I didn’t grow up as a Christian. I had an idea of who Jesus was and understood somewhat that he died for my sins, but that was about it… Be a good person, do to others what you would have them do to you kind of stuff. But actually knowing Jesus and how to “hear” from God. yeah.. not so much.
My conversion to Christ came out of despair and relationship. 1. I was a drug/alcohol abuser and was heading down a slippery slope while serving in the military. I had many “friends” who were getting busted all around me for drugs. I got scared. 2. I started spending time with someone in my company who was a Christian. Long story short, his investment of time in my life produced incredible spiritual capitol. My life was changed forever. But it had to start somewhere. The big thing for me was… Okay. I’m a Christian… Now what??
So, where does one get started in the Christian life? How can we grow and get to know God better? These were some of the very first questions I asked myself as I began my relationship with God. Maybe they’re similar to the ones you’ve been thinking about. I knew so little about the things of God that I had a hard time even trying to explain what I was trying to understand! I was afforded some great opportunity when I first got “saved” (that’s a church word used for someone who has given their life to Christ). I now just like to say I am a follower of Christ… I may not be a perfect one, but I am a living one! Here are a few things I learned that got me started almost 30 years ago and I hope they can/will be helpful for you as well.
So, the first step: What is God saying to me?
Listening to God
2 Timothy 3:16 says,
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
That is why we need to spend time reading the Bible every day. If we want to hear from someone, you have to be in the same room (okay, phones etc. you get the point). If you don’t have a Bible that’s easy to understand, there are SO MANY OPTIONS. It can be confusing to know where to go and what to get. I like to recommend THE BIBLE APP They have so many different translations (that is people who have translated from one language to another and there are a few different places/professors/scholars who have done that). Some suggested translations I’d start with are English Standard Version, The New Living Version or The Message. Begin with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. (This Book, sometimes referred to simply as “John”, is the fourth book in the New Testament, near the beginning, not to be confused with 1 John, 2 John and 3 John, found at the end of the New Testament.) Use a journal or pad of paper to write down things that are sticking out to you. Answer these two questions for each chapter: What is the one thing that stuck out to me the most and what am I going to do about it? This will help you in the “hearing” part I talked about earlier. How awesome will it be to actually read something about and from God and be able to say you heard him speak directly to you!!!
When we read the Bible we learn how loved we are by God.
1 John 3:1 (The Message) What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.
We learn that we are entirely new people because we’ve invited Jesus to be our Savior (I like to think of the word Hero to really make it hit home) and Lord (meaning what he says goes!). Check out Ephesians 1:3-14 (The Message) and spend a moment listing all the things that are true of you as a Christian. Amazing, isn’t it?
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
2. Living In Community
his is simply called fellowship, hanging out with other people who love Jesus. It is for purposes of growing together (Acts 2:46-47). Many of us will need to make new friendships and learn how to have fun in different sorts of ways. By spending time with believers, our behaviors begin to change and we learn what older believers look and act like (discipleship).
#GodsGotThis Movement started as one man’s quest for hope in what seemed to be a hopeless situation. Matt Crump was diagnosed with Melanoma cancer in 2011 and after 2 surgeries removing large areas on his back and some lymph nodes, he was pronounced cancer free!! Then…
In 2015, while leading worship at church, Matt began coughing up blood. After going to a local urgent care he was treated for pneumonia. One week after the symptoms did not disappear, he visited his friend who was a PA at the clinic when he said what no one wants to hear… “Matt.. I think you need to call Duke back.” His hunch was correct, the cancer was back, only this time, Matt was at Stage 4 cancer. A tumor in his lung and a tumor in his adrenal gland was found……
Founder Matt Crump Ministries Inc and #GodsGotThis
THE LORD HIMSELF WILL FIGHT FOR YOU. JUST STAY CALM
EXODUS 14:14 NLT
There is hope and there is a way…. Trust
Matt was quickly put into a treatment called Immunotherapy. 2 months after treatment started, Matt came home one evening and gathered in the bedroom with his wife Robin and two children, Mikayla and Gehrum for their evening talk and prayer.. The only problem is Matt didn’t remember any of it. The next day he began getting headaches and another time where he blacked out. After being advised to go to the emergency room by his Duke doctors, they found a bleeding tumor on his brain and in 48 hours he was on an operating table for brain surgery. Matt has since been through other treatment plans, clinical trials and radiation, all of which still did not get all the remaining tumors.
Matt and Robin decided and agreed with his oncologist against a toxic combination drug to try to get the remaining 3 areas around his adrenal gland that are always threatening to his life. This was a treatment option where the odds are not very good. Still, this cancer can violently spread through his body and take his life easily. Now the wild place is finding yourself in a situation where the next available treatment itself can harm your body.
Matt’s friend Barry, introduced the quote “God’s Got This” to him one day in a car ride which really stuck and he has been using #GodsGotThis as more than just a phrase or an encouraging word ever since. It is a beacon of hope. It’s also a challenge to abandon his ways or thoughts and trust that if God said He will fight for you… HE WILL!
#GodsGotThis movement is a place of commitment, challenge, encouragement and hope. It’s a place in your heart, your gut and your very soul that says even if all odds are against me, I will FOREVER trust and believe…
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