I have written previously how blessed I have been having had the experience of being a high school coach, a store manager with hundreds of employees and an investment advisor. What I learned was the importance of self-confidence and common sense. Many people see the glass as being half-empty and fewer see it as half-full. The entrepreneur, manager or leader seems to have above average confidence that they can get whatever the task, done. Successful athletes and leaders are willing to take risks based on past history and experience. They have a passion for what they are doing and they prepare well. Those having accumulated material goods didn’t do it by accident. They made a financial plan and then made sure it was executed. Too many people lack confidence in themselves and live paycheck to paycheck with little planning for the future. This is the normal way the world lives. Is this how you are living?

Having been a Christian for more than 50 years, I have seen many who have accepted Christ as their Savior and then went on to live their lives with little change. As a professing Christian, if you continually lie, cheat, commit adultery and have an unrepentant heart you are probably dead spiritually. Another possibility is that you never took salvation seriously and may remain separated from God.

Acts 16:30a – 31 – “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Salvation is God’s grace that pardons us and forgives our sins and gives to us, the Holy Spirit to help develop a relationship with God and Christ. Salvation has nothing to do with anything we do other than believe and commit to change. It was our previous sinful lifestyle that separated us from God and that must change.

Ephesians 2:1 – 6 – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”

As unbelievers we were full of ourselves and disobedient to God. Our sins made us dead men as we lived as the world lives. We were controlled by Satan as everyone is who is not a believer in Christ and under the control of his evil ways. As a result, we not only would die physically but also die spiritually. Because of our sins we were spiritually dead and separated from God.

As children we were disobedient and had to be taught to become obedient. God had to overcome this disobedient spirit in man. This is why God was so elated with Christ who did everything to please Him. Even after we accepted Christ we found it difficult to remain obedient. Satan deceives us into believing our way is best and that all God wants is to keep us from enjoying life. Or, there is no fun in being a Christian. Before accepting Christ we were also controlled by our natural desires. We were born with a sinful nature into a sin-cursed world. Sin kept us from knowing and understanding God. We had no idea how outraged God was because of our sins. We were without God, Christ and hope. But thank God for His grace and mercy. Paul tells us that God’s great love was able to forgive us of the sins those body’s lusts and desires had and the various forms of bodily impurity and excess of such things as quarrelsomeness, envy, uncontrolled rage, pride and selfish ambitions.

Unless a Christian is willing to have a repentant heart, willing to give up their previous lifestyle and allow the Holy Spirit to change them they are probably spiritually dead. Our trust must be in Christ and we must allow the Holy Spirit to make us a new person living to please God. If you refuse to live by God’s ways you will not be obedient and committed.

Can you exclude the Bible and live according to God’s ways? How would you measure spiritually in a person who never opens their Bible and rarely prays? It appears there are a number of church going people who refuse to give up control of their life to the Holy Spirit. They are too caught up in the ways of the world.

Titus 3:1 – 7 – “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

Being a Christian should give us more faith and confidence than we would have had, if we had not accepted Christ and were saved. Not only should we persistently be planning for our future on earth but more important eternity. Our goals should be to do the best we can in whatever we are led to do. God did not place us on this earth to fail. He did not give us the Holy Spirit to be losers. He is assisting, through His Spirit, to be the best we can be. The more we prepare spiritually, the more we will be able to accomplish. If you are not studying your Bible and praying daily, you are missing what God has available for you. God wants to meet our needs and prosper our lives, if we are willing to submit to His Will.

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