bringing THE HOPE OF JESUS
PRAYER: Lord thank you for all that you are already doing in my life! Thank you for the power you give me to overcome my weaknesses. Thank you for the new creation you are making me. I pray that my transformation will glorify you!
Questions to ponder: What has God already been doing in my life? How do you feel, knowing that you have been forgiven?
DISCOVERY: When we get close to God we all experiment a real conversion, a change of life. Most people believe that there is a God, but don’t have a relationship with Him as a Father. Some of us at one point or another turned our backs to the Father, but now we have turned around and we can see that our Father’s face is full of love and his arms are always open for us. Now we have given our back to the past and to sin and we have started a New Life. The following scripture will explain what’s happened to us.
2nd. Corinthians 5:17-21
1. We have been created again, born again, we have a new life.
2. The old things, bad memories, sense of guilt, sins, all of our mistakes and weaknesses of life, all of our past has been buried, we have stopped being what we were.
3. This is a total work of God. He did it by grace. God has attracted us, called us and gaviven us faith to believe.
4. He has reconciled us to him. We are not His enemies any more. The war is over. We became His friends.
5. He has made us His ministers of reconciliation. He authorizes us to reconcile with God our relatives, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, fellow workers and friends at school.
6. He commanded us to speak to the world about reconciliation.
7. He made us His ambassadors. We act in the name of Christ. Our home is an Embassy for the Kingdom of God.
8. He made us His prophets. He speaks through us to the world.
9. The message He gave us is: Be reconciled with God.
10. The basis for reconciliation: God has never stopped loving us and Jesus has paid for the ransom, we have been delivered, freed and saved thanks to God’s forgiveness and to Jesus who delivered us from Satan.
11. This is what we call conversion. Those who have received Christ have truly turned around to God. We have given our back to Satan and now are facing God the Father in deed and truth.
I now know that God loves me and has a purpose for my life. I was lost, Jesus paid for my sins, I am forgiven. Now I want to change and be a better person.
To be converted is “to turn around” and produces two results in one movement. When I hear that God loves me and calls me, I turn around towards Him, and automatically start to give my back to evil and the old life. When I was a disobedient child I didn’t dare look at my Father’s face. Now that I know that He loves me and forgives me, I seek His face, I look at Him repented, the Father forgives me, and I, full of joy, give my back to the world, to the past and to everything that displeases the Father and convert to Him.
To get converted is as if you takes the freeway believing it’s heading north, and suddenly you realize that it’s going south. So you get out at the next exit, cross over to the opposite side and start going in the right direction. It’s a decision more than an emotion. The important thing is to take the right direction. It’s OK to get emotional, as long as one makes the correction. Stop going on the wrong direction and start going on the correct one.
1. It’s a big mistake to believe as an Argentine tango says: “What shall I do, that’s the way I am”… as if one would be a victim of destine, of the circumstances, or of other people. Adam blamed it on Eve, Eve on the serpent, and that’s what we do, blame it on our character, destine, genes or anything that is out of our control. That ties our hands and feet from taking action. Those who have a bad temper say: “That’s just who I am, so people will have to put up with me”, they don’t take responsibility for their actions and make those around them and even themselves miserable.
2. The keys of your life, don’t give them to anybody! Don’t give the control of your life to other people or to circumstances. You take the control of your life and you decide what you want to be. Take responsibility for your actions. Do it now. With the help of the Holy Spirit you’ll be able to do it. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control.
3. You have to change and get to be who you want to be. Don’t be the toy, the puppet of circumstances nor of other people. Now that you know that you are a child of God, that God has a good purpose for your existence, you have to take the control of your life in the name of Jesus! Decide to start a New Life and make the changes with the help of the Holy Spirit.
1. Everything that’s bad, for the good. Sin means “failure”. We know what is good and what is bad. Now we decide to take the path towards the good, with the help of the Holy Spirit. We turn our back to sin, and if we commit one, it will merely be an accident but not a constant. It will not define us. Our continuous life will be one of obedience to the Lord because we love Him.
2. Let’s stop looking for spiritual powers out of God. Let’s not practice any more Occultism, Spiritism, Satanism, Witchcraft, Magics, Astrology, reading of cards, Ouija board, etc. We will abandon superstition, the belief of “bad luck”, fetishism and amulets. We will discontinue the wrong use of Christian images, attributing miraculous powers and making of them an end in themselves, worshiping them as if they would be God, instead of considering them only a holy ornament Exodus 20:3-6. When we know God, the fountain of all grace and power, we leave behind those practices.
3. We will abandon resentments 1 John 4:20-21. Just as we were forgiven by God, we will start this New Life forgiving all those who have offended us and hurt us: relatives, friends, co-workers, neighbors, partners, priests, pastors, parents, children, spouses, bosses and employees. Resentment is more harmful to us than to those who have offended us. Resentment is cured by forgiving. Let’s reject all resentment, hatred and animosity. If we don’t do it they will follow us to the grave. Let’s make a list of all those whom we hold resentment towards and let’s try to forgive. If you just can’t seem to do this on your own, consult with a Pastor. If we hold resentment towards ourselves, we have to forgive ourselves. If God, being just and holy forgives, why can’t we forgive ourselves and others?
1. Faith in God is the first step. We can’t change in our own strength. Jesus has promised that the Holy Spirit will come to us with His presence and will help us with his power and friendship. Let’s believe in this promise. This time we will succeed because we have God in our lives.
2. Make a firm decision to change. Just as the Prodigal Son did: “I will stand up, and I will go to my father and say, father, I have sinned against heaven and against you” Luke 15:18. Coming back to God and to His church will give us the power to accomplish it.
3. Let’s make a list of the habits we want to change. The habits that have to do with our bodies: such as sexual sins, alcohol, drugs, overeating, not taking care of our health, etc. Those of the mind: dirty thoughts, reading bad stuff, pornography, watching bad inappropriate movies, etc. The sins against the family: adultery, mistreating our spouse, our children, disobedience to our parents, etc. The sins against our community: disregard for the atmosphere, waste natural resources, waste water, etc. The sin against racism: despise a person because of the color of their skin, language or religion. The sins against our conscience: do or say what we know we shouldn’t. We will decide before God and with Him, to change negative habits for positive ones.
4. Let’s make a list of the people we have hurt. Abused, mistreated, exploited, stolen, violated, slandered, etc., and as much as possible we should restitute and mend the damage we have caused, calling them or writing, doing our best to reconcile with our enemies, with God’s help.
Let’s pray out loud: Lord, now that I am saved, I believe that I can change. I trust in your grace and promise. I know that you will help me. That is why today I convert to you. Renew my conscience, that it may be pure and that I may hear it loud and clear, and obey it. I even want to start loving my enemies. I want to convert to you right now, as I’m saying this prayer. Amen.
Let’s respond by saying: “Forgive me Lord” after each phrase.
For not loving you over all things.
For not having a relationship with you.
For consulting mediums and witches instead of you.
For seeking spiritual powers other than yours.
For keeping resentments, hatred and rancor’s and not forgiving.
For all injustices, rejections and despising others.
For cheating, defamation and gossiping that I have committed.
For envying, jealousy, and quarrels that I have caused.
For avarice, covetousness, stealing and lying.
For adultery, fornication and sexual impurity.
For getting drunk, using of drugs, overeating and other sensual addictions.
For not taking care of my family as I need to.
For not loving my neighbor.
For not being a part of your church.
Let’s say “Yes, I resign” after each question:
Do you resign all sort of occultism and superstition?
Do you resign all desire to know the future aside from God?
Do you resign to the reading of cards, of the hand, tea leaves, etc.?
Do you resign to all spirits practices?
Do you resign to all invocation to the dead?
Do you resign to the use of the Ouija board?
Do you resign to witchcraft, magic, and bewitchers?
Do you resign to all possession of amulets and talismans?
Do you resign to the superstitious use of Christian images?
Say: “Yes, I forgive” after each phrase.
Those who have molested abused or violated me when I was a child or as an adult.
My parents, brothers, step parents, uncles or abusive friends.
My boyfriend or girlfriend who abandoned me, my wife or husband who divorced me.
Priests and Pastors who didn’t understand me and offended me.
My enemies, (name them one by one).
Declare out loud: I recognize that I have been resented. I want to deliver myself of rancor that is damaging me. I offer pardon to each person before God. Lord, such as you have forgiven me, I also forgive. Help me to forget all of the offenses made against me, in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Let’s recite The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. For yours is the Kingdom, and the Power and the Glory for ever and ever, Amen.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under the Power of Pontius Pilate. He was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell and on the third day He rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven, where He is sated at the right of God the Father Almighty. From there he will return to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of the Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting, Amen.
Let’s pray together: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today I have surrendered to you, have confessed my sins, have resigned Satan and all his deeds, I forgave all who have hurt me and I confessed my faith by reciting the Apostolic Creed.
Now, in the name of Jesus Christ, I release myself of all oppression of the enemy, and I deliver myself of all evil. I break everything that is withholding me. I liberate myself once and forever. I’m free of fears, resentments, rancor, pessimism and of a negative life. I am free forever, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, from now on I will start to change. With YOUR strength and YOUR power I will abandon all the bad and negative habits that were damaging me and my family, and I will start to acquire good and positive habits that will amaze my family and I. I start a New Life! Today I have become a follower of Christ. How much I’ve been longing for this day and at last it has arrived! Alleluia! Amen.
St. John says: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all evil” 1 John 1:9.
Brothers and sisters: with the security that the Word of God gives us, I communicate that all of our sins have been forgiven.
1. What is conversion?
2. What place do emotions have in conversion?
3. Can our character be changed?
4. What does it mean not to give the key of our destiny to anyone?
5. What do we need to change?
6. How can we change and start all over again?
7. What habits will you decide to change, starting this week and what will you do to accomplish this?
8. What people have you decided to forgive this week? How will you communicate with them?
9. What will you do with the people you have offended? Will you ask for forgiveness and try to restore the damage you have caused? Will you communicate that you have received Jesus?
10. Let’s recite 1 John 1:9.