I Have Decided

The Good News Of Jesus Is Life Transformational!

The gospel is a proclamation of good news about who Jesus is and what he did on our behalf. He came to answer the deepest questions of the human heart and provide the forgiveness and freedom we longed for but could not achieve without Him. When we choose to believe the gospel, we put our trust in Him because we believe He rose from the dead and our decision is to invite Him to take up residence in our heart as our Lord and Savior.

To believe the gospel is to trust that God created us, loves us, and made us to enjoy a relationship with Him. Even though we, like all other humans, had lived apart from Him choosing to do our own thing and live as we saw fit, God sent his only Son to be our Savior. No matter how hard we tried, none of us were able to be good enough. We all fall short because we all have sinned, but the good news of Jesus is that He came to die to pay for our sins. This is where God demonstrated His love for us!

That is why when we choose to turn from our sin and confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are Born Again. We become children of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our new identity is in Christ and through Him we are completely forgiven and made new.

Reading the Bible

As a follower of Jesus, it is important to develop the practice of spending time reading and reflecting on scripture. The Bible is a collection of ancient manuscripts that have this distinction; they are not the words of man but are in truth the words of God. The Bible is not like any other book. Because it is the word of God, it is alive and active which means when we are reading it, it’s actually reading us. It speaks to us. The Bible communicates God’s will and desire for our lives. It teaches us what is right and what is wrong and prepares us for good things God has for us to achieve.

The story the Bible tells will reveal who God is and how great His love is for us. It provides inspiration to become the best version of us we can be, all that God intended for us when He created us. Time in scripture is the most essential disciple we need to develop as apprentices of Jesus.

Here are some practical suggestions in beginning the practice of reading the Bible:

  • Choose a translation that is easy to read and understand. Reading the Bible is not about information but learning to understand and apply the wisdom it provides to our everyday lives. Examples of modern translations are NIV, NLT, or ESV.
  • Don’t begin on page one. Since the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus, begin with the story of Jesus’ life. The New Testament begins with four stories of Jesus’ life from eyewitnesses. They are called gospels. It might be good to begin with the Gospel of John since he stated the purpose of his writing was “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
  • Don’t read randomly but follow a Bible reading plan. Here is a link for one.
  • Make the time daily to begin the habit of reading the Bible. Consistency is essential to make any practice a habit.

Here are a few Bible reading resources to help you in your journey:

Prayer

Prayer is simply talking to God. Jesus gave us access to God as our Father and He told us when we pray in His name the Father who loves us, will respond to us. Our relationships are only as healthy as the communication that happens within them. The Father longs for time with His children, but not because they have to, but because they want to spend time with Him.

Prayer is most effective when it isn’t something we do now and then, but when it’s a lifestyle we cultivate. To understand how to develop a lifestyle of prayer we can simply follow the example Jesus gave us during his life on earth. The Bible says that “early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and went out to a solitary place alone to pray.” This is a simple pattern to follow to develop a lifestyle of prayer:

  • Have a certain time. Jesus got up early to spend time with His Father. Therefore, make a daily appointment with God – whether it’s first thing in the morning, at lunch time, or in the evening – and faithfully keep it.
  • Have a certain place. Jesus had a specific place He went to pray. Having a designated place to pray helps remove distractions and frees us to worship and pray out loud.
  • Have a certain plan. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus gave them an outline for prayer. What has become known as “The Lord’s Prayer” leads us from worshiping God for who He is, to learning to prayer His priorities, to asking for our needs, then finding and giving forgiveness when needed, to seeking His protection and guidance, and ending with worship reminding us that He is more than able to do all He promised He would do.

Here are some Bible resources to help you begin the habit of prayer:

Life-Giving Christ-Centered Relationships

We were not created to do life alone. When we made Jesus the Lord of our lives, we became part of God’s family. The Bible calls the Church the Body of Christ. That means we are a part of an interdependent group of people who come together to form something greater than we could be on our own. We are all unique and have been given gifts that serve the needs of others as we live out God’s purpose for our lives. Life change happens in the context of relationships as we connect relationally with other believers, we grow together to reach our full potential in God. Life-giving Jesus-centered relationships are where we can find encouragement, support, prayer, as we learn to care for one another and grow together in love.

Here are a few ways to begin building some life-giving Jesus-centered relationships here are Vertical Church:

  • Weekend Celebrations: There are many opportunities to attend a Vertical Sunday Celebration. Make this an important priority in your schedule. Worshiping Jesus with others and hearing a word from God will help you grow in your relationship with God and give you a chance to meet others in a comfortable and casual environment.
  • Dream Teams: There are so many diverse, fun, and creative ways to serve at Vertical Church. Attend Growth Track to find a team that best suits your gifts and passions to join. This is an incredible way to meet new people as you serve others together in love. Click here to learn more about our Dream Team and Growth Track
  • Vertical Groups: Small groups are a place to connect relationally and grow spiritually. Groups provide the best environment to grow in your relationship with God so you do life together with others. Throughout the week, people from Vertical Church meet to study God’s word and discuss its application to their everyday lives, pray for one another, encourage, support and strengthen one another as they share life and build healthy relationships. Click here to learn more about our groups.