You've been hearing us talk a lot about The Daniel Plan this month, and we've been highlighting the five F's of Faith, Food, Fitness Focus and Friends. And I appreciate the fact that Pastor Rick Warren starts the book, and the entire Daniel Plan, with the foundational "F" of Faith. It's foundational for several reasons...
That's what life is all about! God desires a personal, love relationship with us, as it was when he created our first parents, Adam and Eve. God gave them a free will to choose to be in that love relationship OR to go their own way. And as you know, they chose poorly! Sin severed the relationship, and it became like a hereditary heart disease, passed down to all mankind. But God put a rescue plan in place to redeem and restore that relationship with us. That's why Jesus came, God in flesh, to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin and enable us to once again experience and enjoy that closeness with God. It's His gift of grace. And how do we receive it? It's through that first "F"...faith. The Bible says,
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Have you received that gift yet? I want to give you that opportunity in just a moment...but first let's get to point two of why faith is foundational to The Daniel Plan. Because...
The Bible says that God has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God has made us eternal beings, and so this span of time we spend on earth is comparatively very short. In fact, James wrote in the Bible:
"...For what is your life? It is just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).
And the Apostle Paul wrote,
"...while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens" (2 Corinthians 4:18-5:1).
So while we live in this body for a short period of time, we know it's not our real home. We know what's beyond the horizon...heaven...eternity with God in that ongoing love relationship. And we have that eternal hope because of the foundational step of faith we take when we receive God's gift of salvation provided through Jesus. In the meantime, while we're in this temporary "tent", we need to take care of it! And the third reason why faith is so foundational in the Daniel Plan is because...
True and lasting change is only possible by tapping into God's power source. Rick Warren writes in the "Faith" section of the Daniel Plan Book:
"When you invite Jesus to be the Savior and Lord (manager) of your life, your past is forgiven, you get a new purpose for living, and you get a home in heaven. In addition, you plug into God's power to change your life." (The Daniel Plan, page 57).
And then Rick provides a prayer in the book for you to pray to take that most important step of faith that I mentioned about earlier...that opportunity for you to receive the gift of eternal life. Here's that prayer from the book (make this your prayer as you read it):
If you prayed that prayer along with Rick Warren and me, and in your heart you know that those words really meant something to you down deep, then would you give us a call on our prayer line and let us know about your decision? We would love to encourage you further and pray for you as you begin your journey of faith. Our toll-free prayer line number is 1-866-273-4444, and it's available 24/7. You can also let us know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can click HERE and connect with our Care Centre by submitting a message through crossroads360.com.
And if you haven't requested your Daniel Plan book yet, now is the time to get it and join with us. Click HERE to request your copy.
God bless you!