First, the Faith
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” - (Ephesians 2:8–9 NIV)
Thoughts for Today
The Christian walk must begin with faith. Faith that we have sinned and are subject to the punishment of death (Romans 6:23). Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Faith in his death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Faith in his resurrection. Faith to invite him to be our personal Lord and Savior.
This is a time of repentance. Merriam-Webster defines repentance as “the act or process of repenting: specifically: contrition for one’s sins together with the dedication of oneself to the abandonment of unworthy purposes and values and to the amendment of one’s life.” As we come to Jesus, we must be sorry for our sins and ready to turn from them.
We cannot earn forgiveness. We cannot earn our way to heaven. We cannot earn a relationship with God. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way. When we come to him in repentance and faith, we are forgiven. We belong to Jesus. And then we begin our walk with him.
Consider this …
As we begin the walk, we need to abandon our sins. To walk out our repentance. Does that mean we will never sin again? No. But it does mean that out of love and devotion to Christ, we will want to live a life that pleases him. And it does mean that when we misstep, we can immediately come to Jesus for forgiveness.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9 NLT)
The Bible encourages us to deal with everything that may cause us to sin, every weight that may slow us down and prevent us from living the abundant life Jesus has made possible for us.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. (Hebrews 12:1 NLT)
The good news is that we don’t have to do this alone.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
Lord, thank you that Jesus paid the penalty for my sins. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for the promise of eternity in heaven with you. I pray my walk will please you. Help me overcome any wrong within me, any habit or attitude or anything else that displeases you. In Jesus’ name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Stepping into Freedom: A Christ-Centered Twelve-Step Program by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This twelve-step program is suggested for use in support groups, recovery groups and home groups. It offers help for anyone struggling with a life-controlling problem like drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual addiction, gambling or workaholism. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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