2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
1 Corinthians 15: 3-4 (NLT) “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”
It is an amazing revelation that Jesus saved you from all of your sins and mistakes. As we just read in 2 Corinthians 5:17, when we make the decision to follow Jesus, we become entirely new people.
All of the mistakes that we have made have been forgiven and are completely removed from our lives. Can you believe that? All of them are taken away and we get a fresh start!
The reason Jesus forgives us from our sins is because He wants a relationship with us! He came on this earth, died on the cross, forgave your sins, so that He can have a relationship with YOU. He loves you and wants to be a part of every day of your life.
As you read through this every day this week, you will discover what it looks like to have a relationship with Jesus. Jesus saved you from your sins and has given you new life! This is important to understand and will continue to transform the way you live.
The reason Jesus chose to do this is because He loves you more than you could ever know or imagine! The love Jesus has for you is what gave Him the courage to die on the cross and take the punishment we deserve and put it on Himself.
Jesus exchanged places with us. We deserved death and punishment for our sins and mistakes, yet Jesus, in His perfection, took the punishment that we deserve and put it on Himself. Because of this selfless act of love, we get all the benefits and blessings from Jesus: forgiveness, love, redemption, mercy, grace, and so much more!
Our sins have been forgiven and we can now have a new life and relationship with Jesus, but that’s not all! Because of what Jesus did on the cross and because you have decided to follow Jesus, your eternal destination is secured!
That means after we leave this earth, we get to spend all of eternity in Heaven, continuing our relationship with Jesus. This is good news!
The next step in your new found relationship with Jesus will be to be water baptized. Water baptism is an outward declaration of an inward decision to follow Jesus. It’s going public with your faith!
This next step is so important that Jesus himself modeled it for us in Matthew 3:13-17 by getting water baptized. From the moment the church started, people have been getting water baptized as a symbol of our new life and new relationship with Jesus.
If you are ready to take this next step, sign up to get water baptized by going to Zealchurch.com/baptism.
Your Salvation is not something that can be earned — it is a gift from God through Jesus. Even if you stumble, come back to Jesus and allow Him to lead you again into relationship.
Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross and taking away my sins. Thank you for your forgiveness, love, and redemption. Help me to have a strong relationship with you and give me the strength to turn to you every time I mess up and make a mistake. I love you and am excited to start this new relationship with you. AMEN.
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
John 10: 27-28 (NLT) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.”
“Prayer” can be an intimidating word. However, prayer is simply talking to God. Just like your relationships thrive with good, consistent communication, the same principle applies to your relationship with God.
If you want a good relationship with God, you are invited to talk to him every day. It doesn’t have to be fancy or long. You can start by having a short conversation with God.
We just read in 1 Peter 5:7 that we can give all our worries and cares to God, because he cares about us. If you don’t know what to say, that’s a great place to start!
Tell God everything that is worrying you, stressful to you, or any problems you might be facing. He wants you to tell Him so that He can step in and help. God already knows, but He wants a relationship with you more than you want a relationship with Him. You are invited to tell him what’s going on in your life.
The other verse we just read tells us that prayer is a two-way street. We tell God what’s going on in our lives, and God wants to also speak to us. We belong to Him, we are His sheep, and the sheep recognize that shepherd’s voice.
Prayer is equally about listening as it is about speaking. God will talk back when you have a conversation with Him! It may take some time to recognize His voice, and oftentimes God’s voice sounds a lot like our voice in our heads. One way to distinguish God’s voice over your own voice, is that God’s voice will tell you things you wouldn’t otherwise tell yourself. He will encourage, direct, and point things out that you would probably never say.
Prayer is just as much about listening as it is talking, just like any relationship you have in your life. Below is an outline you can follow to get started on how to talk to God.
Read this scripture and follow the instructions below. Take five minutes and try to follow this outline to pray every day this week.
Luke 11: 2-4 (NLT) Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.
Spend the first minute thanking God for everything good in your life. Big or small, if it’s good, it came from God and thank Him for it!
Spend the second minute asking God to give you the courage to follow Him. Following Jesus can be very challenging at times, so we need His help every day.
Spend the third minute asking God for specific things you need and want. God cares about the thing you care about and nothing is too big for God.
Spend the fourth minute asking God to forgive you and others. You will experience freedom and relief when you ask God to forgive you of your sins and when you forgive others for anything they’ve said or done to you.
Take the last minute to listen. Remember, prayer isn’t a monologue but a conversation. It’s important to ask God to speak to you and to actively listen. It might feel a little uncomfortable but sit quietly and ask God to speak to you. He might tell you something specific, remind you of a Bible verse or special moment, or He may just say one word. You probably won’t hear an audible voice, and that is okay! The point is to practice pausing and listening as God speaks to you.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (NLT) “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
The Bible is one the greatest gifts God has given us, which is why it’s important for us to read it and study it every day.
The Bible IS God’s word to humanity. It is 66 books compiled into two testaments, the Old Testament (everything before Jesus) and New Testament (Jesus birth and on), making up one entire book.
The Bible isn’t just a book you read, but it’s a book that reads you. It teaches us what it means to follow God. It was written over a span of more than 2,000 years, and it is STILL relevant to us today.
The ideas of love and forgiveness, redemption and courage, mercy and grace, compassion and creativity, all come from the Bible. This book has impacted and shaped history, cultures, and societies.
The Bible is the most translated book in the world. It’s been fully translated in over 682 languages. It has consistently been the #1 best seller list for years.
The Bible includes war and betrayal, sex & scandal, messy family genealogies, poetry, love letters, biographies, history, kings, kingdoms, prophetic writings, songs, wisdom, underdog stories, comeback stories of redemption, the beginning of time and the end of time. This book has changed countless lives and it’s still changing people’s lives today.
The Bible is more than a book – it’s God’s word to US!
One of the best ways to read and study the Bible is called the SOAP Method. SOAP is an acronym that stands for the following:
Scripture – Read a section of the Bible every day. It could be a few verses, a chapter, or multiple chapters.
Observation – Observe what is happening in these verses and write down what you notice.
Application – Ask how you can apply and live out what you have read and observed in your life.
Prayer – Talk to God about what you just read.
Read John 3:16 and SOAP. Write down each step and take note of what you’re reading and learning. Try to SOAP every day this week. If you don’t know where to begin, start by reading and SOAPing through the Book of John found in the New Testament.
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 (NLT) “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Community is crucial to growth. Who you spend time with is determining whether or not you’re growing in your relationship with Jesus. When we’re in a good Christian community, we grow together, learn together, study the bible together, and pray for one another. One of the keys to lasting change is community.
We are so much better together. We can accomplish so much more together. God didn’t create us to live this life on our own. He created us to be in relationship with other people. God knows that we need encouragement, prayer, fun, laughter, empathy, love, and compassion. These can all be found in good, godly friendships. This doesn’t just mean finding good friends but also learning how to become a good friend. We need each other in order to grow in our relationship with Jesus.
Z Groups is one of the best ways to find community at Zeal Church. We have Z Groups for anyone and everyone. We have Z Groups for young adults, married couples, singles, men, women, bible readers, and so much more! ! If you’re a human, there’s a place for you to fit here. Sign up to be a part of a Z Group by going to zealchurch.com/zgroups. Find a group that you might be interested in and get connected! We are so grateful that you are a part of this community!
Psalm 92:13 (NLT) “For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God.”
This verse really helps us to understand the importance of consistently attending church. If you take a plant, uproot it every few days, and put it in a different spot, that plant will never grow, flourish, or thrive. It will stop growing. Just like a plant, we need to plant ourselves in a healthy church community so that our roots can go deep into the ground which allows us to grow, flourish, and thrive in our faith and relationship with God!
Consistency is greater than intensity. Consistently attending church helps create lasting change in your life. Our faith journey isn’t a sprint, but more like a marathon. By showing up to church week after week, you are slowly building your faith and growing in your relationship with Jesus.
Here’s what you can expect on Sundays:
During Sunday services, we worship together. This means praising and thanking God for all He’s done for us and acknowledging how amazing He is.
The Bible says in Romans 10:17 “So faith comes by hearing, that it is, hearing the good news about Christ.” For this reason, we hear solid Bible teaching from one of our great communicators. This really helps our faith to be built up.
We also spend some time every Sunday praying with and for one another. We believe it’s important to pray together and to pray for each other. In fact, praying for someone is one of the best ways to show someone that you care about them!
Another reason why it’s important to attend church regularly is because you get the opportunity to meet and spend time with other Christians. Just like we talked about yesterday, growth happens best in a community and every Sunday we have the opportunity to spend time together while learning and growing alongside other Christians.
Not only is church beneficial for you personally, it’s also great for your entire family.
If you have kids, Zeal Church has a great kids program. This is not child care, but a place where kids can learn and grow in their relationship with Jesus.
As you’re worshipping and listening to great bible teaching, your kids are doing the same thing at the same time!
We believe that kids can have their own personal relationship with God. Zeal Kids is also a very safe environment where every team member has had their background checked and been properly trained. At Zeal Church, we want the entire family to thrive together!
Commit to attend one service every Sunday for the next three months. We guarantee that you will experience growth in your faith as you consistently come to church every week! If you don’t experience growth at Zeal Church, we will personally help you find a church that is a better fit for you and your family because our heart is for you to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
Matthew 20:28 (NLT) “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
1 Peter 4:10 (NLT) “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”
Whether you realize it or not, God has uniquely created each and every one of us. We all come from different families, socio-economic backgrounds, life experiences, and education. You are ONE of a kind. There is no one else on this planet or in history that is like you.
God has given you special gifts, talents, and abilities so that we can use them to help and serve others. This is one of the best ways to grow in our faith and relationship withers. Jesus wants us to use our God given gifts and talents to help others.
Jesus himself said that he did not come on this earth to be served, but to serve and help others. God is asking you to do the same! If you don’t know what your gifts and talents are, here are some qualifying questions to help point you in the right direction:
What are you passionate about? Your passions are connected to how you can serve others.
What would you do for free? If you would do something for free, that’s probably the thing God wants to use to help people.
What frustrates you the most? Oftentimes our gifts and talents can be found in the things that frustrate us.
God does not want us to be consumers but to be servants. In fact, serving is the greatest honor, title, and position we can have! We don’t just want you to attend church, we want you to use your God-given talents and passions and use them to serve and help people. This is one of the best ways to grow in your faith and relationship with Jesus and it also brings great fulfillment and satisfaction.
Go through the Zeal Church Discovery Track. Discovery is THE way to get involved at Zeal Church.
Discovery is a three-part track that happens after each service on Sundays.
During Part One, you’ll learn about Zeal Church’s mission, vision, and values, and also have the opportunity to get to know our lead Pastor’s a little better.
In Part Two, you’ll take a personality test and gift assessment to understand how God has uniquely created you and how you can use your gifts and talents to serve others.
Finally, in Part Three, you’ll learn about all the opportunities and teams you can join in order to serve others at Zeal Church. During Part Three, you’ll have a chance to meet a Zeal Church Team member from one of those teams and be able to sign up to join the Z Team.
We want everyone that comes to Zeal Church not just to attend, but to get involved and serve. We really believe that by joining the Z team and serving that you can go to a new level in your faith and relationship with God.
We can’t wait to see you at Discovery Next Sunday!
Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
You’ve spent all week learning about your relationship with Jesus and how to grow in your new found faith. We couldn’t be more excited by your commitment to step into the most meaningful and rewarding life you could ever have! It doesn’t mean the road gets easier, but the road does gain purpose and it leads to one place: your eternal home with Jesus.
Each and every one of us plays an integral part as Christ-followers. Some of us are baristas, some of us are teachers, some of us are secretaries, administrators, custodians, and each person has a purpose. Following Jesus doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all called to work for a church, but it does mean that our lives get to reflect our love and passion for Jesus.
Whatever your situation, lifestyle or occupation, Jesus has called you to a life of full-time ministry in that place! What this means is that you get to spread the word that God has a Plan, Hope, and Future for everyone, everywhere you go!
Everyone deserves a chance to hear and experience the love that Jesus offers. It doesn’t mean everyone will make a choice to follow Him, but we can at least tell them about the amazing life that comes with serving Jesus and give them the opportunity to choose. Even if someone rejects the message of Jesus, we still need to continue to love and show those people who Jesus really is. Pray for those who choose to reject God. Don’t scold or berate them, because that’s not our job. Our job is to love them and point them to Jesus. You are not the paid salesman. You are the happy customer that can’t wait to tell your friends about a God that loves you and them!
Tell someone this week about Jesus. The easiest way to tell people about Jesus is to share your story. Tell them what God has done for you, and what He can do for them. You don’t need scripture. You don’t need a platform. All you need is the story of what God has done in your life. Take a few minutes before each day to pray for the people in your life that need Jesus and ask God to give you an opportunity to share your story with them.
Another good way to share your faith is by inviting your friend or family member to come to church with you. Tell them that you’re saving a seat for them and that they can sit with you.
Thank you for reading through 7 Day Start! We hope this resource has helped you grow in your relationship with Jesus. This is not the end, but just the beginning of an amazing journey with God. We can’t wait to see you soon!