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Decision Prayer
June 16, 2017
Relevance: Chapter 6, Restored by Grace


Decision Prayer


The problem of sin is real. There is darkness in our lives and in the world. But we can't solve this by self-efforts. We can't escape the consequences of sin, break its grip, reconcile ourselves to our Maker against whom we've sinned, and restore the original image of God in our nature.

God alone provides the solution through Jesus Christ. "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). And to all who believe and accept him, God gives them the right to become his children (John 1:12). Paul stresses that God saves us by his grace when we believe, and we "can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus said, "No one can come to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). He is the only way to return to God. All who come through Christ to God, with a penitent heart, will have their sins forgiven (1 John 1:9). Paul says that God makes us alive with Christ, for he forgives all our sins. He cancels the record of the charges against us and takes it away by nailing it to the cross (Colossians 2:13-14).

Forgiving without forgetting is incomplete. The Bible says that God will remove our sins as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). God himself promised, "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).

Through Christ, we don't just receive complete forgiveness, but also a brand new start. Paul says, "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you" (Romans 8:11). Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we have the power to break free from the bondage of sin. God washes away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5). "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

How then do we receive forgiveness from God, have our relationship with him restored, and accept the Holy Spirit into our lives to free us from the power of sin?

The best news is that God has done all the heavy lifting, and he is waiting for us to repent and believe in Christ. We express this desire and decision before God, which means in the form of a prayer, like what the criminal crucified with Jesus did (See Luke 23:40-43).

The decision has two parts. First is to accept that Christ died your death to bear the penalty of your sins so that you can be forgiven and accepted by God. By his resurrection, you can be with him eternally after death. The second is to invite God back into the center of your life, to be your Lord, to transform and restore you to be the person he originally intended.

If you do want to return to God, you need to come before him in the right attitude. Jesus made it very clear in a sermon recorded by Matthew (See RG, 136-8). You need to realize that

If these truly and accurately reflect the condition of your heart, please carefully read out before God the decision prayer below. He listens to everyone who seeks and calls upon him.

Dear God, I, [your name here], have sinned against you by not living my life as you intended. I feel deeply sorry about this, and I want to repent of my sins. I accept Jesus as my personal Savior, to die for my sins on the cross so that I can be forgiven and be right with you. Please come into the center of my life, to be my Lord and transform me. I will seek to know you, obey you, and follow you for all my life. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

If you have prayed this prayer, you are now a child of God. Your heavenly Father knows you personally and loves you dearly. He cares about everything in your life and is eager to listen to your every prayer. He will welcome you to the heavenly home with him at the end of your blessed life on earth.

I would be very happy also to pray for you. Please let me know if you decide for Christ the first time, or recommit to Christ as the Lord of your life.


Notes:


From Darkness to Light
170504, Ch.1, What is Heaven?
170512, Ch.5, Good and Evil
170519, Ch.5, Image of God
170526, Ch.6, All Have Sinned
170602, Ch.6, Isaiah Prophecies
170609, Ch.6, Lamb of God
170616, Ch.6, Decision Prayer

New Life in Christ
170623, Ch.7, Fruit of the Spirit
170630, Ch.7, Time with God
170707, Ch.7, Life Together
170714, Ch.7, Messiah's Return
170728, Ch.7, Audacious Faith
171006, Ch.7, Mark of the Christian
171027, Ch.7, Christian Identities

Growing in Christ
171110, Know the Bible
171210, Christ is Central
180302, Satan Exposed

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