FIRST STEPS FOR NEW CHRISTIANS: Part 2
(Return to Part One on previous page.)
SEVEN FIRST STEPS (Continued)
This is Part Two of First Steps for New Christians. Part One discussed the first and second steps. The remaining steps are activities that characterize the lives of faithful Christ-followers. So form these habits now, and continue in them until either you go on to glory or He returns at the end of the age.
3. PRAY AND PRAISE DAILY
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.” (James 5:13) Prayer is talking to God; praise is thanking Him. Bring your needs, questions, difficulties, and hopes to your heavenly Father. He wants to hear from you, and He’ll answer.
We pray, not to inform God (He knows everything already), but to draw closer through it. We humble ourselves before Him to ask for help. We exercise trust in His goodness and power by giving our cares to Him (Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7). Likewise, acknowledging His character and work, through praise, reminds us of His faithfulness. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2)
4. STUDY YOUR BIBLE DAILY
“For the word of God is living and active…” (Hebrews 4:12) If prayer is talking to God (and it is), then studying your Bible is listening to Him. The Bible is more than just words on paper. It’s God’s revelation to mankind; it expounds the truth about everything we need to know in this life. Love it, learn it, and let it work in you.
Beware, for the enemy deceives many into judging the word of God, to their own detriment. They may doubt parts or all of it, but they will never disprove a single pen stroke. As you believe the Gospel, believe the rest of it too–the whole counsel of our Lord. For the same precious word which made us alive also teaches us how to live this new life for His glory. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4)
5. FELLOWSHIP REGULARLY
“I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.” (John 13:34) What’s fellowship? It means spending time with other Christians, in friendship, as members of the same body. The church is a family. So our relationship with one another isn’t limited to weekend church services.
We care for eachother. We support and pray for eachother. We teach and learn from eachother. From Bible study to bass fishing, it only matters that we glorify God together. Discover the joy and benefit of fellowship; start seeking out healthy Christian relationships, and nurture them. “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
6. SERVE GOD CONTINUALLY
“Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) The Bible says a lot about serving God. We serve, if we truly love–the Lord, and people, whom the Lord has made in His image. We serve by living holy lives, sharing the Gospel, and helping others in God-honoring ways. Our service is a “Thank You” to our Savior and a witness of His love to others.
Jesus Christ–God the Son–came to us as a man. He lived as an example to us. He died as an acceptable sacrifice for us. He rose to give us eternal life. Follow Him with a joyful, humble heart, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
7. TELL OTHERS CONSTANTLY
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.’ ” (Matthew 9:37) One hundred and fifty thousand people die each day, worldwide. Most of them are not headed into the arms of Jesus Christ. They are bound for eternal punishment and suffering, where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die. Share the Gospel today: Honor God, Follow Christ, and save souls.
You have been saved by grace. Hallelujah! What about your family? Friends? Neighbors? The cashier? The waitress? That unpleasant person who just offended you? “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
NEW LIFE FOR NEW BELIEVERS
Some new Christians have been raised by faithful Christian parents. Conversely, the Christian life is completely new to many new believers. Either way, none of us receives the Holy Spirit until we are born again. And that is when we truly begin to see the world as God sees it–from the vileness of sin to the joy of seeing a sinner saved.
So maybe you haven’t attended church or read the Bible much, or at all. Maybe you don’t understand Christian vocabulary. Don’t worry; this journey with God is a learning process for everyone. Moreover, this is only the beginning. As Paul’s epistle (letter) to the church in Philippi assures us, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Just stay committed to Christ! Study these first steps for new Christians, and follow them. You will experience trials and triumphs; God will work through all of them for your good and His glory. Hold on to our Heavenly Father like a child holds onto his father: with a humble and devoted disposition toward Him.