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Growing Stronger In Jesus

July 6, 2019

BETTER WITH TIME

“Oh no! I can’t find it,” Chris exclaimed. How could Chris lose such a precious thing as his salvation?

He knew that he must find it quickly, so he decided to retrace his steps. He would go to all the places where he might have lost it.

First, Chris went to the video arcade. He was there earlier that day. He was playing video games, and when he would lose, he said a bad word or two. He thought that is where he could have lost his salvation. He looked, but it wasn’t there.

Perhaps Chris left it at school. He walked back to the lunchroom. He went to the very seat where he had sat with his friends and made fun of people whose clothes were out of style. Still, there was no salvation.

Maybe it is in the library, he thought. Monday he had forgotten to do his homework, so he had copied his best friend’s math problems. He searched all over the library, and it wasn’t there.

By now Chris was distraught. He went over the week in his mind. The last place he could remember having it was in church, so he decided he would go see if his salvation was there.

When Chris got to the church, he knocked on the door. The pastor answered it with a smile.

“Hey, Chris. How can I help you?”

“Pastor, I can’t find my salvation,” Chris confessed. “I went to all the places I could have lost it, you know, places where I did bad things; but it wasn’t in any of those places. The church was the last place I know I had it, so I decided to come and look to see if it is here.”

“Chris, I don’t think your salvation is lost,” the pastor reassured. “You are probably looking in the wrong places. You are looking for it in outside places, when you should be looking for it in inside places. When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, He saved you. As you go through your day, as long as you are still walking with Jesus, you do not lose your salvation every time you do something wrong. God knows that you make mistakes, but as long as you confess them and choose to keep walking with Him, you are still on your way to glory—salvation intact.”

Chris thought, like many people think, that salvation is based on what you do, and when you mess up, God just throws you out until you make it right. That is not the way God is. God keeps us and works with us while we are becoming right. He knows we mess up; that is why He is there to pick us up. We have to remember, though, when we are down, to get back up again and keep going in the God-direction.

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:9-11, NKJV).

Our Beliefs, no. 10, The Experience of Salvation: “Abiding in Him [Christ] we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 103-105

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read Ephesians 2:8, 9

Dear Jerryel, I have been caught. Mr. Drummond found out I changed the grades on the computer. He was so mad! He wants to kick me out of school. I am going to save him the trouble. I am leaving. I don’t want people to keep looking down at me—the church members, my family, God. I messed up, and when I can fix things, maybe I will try to come back. I am going to miss you. I will stop by on my way out. Love, Jordanne.

What would you say to Jordanne when she came to visit? How would you convince her to stay?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON THE EXPERIENCE OF SALVATION

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 8:14-17; Romans 10:17.

Christ has paid the price for your sins. He has redeemed you! By accepting His gift of salvation, you become part of His family. By spending time with Him in prayer, Bible study, and witnessing, you will become more like Him. And by becoming more like Him, you will find a place in heaven for all of eternity.

How do you spend time with God?

Fill in the missing words. The text is from the New King James Version.

“As divine power has to us all things that pertain to and, the of who by glory and virtue, by which have been to exceedingly and, that through these may be of the, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3, 4).

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Read Romans 10:9, 10.

Deciding whether or not to accept Jesus’ salvation is the most important decision you will make in your life . . . ever. It determines not just how you will spend your life in the sweet by and by but also in the here and now.

How do you become saved? Understand that you are a sinner and are in desperate need of a Savior. Accept Jesus as your Savior and give Him control of your life.

If you haven’t accepted Him yet, pray this prayer: Father, I know that I am a sinner and that I am messed up, but I know that You can clean me up and make me new. Right now, I accept Jesus as my Savior. Come live in my heart and take control.

If you meant that prayer, God will honor it and receive you into His family. In a family people make mistakes all the time. When you break a dish or miss curfew, you don’t worry about being kicked out of the house. You know that you are safe because you have a relationship with your parents, and they love you.

It is the same with God, except His love for you is multiplied times a million! When you mess up, you will not be thrown out of the family of God. You will not become unsaved as long as you are in relationship with the heavenly Father. And you have a chance each day to commit to that relationship for the new day. The longer you are in that relationship, the more like Jesus you will become.

As His child, God knows you have some growing to do. God is patient, long-suffering, and forgiving, and if you stick around Him long enough, you will be too!

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Match the text with the verse. All verses are from the New King James Version.

1 Proverbs 24:16
2 Psalm 37:23, 24
3 Romans 12:2
4 Colossians 1:13, 14
5 Romans 5:6-10
6 Ecclesiastes 12:1
7 Joshua 1:8
a “. . . Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him . . .”
b “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth . . .”
c “. . . we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son . . .”
d “. . . a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again . . .”
e “. . .conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love . . .”
f “. . . you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe . . . “
g “. . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . .”

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Thursday

CONNECTING

»» Read Philippians 1:6.

»» Review the memory text.

Part of the joy of being a Christian is getting to know Christ. As you find out who God is you will find that He is all-knowing—that means He already knows the good and the bad about you. He knows the mistakes you have made and will make tomorrow, but He still loves you.

God is also all-powerful. He is powerful enough to change you into the Christian He wants you to be. He could do it quick, fast, and in a hurry as He did when He created the earth, but He waits for you to make the choices that help you to grow. Just as parents and teachers enjoy watching you grow, so does God.

God knows that this will be a process and that you will fail sometimes. You just need to know it! When you fall down, make sure you get back up! God does not count you out, so don’t count yourself out either. You don’t have to change to be accepted by God. He loves you just the way you are. He also loves you too much to let you stay the way you are. Don’t worry; He has taken responsibility for your growth.

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Friday

APPLYING

»» Read Romans 12:1.

To guard your relationship with God, you have to develop habits that will help keep your heart and mind focused on Him. A few examples of these habits are worship, prayer, Bible study, and serving others.

The key word is habit—something you do again and again. Write a prayer to God asking Him to help you develop habits that will strengthen your relationship with Him. Don’t forget to mention some specific habits you want Him to help you develop (and break) to become a stronger Christian.