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How To Enter The Magnificent Christian Life
Make no mistake about it, the Christian life is magnificent. If that’s not your experience, it can be. If you’re already a believer in Christ, I’d encourage you to follow my blog as we discover together the riches we have in Christ.
If you’re not yet a Christian—if you’ve never invited Christ into your life—that’s the first order of business. So, let’s begin by addressing one question some people ask: “Where does the Bible promise this magnificent life you speak about?”
The answer is in many places, though the word “magnificent” is my adjective of choice to describe it. Other words might include “joyful,” “happy,” “adventurous”…the list is endless.
In John 7:37-38 Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” That was one of the verses that drew me to Christ many years ago.
A reference to living water is also found earlier in the gospel of John when Jesus met a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. He told her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14). The life of God in a Christian believer is very much like a fountain pouring forth waters of joy.
In Matthew 13:45-46 Jesus described finding the kingdom of God this way:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field…[or] like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Becoming a Christian is just like that! When you discover the life Christ has for you, you are willing to give up everything in order to enjoy the pleasures of His kingdom. One rich young man was invited to follow Christ, but when he found out the high cost, “he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Matthew 16:21-22). He never knew that the rewards for following Jesus, in both this life and beyond the grave, far outweigh the cost.
Another great promise from Jesus to those who would follow Him is found in John 10:10. This was another of the verses that drew me to Christ.
“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.”
The Christian life is an abundant life. I’ve found it to be so and so have millions of others down through the centuries, starting with the early Christians, some of whom wrote the epistles that make up much of the New Testament. Let’s see what their experience of the Christian life was like. (To save time and space, I’m only offering one many possible quotes about the joyful magnificent Christian life. If you want to discover more great verses, go here [add link to http://www.biblegateway.com/] and do a word search on happiness, joy, peace, and the love of God).
In Acts 13:52, in the face of persecution, we read the early disciples were “were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Paul: In closing his epistle to the Romans, he wrote “may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Paul really was the master at defining the Christian life as one of happiness and joy. He wrote much about the magnificent Christian life.
Peter: “Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8-9).” Wow. Joy inexpressible, anyone?
John: “These things we write to you that your joy may be full” (1 John 1:4).
With all this talk about joy and “magnificence,” some may wonder if that means that as a Christian you’ll escape adversity, trials, temptations, and persecutions? No, not at all….Christians still face all those things, but in the midst of it all, God holds them up. He will strengthen you in your trials too.
To experience God’s love, to possess His joy….in order to become part of God’s family, Jesus said you must be born again. That conversion experience of being born again is the gateway to the magnificent Christian life. Once you are born again, the apostle Paul says you have become a “new creation” and that old things have passed away (2 Corinthians 5:17).
So for the rest of this article we’re going to discuss how a person is “born again.”
First, you need to realize that no one is physically born a Christian. Becoming a Christian is a decision you and only you can make. Your spouse, your parents, your friends—none of these can do anything that will result in you becoming a Christian. Even as you make that decision, you may become aware that all along God has been preparing you for this moment by drawing you to Himself. Jesus said that “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44).
The question is: Are you being drawn to God? Are you spiritually hungry?
You’re here. You’re reading this page, so hopefully that demonstrates some level of attraction on your part to Christ.
Jesus tells us in John 1:12… “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…” Becoming a Christian—becoming a child of God—only happens when a person “receives” Christ into their life in a moment of time and are “born again.” Born again to a brand new magnificent, miraculous, and overcoming life—freely given to all who come to Christ.
That can be you…and it can be you in the next five minutes.
First, a warning. Many seemingly interested people respond to Christ’s invitation only half-heartedly. Jesus told a parable about these people:
“Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 3:3-9).
When the disciples asked Jesus about the parable, He explained:
“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:19-23).
Before we go further, I want you to consider what kind of ground you are. Are you the good soil? Will the Word of God find a home in your heart? Or will riches, worries of this world, or other distractions lure you away?
Think about it. This is serious stuff. God directs His love toward you. Fully. Your response must be a full response. Consider carefully your future both without Christ and with Christ. I admit it’s always been hard for me to fathom anyone rejecting this life-changing and literally miraculous encounter with God. Why would anyone choose to reject the most powerful love imaginable—a love that originates from God Himself and is fully directed at them? At you.
But the truth is some people do say no to Christ. Only eternity may reveal the reasons for their rejection. But right now, you are on living on this side of eternity…and my prayer is that you’re ready to discover some of the many joys of the magnificent Christian life.
Is there any good reason why you shouldn’t enter into the magnificent Christian life right now? You can, you know. God’s invitation to you is for now.
If you’re ready to enter in, here’s what I want you to do:
First, acknowledge your need for Christ. If you think you have no need of Christ, then you’re not ready. Come back to this website when you’re truly hungry for the life Christ offers.
In admitting your need, you’re saying goodbye to your old life and welcoming the new life Christ offers. You are turning away from self, from your known sins, obtaining forgiveness, and turning toward God. (If you don’t know what your sins are, ask God to show you your sinfulness. He will.) You are committing yourself entirely to Christ. Not part way, not three-quarters of the way, but all the way. Yes, it’s a huge commitment. That’s why it’s so life-changing. So magnificent.
I’m going to offer a suggested way of praying to receive Christ, though feel free to pray in your own words. Tell it all to God. He’ll listen. Take as long (or short) as necessary. If possible, pray out loud.
God, thank you for creating me—for giving me this life. Thank you even more for creating this spiritual hunger in me that has drawn me to this minute. God, the void in my life is dulling me to all I believe you have for me. Please forgive my sins, make me clean in your sight through the blood of Jesus Christ, fill me with your Holy Spirit, and set me on the road to my future with You. In short, I’m yours, Lord. Save me from my sins, myself, and the circumstances that have resulted from going my own way. Give me a destiny, God. A destiny rooted in you.
Thank you God for hearing my prayer. Thank you for entering me into the magnificent Christian life.
Praise you, Father!
If you prayed that prayer or something like it, you need to know that God heard your prayer and He has answered it. In Acts we read “all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you prayed in sincerity, God took you at your word. Now you take Him at His word when He says “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). You prayed. You are His now. He will not cast you away. Period. God doesn’t lie. When a person asks to be born again, to be forgiven of his or her sins, God must answer such a prayer. He must because for Him not to answer it would mean God is capable of lying—and that is against His very character.
God has invited you to Himself. You have responded in prayer. God has followed through. It’s very important that you believe what God has said about this, regardless of your feelings. Feelings come and go. We are saved by faith not feeling. Simply believe and be saved.
When you prayed that prayer in sincerity, several things became true of you that were not true before you invited Christ into your life.
All your sins are forgiven. No matter what they were….they are gone. So is the penalty for your sins—an eternity separated from God. An eternity in hell.
You are assured of heaven when you leave this earth through death. That too is a promise from God that cannot be broken.
You now have the Holy Spirit residing in you. He will lead and guide you into the many magnificent aspects of the Christian life. Buckle your seatbelt! For a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work in you, pick up a copy of His Victorious Indwelling. The daily devotions in that book are meaty and may take some time….but are well worth the effort.
You are no longer your own. You belong to Christ. You were “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 7:23). The Holy Spirit will remind you of this often.
You have been given spiritual gifts to help you grow and to help others. As you discover God’s calling for your life (and you DO have one), you will be shown how to use those gifts.
You are now a part of the church. The word “church” means “called out ones.” You have been called out of the “world” and into God’s church. And as part of God’s church, you will want to fellowship often with your new brothers and sisters. Ask God to lead you to the right church. This will be a fellowship where the Bible is believed and taught. Don’t settle for a compromising church. That will set you back spiritually.
You have God’s ear through prayer. Pray whenever you can, whenever you want. Be honest with God. Tell Him your needs and your problems. But don’t make your prayer sessions a whine-fest or a grumble party. As you pray, learn to praise and thank God. Spend much time in praise, by simply thanking Him for loving you, saving you, and giving Himself to you. You might be helped in your prayer life by the daily devotional Magnificent Prayer.
You have been given a book full of promises in God’s Word, the Bible. Get a good Bible in a translation you can understand. Perhaps the New International Version, the New King James Version, the New American Standard Version or the English Standard Version. Start with the book of John in the New Testament and perhaps the Psalms in the Old Testament. Feel free to mark up your Bible as you read. Underline a promise from God when you see one. Be sure to note if the promise is conditional. You’ll gain help in understanding the promises in the Bible through the book Power in the Promises.
You will quickly discover a strong dislike for some of the very things you thought you loved. Certain habits and thoughts will no longer bring the pleasure they once did. Certain bondages that have held you tight can now be broken. You can be set free in many areas of your life as you grow into full maturity as a Christian.
Before you asked Christ into your life, you were loved by God. Now that you have asked Christ into your life, you are able to experience that love in a way you never could before. It’s understanding and receiving that love—combined with the previous nine points—that will lead you deeper into this new and magnificent life that never ends.
My friend, there is so much to the magnificent Christian life—so much adventure, so much to learn, so much to experience. That’s why I created this site and why I write the books I write—to help you grow. Be sure and stop by the site often. I’ll be blogging on some topics that will help you discover your riches in Christ. Welcome to new life!