What God Wants You to Do - Part 1

READ THE BIBLE

Now that you’re a Christian, you probably want to know God’s will for your life. It’s only natural, because now you are living for God, and not for yourself. Even though people tend to worry about finding God’s will, it doesn’t have to be that way—because finding God’s will isn’t that difficult.

We’re not talking about the specific things in your life—such as what kind of career you should pursue, or who you should marry, or where you should live. While these are important matters (and they matter to God), they aren’t at the heart of what God wants you to do. In fact, living in the center of God’s will for your life begins with God doing a work in your life:

We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what he wants to do in your lives, and we ask him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better (Colossians 1:9,10).

Do you see how this works? God is ready to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your life. He wants to make you wise. But God won’t force Himself on you. It’s up to you to please God by getting to know Him better and better. And the way to do that is to read and study His Word, learn how to talk with God through prayer, and regularly gather with other believers in church. If you do that, you’re going to be in the center of God’s will, because you will be doing what He wants you to do.

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New Believers Part 3 - You Have an Inside Source

If you are like most new Christians, you’re probably wishing you had some kind of guide or mentor to help explain the intricacies of Christianity. Actually, clarifying the intricacies would be a luxury that can wait; you probably feel that you’ve got a more pressing and immediate need for help with some of the basics:

• You want to please God, but how do you know what that entails?
• You want to read the Bible, but you aren’t sure that you can make sense of it.
• You guess that you should be praying, but that puts you in unfamiliar territory.

Is it unrealistic to think that you – as a novice – can survive the Christian life without constant counseling by a spiritual advisor?

We’ve got good news and bad news for you in this regard. First, the bad news: Yes, it is unrealistic to think that you can hack it as Christian without intense guidance. But now, the good news: God has made arrangements for your personal spiritual tutor. And better news: This spiritual mentor is not just some seminary geek who is fluent in ancient Hebrew and has a complete set of Disciple trading cards. Your personal spiritual counselor is none other than God Himself – in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

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New Believers, Part 2 - Your New Life in Christ

It’s no small thing to be called a “Christian.” As a Christian, you are someone who has personally surrendered your life to Christ. It means you have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord:

• As your Savior, Jesus has literally saved you from eternal death and separation from God;
• As your Lord, Jesus now rules and reigns in your life.

We’re going to look more carefully at what the saving life of Jesus and the lordship of Jesus really means. But first, let’s consider who Jesus is.

Who Is Jesus?
Have you ever wondered what God would look like? Is it difficult for you to get a mental picture of Him? God knew that we mere mortals would have a difficult time conceptualizing a Spirit (that’s what God is—see John 4:24), so He sent His only Son, Jesus, to be a tangible, visible presence of God on earth. That’s the explanation the apostle Paul used when he described Jesus Christ:

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).

Jesus was God in human form. The word used to describe this is the incarnation. It literally means taking or being flesh. The Gospel of John says it this way:

So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us (John 1:14).

There are two very important things to know about Jesus: He was fully human and He was fully God.

  • Jesus was fully human. In His humanity, Jesus had a human body, mind, soul, and emotions. He was so human that those who were closest to him didn’t think of him as anything else. Yet even though He experienced all of our frailties, including temptation, Jesus never sinned. This gives us tremendous hope and comfort, because we have a Savior who faced the same situations as we face, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15-16).
  • Jesus was fully God. The New Testament contains extensive proof for the deity of Christ. The words theos (God) and kyrios (Lord) are used to refer to Christ. Jesus Himself made many claims to his deity (see John 8:58 and Revelation 22:13), and the New Testament writers also referred to Him as God (John 1:1). In addition, there was ample physical evidence. Jesus had control over nature (Matthew 8:23-27), He forgave sins (Mark 2:1-12), and in the ultimate demonstration, He was resurrected after dying on the cross. This gives us tremendous assurance, because we have a Savior who can actually save us!
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New Believers, Part 1 - God Has Saved You Forever

So, you’ve made the choice to be a follower of Jesus Christ. That is an awesome decision; one that you will never regret. But we know that the initial stages of your new life as a Christian can be a bit intimidating. You may be thinking:
• What do I do next, and how do I learn more?
• Will my personality change?
• Are there rules and regulations?
• What have I gotten myself into?
We know that you might be vacillating between excitement, hesitation and curiosity.

Well, you can start by taking a deep breath and relaxing. The process of growing as a Christian is a simple as getting to know someone who will become your best friend. In fact, it is easier than that because Jesus Christ is already in love with you, and He has been all along, even before you made the decision to follow Him.

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One-Third of the World is Christian. So What?

The International Bulletin of Missionary Research has released some fascinating data about the number of people in the world who identify themselves with the major religions. Of the nearly 6.7 billion people in the world--

  • 2.23 billion are Christian
  • 1.4 billion are Muslim
  • 888 million are Hindu
  • 391 million are Buddhist
  • 15 million are Jewish

Of the 2.23 billion Christians--

  • 1.13 billion identify themselves as Roman Catholic
  • 423 million are Independents
  • 387 million are Protestants
  • 253 million are Orthodox and other

As for where Christians live--

  • 556 million are in Europe
  • 530 million are in Latin America
  • 424 million are in Africa
  • 355 million are in Asia
  • 220 million are in North America
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Learn about the Holy Spirit




Bruce and Stan talk with Walter Russell, the Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, about the Holy Spirit.

The Real Jesus..




In this engaging interview with Bruce & Stan, Dr. John Mark Reynolds talks about Jesus being a real person, not just an idea.

Created to Be Good




Dr. J.P. Moreland tells Bruce & Stan that although humanity is sinful, it bears God's divine imprint and humans were created to be good.

Will eBooks Catch On?

So here's the big question: Is it possible to curl up in your favorite chair with a computer and read a book or newspaper? Most people would say no. In this era of ubiquitous computers--most households have several, if you count mobile phones and iPods--the one computer device that hasn't yet caught on is the eBook reader. There have been various iterations, incuding a really nice one from Sony, but so far nothing has captured the imagination of the average book or newspaper reader. People haven't embraced the notion of reading large amounts of text on a computer screen.

Now Amazon, the 800-pound gorilla of book retailers, has entered the compeition with "Kindle," a book and newspaper reader geared to people "on the go." According to analysts, the launch has been delayed for more than a year so that Amazon could build the world's biggest eBook library. In addition, the Seattle-based company has been busy forging agreements with more than 50 newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

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Christianity 101 is in Iraq!

The Christianity 101 books have found their way around the world to such places as England, Australia, the Phillippines...and Iraq! We got an email from a soldier stationed there. His wife had sent him a few of the books, including "Bible Answers to Life's Big Questions. " We will post more pictures from this great guy and his family in the days ahead, and we will tell you a little of their story.

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About
Christianity 101 is a collection of books and digital resources by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz that talk about God in a way that encourages people to grow in their faith.


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