Concord United Methodist Church
5178 Hinkleville Road
Paducah, Kentucky 42001-9693
The ABC's of Spiritual Growth
The first step of Spiritual Growth is being in a right relationship with God. This relationship is the only foundation for a worthwhile life. The Bible says, "If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will." (Romans 8:6-7 New Living Translation of the Bible) Knowing you are at peace with God is as simple as following these simple steps. If you are not sure if they fit, why not try them and find out for yourself?
Admit you have sinned. "For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard." (Romans 3:23 NLT) "If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts." (1 John 1:8-10 NLT)
Believe in Jesus. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18 NKJV) Belief or faith is active trust strong enough for you to depend upon it. "For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13 NKJV)
Confess your sin and leave it behind."If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 NKJV) "Salvation that comes from trusting Christ--which is the message we preach--is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, 'The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.' For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, 'Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.'" (Romans 10:8-11 NLT)
You cannot help yourself. "God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you 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 NLT).
God loves you enough to provide for you. "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8 NLT)
By faith, believe Jesus and accept Him. "So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31 NKJV). Invite Jesus into your life now! Talk to Him as you talk to a loving friend, for that is just what He wants to be.
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)
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Discover Your Spiritual Gifts
The General Board of Discipleship is a good place to grow the Christian life. They sponsor a good number of Newsletters worth considering.
BeADisciple.com provides an online location for workshops, trainings, bible studies, and other educational opportunities for Christian leaders.
Discipleship Resources: Simple. Biblical. Free. Core Discipleship The Foundation for Evangelism offers PDFs and eBooks and Christian Audio and Video. Select from a large number of Bible reading plans Here, Here, or Here. Read or listen to the English Standard Bible- using their chronological reading guide. Click here for Bible study tools.
Read the Bible in a Year Daily reading as used in the Life Journal, a basic Scripture reading plan and journal. Every day promises three or four chapters of reading. You are encouraged to write about the verse or verses that "jump out at you." Or print your own Journal with the following file. Instructions are included in the document. We recommend printing "two sided" on three-hole punch paper. To save the file, right click on the link and hit "Save Target As..." Life Journal File
The United Methodist Way
General Rules of the United Methodist Church
Free Classical Christian books
Free Books on Prayer by E. M. Bounds!
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Essentials of Prayer
Prayer and Praying Men has a unique approach as a book on prayer. Many books on prayer focus mostly on simply features of prayer. Edward Bounds takes a different approach in Prayer and Praying Men by focusing on persons of prayer. Bounds examines the lives of nine different biblical figures: Abraham, Moses, Elijah, Hezekiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Samuel, Daniel, and Paul. In his examination, Bounds explores how important prayer was to the spiritual lives of these men. He provides concrete examples of the importance and nature of prayer, grounded in biblical narratives. Prayer and Praying Men is thus recommended for those who crave a book on prayer which is not abstract or airy, but direct and concrete.
Composed of twelve short chapters, Purpose in Prayer is Bound's description of the purpose behind prayer and not simply the purpose of prayer. He focuses on an individual's purpose in prayer; for one can understand the purpose of prayer, but not see the purpose in one's own prayers. Thus, Bounds attempts to encourage believers to not simply see the purpose of prayer, but to see that purpose in their own personal, private prayers.
Reality of Prayer
There is a spiritual reality to prayer, Bounds urges. Prayer brings us closer to God. He then discusses Christ as both a teacher of prayer and as an example of prayer. Finally, Bounds ends his encouraging and enlightening discussion by explaining the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer.
Weapon of Prayer
Why Pray? In, The Weapon of Prayer, Edward Bounds states: "The life of the individual believer, his personal salvation, and personal Christian graces have their being, bloom, and fruitage in prayer." As a chaplain in the Civil War, Bounds initiated weekly prayer sessions to strengthen the spiritual state of his local area. His wisdom has impacted Christ-seekers for decades, and his words are as powerful now as they were in the 1800's. Bounds reminds us that throughout Biblical history, many of God's greatest movements were incited by the prayers of God's people. According to Bounds, prayer must be a priority. Other Christian duties, such as sacred works, communion, and church activities, cannot and should not take the place of prayer. To eliminate prayer from our daily lives is to abandon communication with God. It is through prayer that we have the opportunity to share our deepest sorrows, joys, and desires with the only one who can truly comfort us. To remind readers that God's presence steadfastly endures, Bounds concludes his piece by providing modern examples of the power of prayer.