After more than 38 years as a believer in Christ and have listened to so many sermons and preaching in my life, my heart was still not at rest. I was wondering why there was no abiding joy and rest in my inner self. My heart tells me that there was something still missing in my Christian life. I realized lately that I have not enough depth in my Christian faith. I have missed so much that the Lord Jesus Christ has done for me on the cross of Calvary 2000 years ago. I then seek to know what was the abundant life that Christ talked about while He was here on earth (John 10:10). Here is what I found and I want to share the good news with all my readers. There is so much to gain in JESUS Christ. It’s really awesome to know the TRUTH found in Christ Jesus. Be extremely blessed!
Advantages and Benefits of the Christian Life
Here are ten precious gifts from God to those who trust and believe in Jesus Christ :
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matt 7.13,14)
1. Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Freedom
God promises forgiveness for following the wrong path in life. We have all done this and we need to be reconciled to God and re-directed. We need freedom from a troubled conscience, freedom from wrong thought and actions against God and against our fellow man. This gift leads to real freedom in life – something we have never yet experienced. In short, a fresh start. All we have to do is come to God our Father in prayer through Jesus His Son, acknowledge our wrong ways, and let Him be Lord of our lives.
Hebrews 10:19-22 (NIV) A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Colossians 1:22 (NIV)
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Galatians 5:1 (NIV) Freedom in Christ
5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Ref – John 8.36 – Acts 13.39 – Acts 16.31 – Romans 3.10,23 – Colossians 1.22 – Hebrews 10.19-22, Gal 5:1 )
2. Assurance that God Knows us and Cares for us.
From birth to death, God knows all our thoughts and all our actions. The Almighty God assures us of His unfailing love for us, and of everlasting (eternal) life going beyond physical death.
Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV)
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,
saying, ‘Destroy them!’
John 3:16 (NIV)
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Ref – Deut 33.27 – Ps 34.15 – Ps 139.1-18 – John 3.16 – John 14.23 – Romans 8.38,39)
3. A Reliable Friend
Once on the right path in life, the Creator God becomes our most reliable friend. Once on the true path we walk with God and His risen Son Jesus Christ through life, death, and beyond. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is completely reliable and trustworthy. Through prayer we can have an intimacy with God the Father even to the point of respectfully calling Him ‘Dad’ or “Abba Father” ! Jesus Christ made this vital relationship possible by His Blood shed on Calvary.
John 14:23-24 (NIV)
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Hebrews 10:17-23 (NIV)
17 Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.
A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
( Ref – John 14.23 – Mat 28.20 – Matthew 6.6 – Romans 8.15 – Hebrews 10.19)
4. Freedom from Fear and a Healthy Awesome Fear of God
God gives us freedom from fear: fear of loneliness, fear of man, fear of death, fear of hell. Once on the correct path in life God gives us an awe and reverence (many translations call it ‘fear’) for Him which we never had before. We start to recognise the one true and living God. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Matthew 10:28-31 (NIV)
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Revelation 4 (NIV) The Throne in Heaven
4 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3 And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. 4 Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. 6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.”
(Ref – Matthew 10.28-31 – Rom 8.15 – Hebrews 2.14,15 – Rev 4)
5. A True Aim and Purpose in Life
Our Heavenly Father will give us a new and extraordinary aim in life; namely, to know Him (as the Father) and His Son Jesus Christ whom He sent to redeem mankind. In doing this we glorify HIM, love and serve HIM, and love and serve our fellow man. This starts now and goes on past death into everlasting life.
Isaiah 43:6-7 (NIV)
6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”
John 10:8-11 (NIV)
8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
(Ref – Isaiah 43.7 – Matthew 10.39 – John 10.10 – John 17.3)
6. Inner Peace and Joy
God gives us an inner stillness and a peaceful spirit in the midst of noise, turmoil and life’s natural stresses.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:14-17 (NIV)
14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
( Ref – John 14.27 – John:15.11 – Phil 4:6,7 – Col 3.15 – 1 Jn 1.4)
7. Strength, Power and Steadfastness
God will give us the extraordinary ability to live a stable, God-centred life, and extraordinary strength and power when circumstances dictate it.
Deuteronomy 8:7-10 (NIV)
7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Matthew 7:24-25 (NIV) The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
( Ref – Deut 8.9 – Ps 46.1 – Isaiah 40.29-31 – John 14.12 – Matthew 7.24,25)
8. Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom
God gave us His Eternal Word (the BIBLE) and His ‘Spirit of TRUTH’ , the Holy Spirit, to provide and guide us with supernatural knowledge, understanding and wisdom for living in these perilous times. The Spirit reveals truths about major issues in life (purpose, morality, destiny etc.) and the reasons behind certain major world events. He also gives the ability to discern truth and error and to recognise deception. Such understanding is unavailable to those on the wrong path in life.
Proverbs 9:7-12 (NIV)
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
Luke 21:13-19 (NIV)
13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
John 14:16-20 (NIV)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
( Ref – Prov 9.10 – Luke 21.15 – John 14.16,17,26 )
9. God’s Guidance along Life’s Path
Life is complex and filled with many challenges daily. How do we know the right decisions in life? For those who trust in Jesus, the indwelling Holy Spirit guides us at those difficult times in life – we are not alone. He gives us Godly wisdom to know the right thing to do. He opens the right door and closes the wrong one if we acknowledge Him in our plans.
Psalm 32:8-11 (NIV)
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the Lord’s unfailing love
surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
Proverbs 16:3-9 (NIV)
3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.
4 The Lord works out everything to its proper end—
even the wicked for a day of disaster.
5 The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
6 Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.
7 When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way,
he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
8 Better a little with righteousness
than much gain with injustice.
9 In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 20:22-24 (NIV)
22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!”
Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.
23 The Lord detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales do not please him.
24 A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.
How then can anyone understand their own way?
( Ref – Ps 32.8 – Ps 37.5,23 – Prov 16.3,9 – Prov 20.24 )
10. A Healthy Body and Mind
Our health suffers when we are filled with so much stress, worries or so many cover ups for our wrong decisions and actions. But once on the correct path in life and in line with God’s will, there is often a physical advantage spin-off. Our physical bodies can benefit from improved health, and even dramatic or miraculous healing can occur when we put our faith in Him and use His authority over our sickness and disease.
Psalm 31:9-16 (NIV)
9 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies,
I am the utter contempt of my neighbors
and an object of dread to my closest friends—
those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as though I were dead;
I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear many whispering,
“Terror on every side!”
They conspire against me
and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
deliver me from the hands of my enemies,
from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
Acts 9:34-42 (NIV)
34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
James 5:13-15 (NIV) The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.
Psalm 32:1-7 (NIV) Psalm 32 Of David. A maskil.
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
(Ref – Ps 31.9,10 – Ps 32.2-4 – Prov 3.7,8 – Prov – 15.30 – Acts 9.34 – James 5.14,15)
Be Blessed in the Lord!
If you felt led by your heart, say this prayer with a repentant heart.
The Lord will come into your life and be your Savior and Lord.