How Do I Get Closer to God?
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How Do I Get Closer To God?
Romans 12:2 (CEB) Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
If I want to change something in my life, I must start with my thoughts.
Romans 8:6 (NIV) The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Proverbs 13:15, 18, 20-21 (NIV) 15Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction. 18Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. 20Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. 21Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things.
Luke 15:11-24 (NIV) 11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13”Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
John 6:44 (NIV) “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV) For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…
1. Decide that enough is enough!
Matthew 5:6 (NIV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
2. Own up to my sin.
Isaiah 59:2 (NIV) But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Exodus 20:1-3 (NIV) And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.
Psalm 51:1-5, 10-12, 15-17 (NIV) 1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge 5Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. 15Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. 17My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
3. Offer myself to God.
Romans 8:29 (NIV) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (CEB) All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
4. Start living as a child of God.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (NIV) 23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
My prayer today:
Lord, transform me. Make me into your child. Help me become the person you say I am. I yield my life to you.
Growing Deeper Together (Group Questions)
Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.
We talk about “tough love” when requiring others to change. What about ourselves? As an act of love, what worldly, anti-God thoughts prevail in your mind, or within your friend/family circles that you can “take captive” and make obedient to Christ? (see 2 Corinthians 10:5)
Which of the four points Shane talked about will you focus on this week? Who will you share it with for encouragement and accountability?
As you pray the prayer at the end of your notes each day this week, listen for God to speak to you. What do you hear? What’s he telling you about how he can ‘make you into his child’? How is he giving you help to become the person he says you are? What else is he calling you to yield to him?
Transformed messages & group materials have been adapted from 50 Days of Transformation by Saddleback Church 2014