January 1, 2023   /   Big Valley Grace Community Church



#1: God wants you to grow in your likeness of Jesus!

For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son…  Romans 8:29 (NLT)

Who will notice? 

“The goal of God’s predestined purpose for His own is that they would be made like Jesus.” —John MacArthur

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14

Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.  1 Peter 2:2 (NLT)

#2: God wants you to set your mind on Biblical things!

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…  Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 (NIV) 

“…It is the Law of life that if a man thinks of something often enough and long enough, he will come to the stage when he cannot stop thinking about it. His thoughts will be quite literally in a groove out of which he cannot jerk them.” —William Barclay

“We usually think about what we want to think about.” —Warren Wiersbe

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.  Colossians 2:8 (NIV)

#3: God wants you to be a blessing to others!

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. 30 Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. 31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you. 

“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! 34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. 

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”  Luke 6:27-36 (NLT)

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  Galatians 6:10 (NIV)

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Hebrews 13:1-3 (NLT)

#4: God wants you to deal with your sin!

But your iniquities have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that He will not hear.  Isaiah 59:2 (NIV)

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:8-9 (NIV)

#1—You need freedom from the PENALTY of sin! (Justification)

The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is salvation…  Romans 6:23

#2—You need freedom from the POWER of sin!  (Sanctification)

“…A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet…”  John 13:6-10 (EHV)

He who conceals his sins doesn’t prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.  Proverbs 28:13 (WEB)

#3—You need freedom from the PRESENCE of sin! (Glorification)

“…And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me.”  John 14:3 (NIV)

#5: God wants you to reach your actual neighbor!

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 

Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:34-39 (NLT)

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