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May the Lord fill your life with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

If God is not first in your life, then something else is (Deut 6:4-5, Matt 6:24, 33; 10:32-38, Mark 8:34, Luke 11:23, 1 John 5:21).

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"When He (Jesus) came to the village of Nazareth, His boyhood home, He went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures." (Luke 4:16)
 
Finding a good Bible teaching church is critically important to your spiritual growth (2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 2:2). Since Christians make up the body of Christ, that is the church at large, we need to fellowship with one another as often as possible so that we can study His Word, develop a better relationship with Him, and become better equipped to serve Him with our bestowed gifts. You also need to bring your Bible to church. If you are not bringing your Bible, reconsider. You wouldn't want to go to the gym without a towel and water, and you certainly would not get in your car and drive without a seatbelt. So bring your Bible!
 
It is important that the church you are attending is teaching you verse by verse, chapter by chapter. That is, teaching the full context of scripture and not just topical studies. Otherwise it becomes too easy to misunderstand the complete message that God wants us to learn. His Word is not complete unless you study everything from Genesis to Revelation. Above all, never be afraid to verify what the church is teaching by comparing it to the scripture (Acts 17:11). Far too often God's word becomes defined in man's terms and not His. "Prosperity" is a good example.
 
The next important step is to attend on a regular basis and not just on Sundays. Not only do we need to be available to worship and study the Word together, but also be available to encourage one another, support one another and pray with one another. There are evening and weekday services as well as group Bible studies, ministries, outreaches, and missionary work to do through the church. Being there is not enough. Look at your church calendar and get involved!
 
When you surround yourself with church-minded people and activities, living a life that is pleasing to God becomes much easier. Just remember, it is easy to try and fit the Bible into our lifestyle. But is it the right lifestyle? When you get involved with the right church, you end up living a lifestyle that centers around the Bible.
 
The Lord commands us to turn from our sins, put aside our selfish motives, take up the cross and follow Him (Mark 8:34-38, Luke 9:23-24, Luke 14:27). In other words, we must stop what we are doing now in our lives, ask for forgiveness and put God first in all that we do and say. This can only be done if we start studying and obeying His Words, not ours, and certainly not those around us. His Word will never return void but always produce fruit (Isaiah 55:11) and is always full of living power and sharper than the sharpest knife (Hebrews 4:12).
 
 

 
"The church is not supposed to be a museum for saints; it is supposed to be a hospital for sinners—a place for people to know God." (Pastor Greg Laurie)
 
Keep A Sharp Sword (by Greg Laurie)
 
Giving God A Makeover (by Greg Laurie)
 
Learning About Inductive Bible Study (by Precept Ministries)
 
 
 
Created Monday, January 21, 2008