themselves.  One morning the audio went out.  No problem, we kept on singing and carried on without microphones.  One morning, the entire on-screen visuals went out.  We freaked out a bit, but we were prepared to soldier through unplugged.

However, the most disconcerting folly was when one morning the entire lighting system went out.  Something’s different when the lights go out. No one feels comfortable in the dark, especially in the initial moments of going from light to darkness.  For a moment, the room becomes filled with total uncertainty. 

At some point in life, everyone wonders, “who am I, where did everything come from, why am I here and what happens when I die.”  A person must discover AND personally receive the answers to these questions or his life is much like living in the dark.  The lights do not come on regarding life purpose until a person knows God.  Knowing God is the beginning of experiencing light and life becoming full of light.

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness”. (John 12:46, ESV).  

Here are the basics of beginning to know God:

1. I believe in God by faith

 

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1, ESV)

  • “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God,” (Hebrews 11:3, ESV)
  • “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, NIV)

2. I believe Jesus is the son of God

    • “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”  (I John 4:15, NIV)
    • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16, ESV)
    • “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”  (Acts 16:31, ESV)

3. I believe I am a sinner who experiences the consequences of sin and death, and I need help knowing God

“For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23, NKJV)

  • “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23, NKJV)

4. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8, ESV)

  • “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me’.”  (John 14:6, ESV)

5. Jesus saves me through faith in Him, which is trusting His word, ways, and work

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”   (John 1:12, ESV)

  • “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”  (Romans 10:9, ESV)

6. Jesus makes it possible for me to know God

    • “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.”   John 1:12
    • Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the father.”  (John 14:9, ESV)
    • Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.”  (John 10:9)
    • Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6, ESV)

The appropriate response to these basic truths is to open your heart and receive this as the foundational truth of your life.  This is what it means to “receive Jesus”.

“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”   (John 1:12, ESV)

Darkness does not have to be your reality any longer.  You can fully come into the light and walk in the light right now.  Today, take a look at where you are in your journey with God and do a thorough evaluation.  Is He your God and have you received Him? Receive Him today and experience the light of life right now.

HOW CAN I KNOW GOD?

SALVATION

God wants you to surrender to Him.  Surrender the thought processes that drive you down and run your world.  Surrender all of your survival techniques.  Surrender all of your winsome ways.  Lay down all of your charm and posturing of power in the world.  Lay down all of your anxiety, fear, depression, striving, and broken ways.

You can truly experience a fresh start in life.  God’s original plan for your life was for you to live in relationship with him – whole, complete, and at peace knowing Him.  We all chose at some point to turn away, explore, experiment with life, and try things our way according to our natural bent desires and impulses. 

God allowed you to experience the consequence of sin.  The consequence is the death of your Spirit, or the part of you that needs to come alive to KNOW God.  Living life with a body that is in control and a spirit that is dead is called “Lost”.  Being lost is living by a sin driven nature.

God sent Jesus to live a spirit-filled and spirit-led life perfectly.  Jesus succeeded in this.  He taught the world how to live in relationship with God.  He modeled how to Know God.  The religious leaders killed him for changing “The Way” to Know God and for claiming to be God in the flesh.  They didn’t realize that in killing Jesus, the salvation of the world was becoming a reality.

Because Jesus never sinned, his death on the cross wasn’t just a murder event, or mere capital punishment, it was a willing personal sacrifice to God for the sins of the world.  Jesus paid the price for sin.  Jesus took our place.  We deserve death as punishment for sin, but we won’t get what we deserve because Jesus died for us.  He offers eternal life for all who believe in him and receive Him as Lord and as their personal Savior.

If you believe this message or if you want to know more, we encourage you to take your NEXT STEP in your fresh start with God.

PRAYER OF SALVATION

Jesus, I believe in you and I believe that you are the one and only son of God.  Today, I give you my life and receive You as my Lord and my Savior.  Father God, thank you for sending your one and only Son, Jesus to the world to save us, even me.  I have a lot of questions about you and life, but today I choose to receive you as the one and only true God and my personal Savior.  Thank you for forgiving me.  Thank you for giving me eternal life.  Thank you for reaching down and offering hope to me personally.  Lord God, I receive you today.  In Jesus, Name – Amen.

NEXT STEPS

If you believe this message or if you want to know more, we encourage you to take your NEXT STEP in your fresh start with God.

  • Baptism – if you have never been baptized after receiving salvation, go to myanchorchurch.com/baptism and register for baptism today.
  • GROWTH TRACK – register today for Step 1, 2 or 3 in the Growth Track at www.myanchorchurch.com/growthtrack.  Then tell someone about what is happening in your journey to Know God.

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