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Summary: “Believers Acquiring Skills for Intimacy with Christ”.

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B.A.S.I.C. Series

OPEN: Welcome to our new series called “BASIC”. Basic stands for “Believers Acquiring Skills for Intimacy with Christ”.

I want you to have your Bibles ready so we can turn to Hebrews 13 in just a few minutes.

But before we turn there, I want to tell you a story about the man most people believe was the greatest NFL Coach of all times.

His name was Vince Lombardi.

How great was Vince Lombardi?

Well, he was so popular and well respected that in 1968, Richard Nixon considered asking Lombardi to be his running mate.

By that time, obviously, Lombardi was a legend. When he took over the Green Bay Packers in 1959 the team was terrible (1-10-1 in 1958); when he departed after nine seasons, he left behind one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history. He'd led the Pack to five NFL championships, including three in a row between 1965-67, led the Pack to wins in Super Bowls I and II (tougher than you'd think: how do you get a team up for a championship game when they already thought they won it in the NFL title game?), and finished his NFL career with an overall 105-35-6 record.

But here is what I really want you to know about Coach Lombardi:

He started every season with a team meeting. Surrounded by veterans and rookies alike, he would hold a football high above his head so that each player could see it. With all eyes on him, he simply said: "Gentlemen, this is a football."

This was Coach Lombardi's way of reminding all of his players that success begins with a clear understanding of the basics. While it may have been a little simplistic, it succinctly illustrates the need to understand the fundamentals before moving on to more advanced tasks.

My point today is this, if we want to see success in our lives as Christians, it’s important that we get back to the basics.

And that is the purpose of this new series called “BASIC”

TEXT: Please open your Bibles to Hebrews Chapter 13, verse 8:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Now let me tell you why that scripture is so important…

Since I gave my life to Jesus, I have had some incredible, amazing encounters with God. (elaborate)

AND……I’ve had some times when God felt SO FAR removed from me. Almost like He wasn’t even there! (I’m sure you have too!)

But this Scripture reminds us all, if we aren’t “feeling Him” or we don’t feel close to Him, it’s not Him that moved….it’s US!

And again, that’s when it’s time to get back to the BASICS.

So as the Head Coach of this Church, I want to say to this TEAM……

“This is a Bible…………”

The Bible is a unique book.

Actually it’s a collection of 66 books written over a period of 1500 years by 40 authors who were from 13 countries on 3 separate continents (Asia, Europe, Africa).

It claims to be the Word of God over 2700 times.

And it has been translated into about 1500 languages.

From this book comes all the information that we have about God, Jesus, heaven, hell, salvation and eternity.

It also contains numerous fulfilled prophecies about various men and nations down thru the ages, and (more importantly) it contains over 300 prophecies that declared that the Messiah was going to come to earth to live, die and rise form the dead.

It is truly one of the most powerful works of literature ever written.

And Satan hates it!

If it were just a history book, or a collection of rules and regulations Satan probably wouldn’t be too bothered by it, but this is God’s book. This is God’s truth. And this truth of God has the power within its pages to change us.

PUBLISHED STUDY:

I recently read about an extensive study conducted here in America regarding Bible reading among Christians. Allow me to read just a portion of it to you this morning:

The lack of biblical literacy in America is at epidemic levels, says Ron Rhodes, President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. And when he talks about the lack of Bible reading among Americans, he is not talking about the population in general - he is talking about people who call themselves born-again Christians.

In an interview with Assist News Service Rhodes quotes a recent poll, which indicates that 35% of born-again Christians do not read the Bible at all. In addition, Rhodes indicates that among those who say they read the Bible, the vast majority only read it during the one hour they attend church each Sunday morning. Rhodes says such statistics make it more than obvious why many Christians are easy prey for spiritual deception. The level of biblical illiteracy among Christians may be one reason why many believers hesitate to stand for Godly values on the public scene.

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