GROWlife: A Life Growing in God's Word

6201 Hillsdale Blvd / Sacramento, CA 95842
(916) 331-2741

 


 

by Debbie Fredrickson
Ministry of Encouragement & Faith

(Jesus speaking) 

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples" John 8:31 ESV


A Life Growing in God's Word
To grow into becoming a follower of Christ one must have a deep desire to become Like Him. This desire grows as we have intimate fellowship with Him. The fellowship we have is strengthened as we Pray and read God’s Word. God's Word tells us of His plan for the redemption of the world through Christ Jesus. We also learn of the extraordinary life Jesus lived. It is by how He lived and taught that we come to know God and learn how to truly be His disciple. This is no little thing. It requires a great commitment and devotion to God. It is called The Cost of Discipleship. His call on our lives is to be Imitators of Christ.
"Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." 1 John 2:6 NLT

As we imitate Him through our devotion to prayer, obedience to His Word, a life of service, a passion for generosity, and a heart of love, we will truly know and understand the depth of what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

He has not left us on our own to manage this. He has promised us that He will provide the courage, wisdom, and power to walk this path. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Philippians 2:13 NLT

What Happens When We Live A Life Growing in God’s Word
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers." Psalm 1:1-3 ESV



A life lived in the Word is much like that of a majestic oak tree. The tree thrives in nutrient-rich soil and in the abundance of fresh water and sunshine. The tree’s roots go down deep into the soil and are firmly planted. In season, the tree blossoms fruit, and its branches spread with a heavy canopy of leaves. Its beauty and purpose can not be measured.

A life growing in God’s Word is a life such as this. We find our source of life IN HIM as we are obedient to HIM. Our obedience is grounded as we Abide in Him and experience the oneness we have with him. This oneness leads to an abundance of spiritual fruit in our lives. And as we dig deep into His Word and hold onto its treasure, we become grounded in living it and doing all He says. What beauty and purpose springs from a life lived In God’s Word.

Living life in God's Word is proof that we belong to Him. To know His Word is the lifeline for which we hold on for wisdom and understanding when making life's choices for living a life that pleases Him.
 


A Life Growing in God's Word is a Like:
Loving the Word,
             Living Life & Doing Life
                              in  the Word


Part 1: Living Life Loving God's Word

Growing to Love God and to Be More Like Him
Growing to love God's Word is established by spending time getting to knowing Him and His Truths. And because of our love, we want to be more like Him as we get to know Him better and better. For any journey that requires a commitment, love plays a key role. Something wonderful happens when we devote our lives to loving God’s Word. We show our love for God as we meditate on His Word and treasure it in our hearts, then we become wise with Spiritual Wisdom so we better understand the ways of God and live life fulfilling as He intended.



“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3 ESV



Loving the word of God is made more evident in our lives when we begin to understand exactly what it means to love the Word - to have a comprehensive understanding of how happy, fulfilled, and completely satisfied our life is when we have chosen to hold the Word close to our heart.

When we realize we do not want to WALK in the COUNSEL of the world we choose to prohibit that lifestyle and those ideas to infiltrate our life.  We hold firm to this commitment as we refrain from STANDING in the WAY of a worldly worldview. This mindset will never have any equality with the truth of God and His Word. With this in mind, we will never SIT in the SEAT of scoffers and become judgmental toward those who hold a Godly worldview and live a lifestyle for God,

Therefore, our hearts will overflow with DELIGHT with a passion to know God’s ways and understand what it means to live them. When we MEDITATE on His word and think over and over the truths, we begin to make application to our life and ideals. In this, we will have a fruitful and abundant life full of wisdom and satisfaction — firmly grounded in God’s truth.

Why We Love the Word
We have chosen to be followers of Jesus, for it is our calling. He has called us into fellowship with Him and connect with Him in ways the world's views and ideas will never accomplish. Our cost is to be totally devoted and obedient to Him and His Word. In our desire to know Him better and better we discover His Word and become fully aware—why we Love the Word.



"The instruction of the Lord is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.8 The precepts of the Lord are right, making the heart glad; the command of the Lord is radiant, making the eyes light up. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous. 10 They are more desirable than gold—than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey, which comes from the honeycomb. 11 In addition, Your servant is warned by them; there is great reward in keeping them." Psalm 19: 7-11 HCSB



When we follow God’s instructions and learn His truths we discover our life becomes more satisfying and rich. And when we discover how wise His words are we learn to trust Him more and more making us wise.  It is through His rules and boundaries for right living we gain security which makes a glad heart. And when our eyes are open and enlightened our heart becomes full of wisdom and knowledge. Moreover, our reverence for God is what makes our motives pure which forever enables us to sustain the resistance of worldly values and ideas. For God’s ordinances are sustaining truths that are trustworthy, perfect, and unchanging.

This is why God’s instructions are more desirable than gold or silver, or any wealth the world offers. Nothing can compare to His word. So we are warned to keep His commands and live by them for in doing them there is a great reward for a full and purposeful life.

 

Write a prayer thanking God for His Word and expressing your heart's devotion to Him and His Word.


What Loving God's Word Looks Like

I Will Seek Your Ways with All My Heart       Psalm 119: 1-2
Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. (NLT)

I Will Hide Your Words in My Heart      Psalm 119: 9-11
How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you—don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NLT)

I Will Delight in Your Ways     Psalm 119: 12-16, 105
I praise you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. I have recited aloud all the regulations you have given us. I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches. I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways. I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. . . Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (NLT)

I Will Follow with My Whole Heart     Psalm 119: 33-35, 90-91
Teach me your decrees, O Lord. I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. . . Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. 90 Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.91 Your regulations remain true to this day, for everything serves your plans. (NLT)
 

Write a prayer expressing to God how God's Word will infiltrate your life.


Loving the Word Means Obedience
As with any commitment, it leads us to the ultimate question, Who Do We Love. The one we love and cherish is the one we want to please. So to be obedient and devoted to God’s Word will always measure how much we love Him  

John 14:15 If you love me, obey my commandments. (NLT)

John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (ESV)  1 John 2:6 Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (NLT)

As a follower of Jesus, we learn to obey His commands which comes from a heart that wants to cherish, honor, and respect the one we want to please. Our obedience shows how much we love, honor, and respect Him. This practice of obedience comes from a willing heart to abide in Him; to know Him and understand His word and practice it. This sets us free because knowing Him and following His words has become the source of a full and meaningful life—helping us from making bad choices. In our obedience, we will discover the path Jesus leads us will not always be easy, but His example of obedience leads us to understand more and more the life He has for us. For He is the one we abide in which gives us the strength to be obedient followers of His word.



Write a prayer to God to praise and worship Him and to express to Him your heart's desire to love Him and to better know Him so you can be more like Him to live a life of obedience by loving His Word.



Part 2: Living Life in God's Word

Living the Word by Abiding in Christ
The life we have with God and the path He expects us to follow is no easy task. He has said to us "Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." 1 John 2:6 NLT  How can anyone expect to be able to fully accomplish such a lifestyle? Christ has never commanded something of us for which He has not lived Himself. He has made a way for us. He has given us a simple analogy that perfectly justifies how we can fulfill His expectations of us. We must Abide In Christ. Just as Christ has kept the Father's commands and abides in His love, we must abide in Him. That we become one in Him as Christ is one with the Father. "The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me." John 17:22-23 ESV



The Lesson of the Vine
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:1-11 ESV



To abide in Christ means we must become submissive to His authority and rule in our life and His Kingdom purpose so that we can bear much fruit. It is the adhering to Christ as a branch adheres to the vine that we are able to have direct access to His power and His will to be obedient to His word and walk the path He has set before us. What is the fruit Jesus wants in our life? The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. As His disciple, we want to glorify Him in everything that we do and say. This is what proves that we are His disciples by our abiding love for Him which makes our life full of joy. It is also this abiding love, our life story He has written on our hearts, that becomes our testimony of God's redemption plan, "I in them and you in me, that they may be perfectly one, so the world may know that you sent me..." This is God's perfect will for each and every one of us.

Living the Word by Living in the Spirit
Not only are we to Abide in Christ to fulfill His expectations to walk as He walked, but we must also be strong in His mighty power by Putting on the FULL Armor of God. The life of a Disciple is not a rosy path. It is a path encamped in warfare. This warfare is with evil influences; rulers that are not of this world. It is very important that we understand this, or we will more than likely fall into the traps of the Devil and waver in faith and obedience to the Spirit. By Abiding in Christ and putting on the Full Armor of God we will become obedient to Christ and truly living the Word through the Spirit.



The Armor of God
"Finally,
be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV



As a follower of Jesus, we must become aware that we are in a spiritual battle. It is the armor of God that will help us to have the power to withstand the testing we will go through from Satan who will try to defeat our spiritual walk with God. TRUTH is our number one defense against Satan’s lies – knowing the truth and standing firm in God’s word and believing it. God’s word will guard our thoughts and mind and guide our steps. Remember to gird yourself with the BELT OF TRUTH. One of the truths we must hold onto is that IN CHRIST we have HIS righteousness. Gird yourself with the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. He has bought peace with God and made us to be His OWN—nothing can take this away from us.

As followers of Jesus and we know and have experienced the GOSPEL MESSAGE. It is written on our hearts because we have experienced God’s love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace and the abundance of hope and faith to trust and depend upon Him for all things. This is a powerful portion of the armor of God and we must be compelled to share the message of Christ to the world. It is the Gospel message that is the anchor of our faith set by our personal relationship with Christ. Our faith is not in circumstances, fate, or sheer luck, it is in the person of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what circumstances fall on our path, it is God we put our trust in. Gird yourself with the SHIELD OF FAITH. This abiding faith will extinguish all the fiery arrows aimed to cause us to doubt, worry and lose hope. Hold firm to the shield with the resolution of this relationship you have with Christ.

This relationship we have with Christ when we first believe begins here and now, and lasts forever. He has given us forever life with Him. The HELMET OF SALVATION is this eternal life. The helmet guards our mind which is the information center of the whole body that guides our thoughts, emotions, and decisions. What we think will determine how we feel and how we will act. The power of the knowledge of salvation centers our thoughts on the truth of God’s word. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) Gird yourself with the HELMET OF SALVATION. We are HIS, He calls us HIS OWN — nothing can take this away from us. We can fully trust and depend upon Him in every circumstance. His love is pure and true. The SWORD OF THE SPIRIT is the power of God; the source of strength, encouragement, and that which makes us capable of being obedient to walk the path He has for us. It is the only offensive piece of armor we have. Gird yourself with the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT. God has given us the Spirit of Truth who lives in us and moves through us and leads us to all truth. We must remember “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) Coupled with this, PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT at all times so HE can guide our heart, mind, our motives, and actions that we may know the mind of Christ and willing to live accordingly to the implications of His Word and His Kingdom purposes. To give Kingdom rule in our hearts and mind.



Write a prayer to God to praise and worship Him and to express to Him your heart's desire to love Him by abiding in Him and His Word - to better know Him so you can live a life of obedience to living in His Word. Pray for His Kingdom work through the life story He is writing on your heart that you will bear much fruit as you live through the power of the Spirit. Also, to keep hold of the guiding protection of the Armor of God as He leads and guides your heart, mind, motives, and actions through this life.



Part 3: Living Life Doing God's Word

Doing The Word by Putting it into Practice
Jesus taught His disciples in many different ways what it means to love Him. He knows that it is not enough to say that we love. It is something more tangible than that. It is shown in how we think and how we act. If we really love Him then we will keep His commands. A life devoted to God’s Word is visible. It can be seen in what we say and what we do. This devotion to the Word is grounded in our love for God and expressed in our devotion to be obedient to Him as Lord and fully dependent on our reliance upon Him for power and strength through the Spirit. Living a life growing in God's word is evident by His Lordship in our lives in doing the Word by putting it into practice.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22 ESV



Parable of the Builder
Jesus speaking “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:46-49 ESV



Jesus was very clear in teaching His disciples what it means to call Him Lord.  He uses this story to bring the point home. He says that not everyone who calls Him Lord is a true disciple “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21 He identifies His disciple as one who does what He says. Jesus knows that a person’s title “Lord”, comes with a certain amount of authority and deserving proper respect. Proper respect is always demonstrated with a certain attitude followed by an action. Out of love and respect, a disciple will do what He says.

Jesus also knows the power of knowing the truth. He knows the one who hears His words and does them understand the truth through a change of heart and a way of life. Not only do they understand it  -  they live it. One who knows the truth will change how they think which will change an action, that will build a habit, and live a destiny.  A true disciple will live the truth of God's Word as an outpouring of their love and devotion to God as Lord of their life with a desire to be more like Him as they get to know Him better and better.


What Doing God's Word Looks Like

All That I Do Will Fully Please My Lord   Colossians 1:10 ESV
"So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."



All That I Do Will be to Glorify God     1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.



All That I Do Will be A Living Sacrifice to God in Spiritual Worship    Romans 12:1 ESV
I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
 

All That I Do Will be from A Renewal of My Mind to Discern the Will of God     Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
 

All That I Do Will be by Trusting the Lord and Staying Present with Him As He Leads Me     Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
 



Write a prayer to God to praise and worship Him and to express to Him your heart's desire to love Him by doing His Word and putting it into practice. Acknowledge His Lordship in your life, to live a life of obedience to Him for His Kingdom work in and through your life. Ask Him to renew your mind and to transform you, that all you do will be to glorify Him to do those things that are pleasing and acceptable to Him; that you may be discerning of His will. Present yourself to Him as a living sacrifice as your spiritual worship of Him. That all that you do and say, you will be a good representative of Him who gave His life for you and gave you right standing with God.



Praying God's Word Into Our Life

 



At Hillsdale our purpose is to preach and teach the Word of God, to provide a place for worship, fellowship, and support, as we connect our hearts with God, to grow to become more like Christ, and be equipped to serve and share His love to our world.

It is our prayer that you find our fellowship warm and friendly and the messages meaningful and practical so that you will discover all that God has made you to be, that you might worship and serve Him. We know you will find our family fellowship caring and supportive and that here you can build lasting relationships.

 

OFFICE HOURS & SCHEDULE
Office Hours (916) 331-2741
9:00 am - 4:00 pm 
Monday - Wednesday - Thursday
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In-Person LIVE WORSHIP every Sunday 10:45 am
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Hello Hillsdale Family!

I hope and pray that all of you are doing well.

The joy of preaching to so many real live people again is personally very satisfying. I hope that in the coming weeks and months all our church family will be able to join us for in-person worship. The Worship Team is leading the congregation in singing, and worship is fantastic.

Fellowship Meal Let me encourage you to gather with us on Wednesday nights starting at 5:30 pm for a family meal and fellowship together.


Afterward, we will have time for
Family Prayer
at 6:30 pm. Come as we continue to pray for spiritual restoration, forgiveness, and unity in the Spirit that binds us together in the bond of peace, that in the effort of love, we are established as one body and one spirit because we are called to one glorious hope and future. Ephesians 4:1-4

Worship  We are worshiping together in person each Sunday at 10:45 am. For your convenience, weekly sermons are uploaded to our website as audio sermons & video sermons.

In His Service,
Pastor Jim
 
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