Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Lesson 06 - Action


Principle 3: Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Happy are the meek.” (Matthew 5:5)

Step 3: We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)


When we get to Principle 3, we have worked, with God’s help, the first two principles to the best of our ability. We admitted our lives were out of control and unmanageable (Denial and Powerless), and we came to believe that God could restore us to sanity (Hope, Sanity and Turn).

The next lesson is “Action”. Action takes our belief in what God says and turns it into wisdom.

Wisdom is defined as “Action based on an accurate understanding of reality”. The first 5 lessons provide a biblical understanding of reality. Taking action based on what we learned makes us into wise people.

So far everything we have talked about in Steps 1-3 are dealing with the way we think. So our journey so far has begun with coming out of denial, I can do it myself, I don't need any help, I'm good, and recognizing that we are powerless, I can't do it myself, I do need help, I'm not good.

When we see and admit that we need help, hope arrives in our heart (yes, I can see the possibilities) as we begin to see that sanity (soundness of mind) is a possibility. Soundness of mind comes about through Holy Spirit empowered turning of our mind.

So now we come to the first lesson that actually deals with transformative behavior change.

Action follows the turning of our mind. If we want a behavior change, we start with a mind change and behavior change follows.

Wise behavior follows a Biblical mind change.

Dead faith consists of a change of mind (belief) with no behavior change (action). We can have faith that is not activated.

Living faith consists of both a change of mind (belief) and a change of behavior (action).

Jas 1:25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it--they will be blessed in what they do.

The “perfect law” in this context is the good news that gives us hope, it is what we are talking about tonight. It is the Word itself taken in and digested.

James is careful to tell us that when we put into “action” what we are hearing then we will be blessed. Not just hearers, but doers.

What we want to understanding in this step is what James means when he says that we are to put into action what we are hearing. What is that action, and what roles do the Holy Spirit and us have in the “doing”.


Let’s look at tonight’s acrostic: ACTION.



Turn it over

It’s only the beginning

One day at a time

Next step

A - ACCEPT Jesus Christ as your Higher Power and Savior!

Romans 10:9 (GNB) God’s Word tells us, “If you declare with your lips, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

This passage speaks about believing “in our heart”. The term “heart” is defined in Strongs Bible Dictionary as:

the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind);”

Our “heart” is the sum of our character traits. It is who we are as a person. It is what people see when they interact with us.

Accepting Jesus “into our heart” means to have Him and His Word permeate us and mix with who we are so that who we are as a person undergoes transformation. This sort of introduction of the Holy Spirit into our character, who we are as a person, results in behavior change and we become a new creation (or as Pastor Greg said yesterday, a “new creature”).

The idea of “baptism” conveys the same meaning. Baptism means “immersed” in Christ. The baptism event conveys to the public that you have made a commitment to introduce Christ into the sum of our character and who you are as a person with the intent to undergo transformation.

Transformation happens as we take action based on that commitment.

Accepting Jesus into our heart, to be mixed with who we are as persons, in the manner that baptismal immersion illustrates is a reality that cannot help but bring about a change to our thought life. Actions will change as a result of this sort of thought life change.

C – Commit to Seek and Follow His Will

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Psalm 143:10).

This is a prayer asking for God to teach us how to be doers. We learn to be doers as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. The Holy Spirit leads us when we take the action to read God's Word and allow it to change the way we think, gather with other believers, pray and listen to God, and so on.

Our action here is to seek out and do what it takes to cause our heart to become immersed in Christ, so that we can know what His will is, and do it.

T - TURN it over.

Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens” (Matthew 11:28–30, TLB).

The context of this passage is the condition of the Jews who were worn out due to a long and hard struggle carrying the heavy burden of the Mosaic Law, the difficulty of which was compounded by the incorrect understanding and application of the law by the scribes and Pharisees.

Mat 23:4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."

So we find a similar application in principle in this passage wherein we are also weary and worn out from our own struggles with our own issues and difficulties. Like the Jews that were under the Law of Moses, we will find relief through discipleship in Christ and learning His Kingdom standards (Sermon on the Mount), and turning our lives over to Him.

Being a disciple of Jesus and following His ways will lighten our burdens.

I - IT’S only the beginning.

Philippians 1:6 (TLB) “God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished.”

And ...

O - ONE day at a time.

Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time” (Matthew 6:34, TLB).

As Christians, we are all at various stages in this process. Those who are newcomers to the concept of transformation need to know that you are just at the beginning stages, and that this is a life long process. This is good news, because the results of the process keep getting better and better. Don't let your courage slip away as you think about this. Take it one day at a time.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

N - NEXT step (Wrap Up)

The next step is to ask Jesus into your life to be your Higher Power.

  • First, we must know that we are a sinners.
    Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

  • We must know that the wages of sin is death.
    Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • We must know that Christ the Savior died for us and for our sins while we were in our sinful state.
    Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • Salvation is a free gift from God, through Christ.
    Rom 3:24-25 ... all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood--to be received by faith.

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