So you’ve just decided to use your life to follow Jesus. Today you made a decision – put a stake in the ground, if you will. Now what?
First, we want to encourage you to remember these few truths:
- You are fully forgiven. There is no condemnation or shame for those in a relationship with Jesus. The work of Jesus on the cross washes away all sin. The Bible tells us, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgression from us.”
- You are deeply loved. Even in the moments when you do not feel it, know God loves you so much he would have died for you if you were the ONLY person on the planet.
- Faith is a journey. While we only need to invite Jesus to be the Lord of our life once, surrendering our life to him is a daily task. You aren’t going to wake up to a whole new world tomorrow, but this is a very important start of a wonderful journey.
And if faith is a journey, that means we all have much growth ahead of us!
Read the Bible //
Start with Mark, the shortest Gospel and a great, action oriented picture of Jesus. As you read, taken note of a few things: Write down what compels you about Jesus’ life and ministry. Write down what confuses you. Write down what you learn.
Talk with God //
Praying is nothing more than being on terms of friendship with God. It’s simply talking to him! About anything and everything. If it’s important to you, it matters to God. God is only concerned when he does not hear from us at all. You don’t need special words; you don’t even need to close your eyes or fold your hands! You need only to open your mouth. Try praying for just a few minutes each day and see how God meets you in prayer.
Read a book about faith //
“Reason for God” by Tim Keller provides a logical approach to belief in God. “After You Believe” by NT Write is a great follow up step. “The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness” by Tim Keller is a short pamphlet highlighting the idea of living for God over and above ourselves. All available on Amazon. If you prefer to listen than read, consider an audio book or even finding a podcast to listen to. Ask another Christian you know what they’re listening to or reading.
Join Parkview’s services //
Join Parkview’s Sunday online or in-person gatherings. Making Sunday a priority is a great practice to develop. Going to church services doesn’t make you a Christian, and you’re not obligated now that you believe in Jesus. Rather, it’s a great practice to start because it’s an opportunity to be in community and learn more about Jesus.
Over the next 30 days, keep track of what you’re feeling and thinking in regards to your relationship with Jesus. What questions do you still have? What has frustrated you? What has brought you joy and peace? What kind of next steps do YOU want to take? Maybe it is literally a few sentences each day just to chronicle your journey and how you’re feeling.
Do something that stretches your faith //
Maybe you’ve struggled with being generous in the past – what if in this season you stretched yourself to be more generous as a result of your faith? Maybe you tell a family member or friend about your faith journey – this will likely be a stretching exercise! What if you used this next season to try to work on a selfish or sinful habit that doesn’t honor God and is not healthy for you or your relationships? You have access to the Holy Spirit – ask him to help you with your temper, your patience, your language, your entertainment habits, anything!
Please know these things are not meant to make you ‘good enough’ for God. And they aren’t a checklist of things to do so God will be happy with you and you can be a good Christian. They are things that can give you life and are a result of having new faith in Jesus. Don’t read these as obligations, but as opportunities to strengthen your relationship with Jesus and live into the life he has for you – you will find it to be an abundant and beautiful life!