Encoutering Jesus: The Abundant Life
The last few months have been over-the-top incredible! God is doing so much in our lives and on the campus at ICC.
Kailee is now half way through the pregnancy! Our little baby is growing healthy and dancing all around in mommy’s tummy. We are so excited and expectant as we continue to pray and ask God for His dreams for this baby, and grace to be godly parents. What a fun new season of life. PRAY FOR US!! 😉
The Lord has also really been moving powerfully on the campus. Many students are encountering Jesus and getting revelation in to the knowledge of God (Eph. 1:17-19) Just this past Friday, a student at ICC – Ryan Kirby – gave his life to Jesus for the 1st time! He has grown up in a Christian church, but has only known Jesus as a Savior and not as Lord (boss) of his life. After realizing he had never surrendered his life to the Lord, he decided to count the cost and make this life-transforming decision! Read the following answers he gave when asked these questions:
Q. What was your life like before Jesus?
A. Pretty much, I was the god of my life. I was rebellious, looked at pornography. I had hate in my heart…anger issues. Giving up on school..not listening to my parents. AND cursing!
Q. Why did you need to surrender your whole life to Jesus and choose to follow Him?
A. Because I should have accepted Him long ago…It is good for Jesus to be the Boss, so that He can shape us as He wants. We are the creation of His own eye. Also, I have been a straying sheep and have been walking towards destruction (Is. 53:6).
Q. Who is Jesus Christ?
A. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Eternal life is found when we believe in Him. He is my best friend – and you know what, He wants to be everybody’s best friend!
Q. What is the Bible?
A. The Bible is..hmm..well it is not God’s rule book, but it is the plate of Jesus. We sit at a table with Him and listen to His Word. This washes us clean and then we take what He teaches us and eat it by applying it to our lives.
Q. When you are tempted to go back to old choices and bad decisions, what are you going to do?
A. I am going to pray to Jesus that He will take control of me. In Matt. 4:10, Jesus says to the enemy, “…Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve. ‘”
WOW! AMAZING!! Thank You Lord!
>>Please be praying for God to grow Ryan in his faith and commitment to Christ, and to give him a love for the Word!
Each week in the Bible study on campus, we have been going through different key teachings on how to walk with God. This past Wednesday I shared with the group about the power of God’s Word and how Jesus is revealed therein. He is the living Word and Truth! John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In Jesus dwells all the fullness of God (Col. 2:9). He alone is the revelation of God to man (Heb. 1:3). He is also the Word of God (John 1:1). Therefore, the way to meet God and walk in relationship with Him is through fellowship and interaction with the truths of God’s Word – the Bible! What a glorious revelation. We can have communion with the uncreated God!
What is our part? How does God ask us to take action? Isaiah 55 gives us 3-steps of action as it applies to our relationship with God, made possible through the work of Jesus Christ, and available by the power of the indwelling Spirit.
Isaiah 55:1-2 “…Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, COME, BUY and EAT. Yes, come, buy wine (joy, pleasures of God – Ps. 16:11) and milk (nourishment, sustenance) without money and without price (this is not natural food, but spiritual, God-given food). Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.”
The LORD declares through the prophet Isaiah that there is a very broad invitation to abundant life. Anyone and everyone who is thirsty and hungry can be filled and satisfied (Matt. 5:6). But what is the requirement to enter in to this life?
1. COME – we must actually set apart time in our schedules to focus on deliberately seeking God through prayer and reading the Word. Quality connections and quantities of time build deep and lasting relationships with others – it is no different in our relationship with the Lord.
2. BUY – not only do we need to spend time cultivating our relationship with the Lord, we must “listen carefully” to Him or “buy”. This is the hard part but is so crucial. It takes a listening and attentive ear to hear! “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…”
3. EAT – the third step in this process is to actually feast on God’s Words that He speaks to us! A dear friend of mine says that reading and hearing the truths of God’s word without meditating on them and applying them to our daily lives, is like studying a restaurant menu but never actually eating and enjoying the food!
TRUE LIFE IS FOUND IN THE WORD. Jesus says in Matt. 4:4 and Luke 4:4, “…man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” This is such an interesting and powerful statement. Jesus is literally saying that human beings, by design, cannot live in fullness of life on this earth without feasting on the Word of God. If I am eating food each day, but I am not eating God’s Word, I may be walking around laughing, talking and doing daily life – BUT I AM NOT ALIVE!
I highly recommend this teaching from Mike Bickle – “How to ‘Pray-Read’ the Word”. This is a teaching I have personally applied to my life and taught to others. The truths contained in this teaching are transforming!
May we be a people of God that have a commitment to spending time coming to the Lord, and listening to His Word! Oh that we would encounter Jesus – for this is eternal life!
John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
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