How to Get the Most Out of Reading This Book
“The value of a book doesn’t come from reading it. It comes from acting on what you’ve read.”
– John Morgan
This book was written to show you:
- Who God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the devil are.
- What a life living with and through Jesus Christ look like.
- How to take control of your mind and heart to overcome your imperfect flesh and the temptations of the devil through the knowledge and power of God.
- How to write the remaining chapters of your life infused with your faith in Jesus Christ and experience your happily ever after for eternity.
Before you start reading this book, pray for God to open your eyes, your heart, and your mind to hear what He wants to tell you. Pray like you believe God is listening, and He will speak to you through His word as He promised. Read this book as if God and Jesus are speaking with you right where you are. Ask them questions, and look in the Bible on your own to find more of God’s answers.
Before you begin to read, write down any questions you have or anything you would like to learn about the subjects listed below.
- The Holy Spirit—
- The devil—
- Who you are in Christ Jesus—
- What you struggle within your faith walk concerning your mind, emotions, will, actions, and words—
- What you feel is lacking in your faith and life—
I have created this book with a page at the end of each chapter for you to write down any ideas, questions, and thoughts you want to remember.
After each major section, there is a list of questions for you to ponder or answer along with an opportunity for you to record key scriptures God used to speak to your mind, heart, and spirit. When you have finished the book, I encourage you to copy any of your key verses on the index cards I have created in the back of the book. You can cut these out, or copy them, and place them in your car, on your bathroom mirror, at your office, or any other place to help you keep your focus on Jesus.
The back of the book also contains resources you can use to map God’s faithfulness and to create a growth plan for your faith. There is also a praise and proclamation list of God’s word for you to cut out or copy as a way to fortify your faith and your knowledge of God’s word. You can also download the list for free at www.GodsTransformingGrace.com.
If you have not asked Jesus into your heart, I encourage you to see who God and Jesus are. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Enjoy your opportunity to learn the facets of living out your faith and become the best author of your life!
Who’s Writing Your Life’s Story? Will it End Happily Ever After?
Are you the author of your life? Who is influencing you? Who is hindering you? Will your life story end with “happily ever after?”
Who doesn’t want to live “happily ever after?” This is the wish, dream, and goal of every imperfect person living in this broken world. If only you could live a make-believe life of your choice. Perhaps you would be a detective from a historic time like Sherlock Holmes, a girl who follows the yellow brick road and discovers new friends on her journey back home, or an ordinary Hobbit named Frodo, who chooses to be courageous and experience great adventures instead of sitting at home. Having an imaginary life allows you to feel the drama, suspense, joy, and sadness at a safe distance. The liberty to escape, to observe, to stop reading a story, or to choose what you want to remember is what makes fiction stories so popular.
Unlike fiction, you cannot live a make-believe life. No matter how much you fantasize, reality will always prevail. God created you as an imperfect person with free will in a fragmented world. On Earth, you are limited by the laws of gravity and the confines of time. You are faced with responsibilities, requirements, and challenges every day. You struggle to stay in the present moment amidst the busyness and information overload in the world. However, as a child of God, the devil’s evil darkness can always be shattered by the brilliant love, grace, and truth of God when you walk hand in hand with Jesus throughout your day.
If your current life story is not being penned with the victory and power of the Holy Spirit, you have the opportunity right now to change it. Your current challenges and previous history do not dictate the future chapters or the final sentences of your life. Don’t let the enemy overwhelm or paralyze you with fear. Instead, let Jesus spark your relentless determination to firmly grasp your life’s pen to write your story of steadfast faith. Let your life illustrate the love, hope, forgiveness, grace, and mercy of God as it unfolds on this earth and into eternity. Be courageous! Let’s get started!
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:4 ESV
Who is the Cornerstone of Your Life?
During the B.C. centuries, a builder would start a foundation by setting a principal stone in the corner of a building. This first stone was referred to as the cornerstone, and it determined the position of every other stone. The Bible uses the metaphor of a cornerstone in the New Testament to illustrate what happens to you when you ask Jesus Christ into your heart, and you become a child of God.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV
For you to understand what it means to make Jesus the cornerstone of your life, you’ll need to foster a progressive intimate relationship with him. Your close relationship can only begin and grow when you commit to spending time with him every day. Jesus gave you one hundred percent of himself. Now, you have the opportunity to use your free will to choose to give him one hundred percent of yourself also.
If you do not attend a church, or you have not been taught by a mature believer how to keep Jesus as the cornerstone of your life, you won’t know about your faith responsibilities, challenges, defenses, or consequences. Your unawareness opens the door for the devil to offer you many options other than Jesus to be the cornerstone for your mind, heart, spirit, and life. The world tells you to be independent and to focus on yourself first. It supplies other imperfect people’s morals, philosophies, and gods to build your life around, who profess to give you love, happiness, success, and peace. Before you believe what the world tells you, it is vital to understand the world’s definition of believing in a god. The world’s definitions is summarized as choosing a force or higher power in the universe, inside yourself, or in another imperfect person to be your ultimate authority, truth, guide, and power.
The problem with believing the world’s definition of god equates to millions of versions of shifting ideals. Any god, spiritual path, or religion created in this world is from an imperfect person. Their god options are disguised as personalized preferences with an ever-changing code of truths, morals, values, and standards. History continually shows us how people twist morals through any means, including all beliefs and religions for their own beneficial agenda. Without a perfect, unchangeable truth, moral code, and standard to live up to, imperfect people will fail on their own every time.
Unless you keep Jesus as the cornerstone of your life, you are opening the doors of your mind and heart for the devil’s influence and the temptation to work God into your life when you have time. The devil will do all he can to distract you from seeking to know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and mature in your faith.
Trying to follow Jesus and live in the ways of the world at the same time is called being a carnal Christian.
- Carnal Christians rely on the grace and forgiveness of Jesus through salvation, but they do not pursue a progressive personal relationship with Jesus or study God’s word.
- Carnal Christians speak and act like Jesus when they are around other believers, but the rest of the time their words, attitudes, and actions reveal they are focused on living for their fleshly desires and their own
- Carnal Christians do their best to be a good person, but they find themselves on a never-ending rollercoaster of frustration, doubt, worry, guilt, shame, fear, and other debilitating emotions and habitual sin.
- Carnal Christians have little or no visible harvest of the fruits of their Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control, or God’s blessings.
- Carnal Christians are vulnerable and blind to the illusions, schemes, and influences the devil uses in the world.
Carnal Christians do not have Jesus as the cornerstone of their life because every other aspect isn’t centered on Him. They are not experiencing the abundance and victory they have heard professed by Jesus, or they have seen in other Christians’ lives. Every Christian will fall into this trap at some time in their walk of faith, to some degree, because we are all imperfect sinners.
For many years, I was unaware I had been living as a carnal Christian because I had not sought the truth of God on my own, nor had I heard it from the pulpit. If you are also in this place, you can no longer claim ignorance because you are reading this book. I urge you to seek God’s truth in His word and learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in every aspect of your life.
It is for this reason Jesus chose to come down to this broken Earth, dwell with us, and teach us how to overcome the devil through Christ. One of the most unique and amazing aspects of the living God we serve is His grace and mercies which provide us with His forgiveness and a new start. It doesn’t matter where you have been in your faith journey up to this point. Everything changes when you choose to keep Jesus as the cornerstone of your heart and life. Learn to build every aspect of your life around Him and live in his abundance.
But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
Choosing the Building Materials of Your Life
When you build a home, you have the opportunity to choose some of the finishing interior and exterior materials. Will you choose stucco, brick, or stone for the exterior walls? Will you choose shingles, metal, or terracotta tiles for the roof? Will you choose white, pastel, or earth tone paint colors for the interior walls? Will you choose carpet, wood, or tile for the flooring? Your decisions will be made long before your home is built to ensure the general contractor has the materials he needs to complete the construction of your home according to the plans.
Unlike building a house on earth, you cannot see the complete set of plans for your life. Nor can you make a large number of your construction decisions too far ahead. Every construction phase of your life builds up to the next one to create your present phase.
God is the only one who has your blueprint or your master plan. If you do not know God has the best plans and building materials for your life, and you do not decide to trust Him to guide you through His word, you will build your life with your own imperfect resources and plans. The decision to construct your life on your own is a snare of the devil every person falls into during their life. Many of you, like me, have found yourself in this deception, and you have experienced frustration, doubt, and failure.
As a child of God, you do not have to live in the devil’s trap. You have the opportunity to let God be your general contractor and to supply you with His building blocks of faith, hope, and love. God will provide you with any new materials you need. He will also take all the old materials of your history, no matter how wonderful or broken they were, and He will use them to teach you and to strengthen your faith. Do not let the devil pull you into his slimy pit of regret when you think about your past construction choices. Regrets pull you backward, and they rob you of experiencing all of the goodness God has planned for you today. You can’t change the past, but you can change your present and future life as a child of God.
With Jesus in your heart, you have access to the building materials of God’s wisdom, grace, mercy, and power. It is your responsibility to ask God what His plans are for you first and to verify all of your ideas and plans with Him before you act. God is never early or late. God is always on time. You must trust Him and wait for His response or confirmation. He is the only one who can prepare you for what He knows is ahead of you. God is waiting to give you His resources and His instructions in His word to help you build a steadfast heart, mind, spirit, and faith.
The Bible is your personal instruction and resource manual from God. It is the only book revealing God’s master plan of your origin, mission, destiny, resources, and purpose. The Bible is also God’s love story to you. It reveals God’s heart and character to help you see His truth about Him and yourself. God’s word gives you a picture of how He sees you as His beloved daughter or son despite what you see in the mirror, what you think of yourself, or what you have been told. The Bible is a picture of God’s grace, His blessings, His promises, His resources, and His instructions to live a life honoring Him, others, and yourself. No other book, spiritual path, religion, or god on this Earth has the ability and the willing heart to partner with you in a personal interactive relationship full of love, grace, mercy, hope, forgiveness, power, and salvation.
The Bible was written by forty authors moved by the Holy Spirit over a span of more than 1500 years, from1500 B.C. to A.D. 100. The Apostle Paul explains how the Bible was revealed:
“not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” 1 Corinthians 2:13 NIV
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV
As a child of God, you must be determined to let God be the general contractor of your life and to build your life exclusively with His resources. In your imperfectness, you will struggle, and you may even stumble or fall in the future. However, God is not looking for perfection. He is looking for a willing heart determined to progressively grow in a personal relationship with Him. Unless you come to know Jesus intimately and walk hand in hand with him, you will be deceived into using the materials of the devil camouflaged as other world options leading to God. Seek the truth of God in His instructive word, and you will discover the amazing resources available to you to build your steadfast life of faith as His beloved child.
“There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG
Who is the cornerstone of your life?
Are you consulting God first before you construct your life?
How is your plan working out so far in your mind, heart, spirit, faith, and life?
Which key scriptures touched your heart and why?
What other scriptures can you find about these key scriptures in the index of your Bible or with an online Bible app?