Monday, August 26, 2013

The Christian Experience

We've looked at:  Christian hope, Christian calling, and today - Experience
In other words, what can I expect to experience (in this life) IF I choose to follow Christ??? 
(ie:  REALLY follow Him - not just nominal Christian behavior)

IF you choose to follow Christ - you can expect to experience:

#1.  Life - everyday, ordinary life situations, experiences, tasks, routines,.
A.  following Christ does not exclude us from 'life'.  Example:  saved on Sunday, still have to get up and go to work Monday morning! 
B.)  This therefore becomes part of your "Christian" life.

But, can also expect to experience:
#2.  Life enhanced by the presence of God.  - on one hand God is omnipresent so with all people all the time in a general sense.  But there is a special way that God is with His children. - with you and for you.
This includes the knowledge of His presence. - Matt. 28:20   Heb. 13:5
and the sense of His presence - (feeling, experience - sometimes have this as well)

The Knowledge you can always have with you (God's Word)
The Sense you cannot always have (unless especially graced with or fabricated)
BUT without the immediate Sense of His presence, can still experience the Knowledge of His presence.

Can also expect to experience
#3.  Life enhanced by the Promises of God.
Examples:  Rom. 8:28  1 Thess. 413 - difference in feeling by believers/non-believers?  John 10:10 (b)
We can experience peace and joy not available to the non-believer.

Also, expect to experience:
#4.  Conflict. - (ranging from tension to battle)
with:  a)  Satan - 1 Pet. 5:8-9  Eph. 6:12
        b)  Sin - James 1:13-14
        c)  Self - Rom. 7:21-24 - when try to follow God, have great struggle with self
        d)  The "world" - ie:  the mindset, activity, government of man apart from God
        e)  fellow Christians - because we're seriously flawed and incredibly selfish.   You will never, ever, ever find a fellowship that will not have conflict.

Also, expect to experience
#5.  Conviction - John 16:8 - expect the Holy Spirit to work in your life and convict you
#6.  Comfort - 2 Cor. 1:3-4
#7. Encouragement - whether from God/Holy Spirit/Word/people - 1 Thess. 4:18

#8.  Doubt - ' because we are human and walk by faith!!  Doesn't mean we have to be overcome by it.
So..... examples:  Moses, David, Jeremiah, John the Baptist - Matt. 11:2-3

#9.  An increasing faith - ie:  confidence, assurance, certainty, trust, etc. - grows when you follow Him

#10.  An awareness of blessing(s) - which leads to thankfulness - non-believer never fully recognizes

John 10:10 - this life experience = part of that!!

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