And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
~ Luke 9:23 ~
I had to come to realize that Christ instruction to follow Him required sacrifice of my pride, ego, and personal will. This is what is encouraged in true Christian Faith. It is also something that is highly encouraged in recovery rooms. What does it mean when Christ said that we are to come follow him? At first, I thought it meant to follow His teachings. After all, that is what I grew up believing. However, many have confused such call to action with various sophistry and philosophical meanderings. To come and follow Christ is much more than aligning myself to what he taught. To follow Christ meant two important factors: To deny myself and to willingly take up my own cross every day in order to follow Him.
What exactly am I following then? Simple and most profound spiritual truth is the Savior’s example. It is a higher spiritual calling for those who are brought to the depths of humility. Touched by the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. Convicted of their present condition, and then the volition and willingness to surrender all that one is and to give their very lives and will over to God’s care. This is exactly what the savior had done numerous times. He submitted his will, his life, over to the care of the Father. And yet he was the Son of the Most High and the Only Begotten of the Father. If it was as important for the Savior of humanity to give his life, will, and authority over to the Father’s care – how much more important is it for me to do the same?
As we move into the new year, our focus is going to be on ways to incorporate the principle truths and teachings of the New Testament. Build an authentic relationship with our Savior and become a person of spiritual influence where we make a significant impact on the lives around us.
Profession and Confession of faith – living it out daily as we continue to transform our minds through God’s word is the goal. We want to be transformed into a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 2:17) where we rely on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s wise counsel. Surrender toward God so that we have a mighty change of heart in how we think, behave, and experience life.
However, our spiritual growth in Christ does not happen all at once. We are asked to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and witness of the truth. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our minds are enlightened to where we receive personal revelation from God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are able to become a person who has a spiritual influence and impact on others around us. We live by truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Personal revelation from God gives us the ability to live, learn, and grow in faith. Enriching our lives, influencing and impacting the lives around us, and govern our own thoughts and actions. This leads us to living a life of abundance through Jesus Christ.
8 Simple Ways to Mindfully and Prayerfully Meditate on Scripture
First, I had to come to understand the truths about who Jesus Christ is. All scriptures testify to us that Christ is the Son of God. That He came to redeem fallen humanity from our sins. Provide us a way to live life – regardless of the challenges we may face. As we come to the stories, events, and the teachings within the Book of Mormon, we want to meditate on how we are called to follow in the Savior’s footsteps.
Second, as I had to develop a more meaningful and mindful way to meditate and prayerfully study this sacred text of scripture. I desired to draw my attention toward those words and phrases that impressed me. Read them as if they were written specifically to me. This happens when I began to seek out how the scriptures are personally relevant to inspire and influence my way of thinking.
Third, I had to develop awareness of the principle truths revealed through my own personal study. What are the eternal truths being revealed to? How do they influence and impact my present lifestyle? What do I need to change in order to incorporate the values and principles?
Fourth, I realized how important it is to rely on the teachings, promptings, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Spirit of God that I found personal guidance in wisdom and truth. What are the impressions being presented and revealed that our Heavenly Father desired me to learn and understand?
Fifth, I had to take the necessary action and liken those scriptures unto my own personal life. There is no greater spiritual influence and impact than applying the scriptures, the teachings, the doctrines, and the way to follow Christ. What are the barriers that prevented me from following those teachings? How do I fully step out in faith and complete surrender unto God? What examples do I learn from the people in the passages I am reading?
Sixth, ask questions. After all, I am constantly learning to grow spiritually and mature in my own faith. Questions always come to mind, and they may relate to what I am meditating upon. As I contemplate these questions, let I continue to seek God for the answers to those questions.
The seventh simple way of mindfully and prayerfully meditating on the New Testament involves my own perspectives on the context of the passages I’m reading. What insights am I taking away as I read the stories and events? What is the background and the values of those individuals I am encountering?
Finally, record thoughts and feelings through mindful journaling. As I consider the context, phrases, words, the impressions I’m receiving from the Spirit of God, what are the actions I need to take? How does it inspire me to live out those truths?
Following Christ Became My Own Personal Spiritual Call to Action
Through a fresh relationship with Christ, an individual is empowered to improve their overall quality of life that is spiritually disciplined.
This is accomplished by fostering healing and recovery among those who have stepped out of God’s divine and sovereign grace. And, by assisting individuals in recovering their identity through Jesus Christ, renew their faith and hope in order to restore a deep and meaningful relationship with God, others, and self. This is accomplished by these two truths:
- Salvation is through Jesus Christ and is the fundamental foundation to build upon
- Our response is to realign ourselves back into God’s divine Sovereign will through obedience to His sustaining word
The guiding principle is faith and hope whereby an individual discovers the central truth that motivates and inspires an authentic Christ-centered lifestyle. Becoming aware that people are able to be restored and overcome the internal and external challenges and adversities that have separated them from Christ’s love and mercy.
FOUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
To understand the nature of my own separation from God’s divine love and grace, I had to come to understand the following principles:
- Sin and Transgression creates suffering: I needed to take inventory because of my own experience with suffering.
- Awareness of my own need: I realize the nature of my need for grace and forgiveness and began to see the reality of those causes and conditions that have taken me from God’s divine sovereign will.
- Forgiveness and repentance are possible: I realize that forgiveness and repentance is possible and take refuge in God’s divine grace and mercy.
- Spiritual maturation is possible: As I commit over to walking in obedience to God’s divine sovereign will, I began to discovery the abundant life promised by Christ.
My own healing process began when I came to the end of self and realize my need for a renewed faith in Jesus Christ. A fresh faith that is empowering and meaningful.
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