So, You Are Saved – Now What?

The Christian faith is an exciting adventure that begins when you encounter Jesus and become born again
When you are first saved everything begins to change
The grass seems greener, the sky appears bluer…
But, then, reality sets in and things need to be dealt with on a daily basis
Life issues, problems, temptations, wrong thoughts just to name a few of the things that make up your “daily reality”
There are things that you did before you were born again and began your journey with Jesus that now need to be dealt with
You planted the seeds back then and now that you are saved you are dealing with the harvest
“That which you sow, you shall reap” (Galatians 6:7)

The Bible states that when you became a born again believer and disciple of Jesus that you became a “new creature”
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
The original language of this verse – the Greek – had a tense that we don’t have in English – the ‘continuous perfect’
This tense in the original means that this verse is saying:
Behold, old things are passing away and new things are coming
In other words, encountering Jesus does not instantly change you
It is the start of a journey – a life journey – where there are constant changes
Where almost daily God is removing things from your heart, mind, and soul
Not always negative or bad things – but things that need to be eliminated from the way you live your life
And, God is adding new things as found in God’s perfect plan and purpose for your life
Think about it – God could have instantly taken you to heaven when you first encouraged Him and became a believer
But, He left you here so that you would have the opportunity to change as His grace is poured out in your life
He wants you to grow, develop, mature, and change so that you are more and more like Jesus
That your character becomes that of Jesus
That your thoughts become the thoughts of Jesus
That your words are His words
That you gain His perspective – a Kingdom perspective
That you actions are all loving as His were
Both the old and the new are part of God’s plan for your growth, your maturing, your development and growth and thus our equipping to do the things He wants you to do
What Jesus wants as we deal with the old things and the new things
The reason why He left us here and didn’t just take us home to Himself and into Heaven instantly when we were born again…
He is wanting us to reach a deep maturity that effects all of life
He is dealing with character issues in your life
He wants you to work with Him in repairing relationships so they are healthy
We are still here because God desires that “we grow up into Him” and that is best accomplished down here with His help – His mercy, His grace, His wisdom, His power
We think we are here to be:
Given gifts
That we are here to minister to others
That we are here to win the lost to Jesus
We think that God needs us to tell others the Good News of the Gospel of the Kingdom
We are the ones called by God to share the Gospel with each and every person we know and meet
But that is all “out there”
Plans and purposes
When really all of these things and every thing else is about what is “in here” – in your heart and soul
Heart (feelings)
Mind (thoughts)
Life perspective
God is wanting us to work on these – the essence of who we are – and so He left us here with things to do so that opportunities would arise daily that will cause you to examine your life and bring needed changes
Too often we focus on “do” when He is also wanting us to look at “be”
We are human beings and not just human doings
He wants us to take a good hard look at our priorities
He wants to help you to determine and embrace your priorities
Early in your Christian walk you should determine your priorities and get them into biblical order..
The key here is not to separate sacred (spiritual) from secular (every day life)
Jesus did not separate sacred from secular – to Him all of life was a sacred / God experience
The biblical order of your priorities should be:
1> God … “Love the Lord your God with all…” (Matthew 22:37)
Careful that this God is the true biblical God and not one of your own making
2> Self … “love your neighbour as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:38)
3> Spouse
4> Family (includes your children but also mother and father; brothers and sisters)
5> Work … “If you do not work you shall not eat”
“If you do not care from your family you are worse than an infidel” (1 Timothy 5:8)
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”
Work is not under the curse and a result of the fall – Adam and Eve had work to do before the fall – they were to manage and tend to the garden
6> Neighbours … “Go into all the world…” (matthew 28:19)
And remember to work first with the neighbours in your own neighbourhood
7> Church … “forsake not the assembling of yourself together” (Hebrews 10:25)
8> Specific ministry
Please note that “ministry” or the specific calling on your life is last in the 8 priorities when placed in biblical order … and often we put it first or second
These 8 priorities all wrap up together as “life” and all of “life” is ministry as we love our family, the people we know, the work we do, and the outreach into all the world that we are involved in
The second thing that goes hand-in-hand with these priorities is your character
God wants us to work with Him so that our character matures and we become more like Jesus
God wants us to have a family resemblance when we arrive in Heaven
Your character is determined by examining the following elements in your life
1> The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
Love seen 7 ways … joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
2> Fruitfulness (John 15:2, 5, 8, 16)
This is a return on His investment in your life
3> Faith (Matthew 9:29)
God wants you to apply your faith and believe for big things because, with Him, nothing is impossible
4> Faithfulness (Galatians 5:22; Matthew 23:23)
Consistency and long-term commitment
When you feel like it and don’t feel like it
5> Finances (1 Timothy 3:2)
Managing well as a good steward or manager
6> Fun (2 Peter 2:13; 3:3)
What do you do in your free time – entertainment, internet, music, movies
7> Friends (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Remember, “bad company corrupts good morals”
The bad apple in the barrel turns the good apples bad and not the other way around – the good apples never turn the bad apple to good
You are friends with other believers – you minister to those who are still lost – friendly to them but not friends
Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?”
In your personal friendships there are three levels of “friends”
Acquaintance – Brother – Close
Be careful what level you share on with each level of “friend”
There are three levels of things you can share
Private – personal – public
Private – shared only with close, trusted accountability partner
Personal – shared with friends who have proved themselves
Public – what you share with everyone
8> Family (Romans 16:10-11)
It is all well and good to go all over the world and win the lost – but remember to focus on your family as well
Drawing things to a close:
You are here on earth so that you become more like Jesus
There is a desire in God’s heart that you take on the family resemblance and look and act more and more like His Son, Jesus
He left you here so He could orchestrate the slow but constant removal and healing of the bad and the slow but consistent addition of the good as you are able to handle them with His help
Two key areas (not ministry):
1> Priorities
2> Character
Resulting in a powerful, significant life and thus ministry
We need to see life – your life – as a whole
No sacred – secular
The good – bad – ugly all wrapped up together
To ease the process – the journey to maturity – you need an accountability partner
Someone you can share the “private” part of your life along with the personal and public parts
Someone to keep you accountable…
Here are some ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS that your accountability partner can ask you at any time…
1> Have you spent daily time in God’s Word and in prayer this week?
2> Have you had any flirtatious or lustful attitudes, tempting thoughts, or exposed yourself to any explicit sexual materials such as th internet, television, movies, music … that would not glorify God?
3> Have you spent quality time in your relationships this week?
Have you honoured your father and mother?
Have you been a good friend?
Have you remained pure in your dating relatonship?
4> Have you done your 100% best in your job, school…?
5> Have you told any half-truths or outright lies, putting yourself in a better light to those around you?
6> Have you cheated on any of your school work or tests in school this week?
7> Have you modelled lifestyle evangelism this week?
8> Have you allowed other people or circumstances to rob you of your joy?
9> Have you been angry at anyone this week and not dealt with it?
10> Have you kept your tongue in check in this week? (swearing, gossip, making fun of others)
11> Have you lied about any of the above?