So you’re a Christian now! Welcome to the family! You have reached out to God, professed your belief in Him and His son, Jesus Christ, admitted your sin, and invited Him into your life. Now what?
I remember vividly the moment I went through those steps. What a turning point! But my spiritual growth didn’t happen until 2 or 3 years later. Try to avoid that delay! Here are tips to help you grow spiritually and get on FIRE for the Lord!
Romans 12:11-13 (NIV)
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
One. Find a Christian, Bible-Teaching, Jesus-Believing Church
It is normal for this process to take a while. No church is perfect, but be sure to find a place that welcomes you and has ministries for you and your family. And beware of cults! There are many and it is one of Satan’s ways to lead you down the wrong path! To learn more about cults, read this: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2016/03/24/5-signs-you-are-in-a-cult-being-called-a-church/.
Another great resource on cults is Raymond Comfort and his ministry, Living Waters. He has some great books/ebooks on cults as well as YouTube videos. Check out his website https://www.livingwaters.com/ for tons of great information and tools regarding Christianity, evangelism, cults, and more.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Two. Purchase a Study Bible
Some of my favorite versions are NIV (New International Version), ESV (English Standard Version), HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible), or NLT (New Living Translation). Those versions are easy to understand. But of course find one that suits YOU best! Study Bibles are different from a regular Bible – they have tons of notes about almost every passage and are so helpful. Even now, 15 years down the road, and I continue to highly value my NIV Study Bible.
Three. Begin to READ Your Bible Daily
A great place to start reading your Bible is in the New Testament. Or check out the Bible App – they offer hundreds if not thousands of free Bible plans! The Bible App is an application that can be downloaded on iPhones and iPads. Devotionals are good, but nothing can replace reading the Bible itself. A short Bible Study and prayer time in the morning (a.k.a quiet time) is a great way to start the day. Another great online Bible resource is www.biblegateway.com.
Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Four. Begin to Pray Daily
Jesus wants to hear from YOU, His beloved! Make time to talk to Him! A good habit is to start opening your day in Bible study and prayer (see #3) as well as to pray before meals and at bedtime. Of course, you can pray any time! In fact, God asks us to pray without ceasing. Open up those channels of communication with the Lord and feel free to speak to him anytime. No fancy words are needed – just speak to him from your heart.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Five. Begin to Memorize Scripture
In Billie Hanks Jr.’s book, A Call To Joy, he lists several reasons to memorize scripture:
- The more Scripture we tuck into our hearts, the easier it is for the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us.
- It helps us to resist temptation and live in purity.
- It channels your thoughts in a positive direction and provides help when you need it most.
- It equips us to share Christ with others and provides direction for making wise daily decisions.
Scripture memory can be included in your daily quiet times – or whenever you are able to fit it in. I tend to work on scripture memorization while I am helping my kids memorize their verses for AWANA (a worldwide kids’ discipleship program that meets at many churches. For more information, check it out here: www.awana.org). Do whatever is most efficient for you!
Six. Plug into a Bible Study
Once you find a church, be sure to find and start attending a Bible study. Whether it be Sunday mornings or with a women’s or men’s ministry during the week, this is critical for growth! It is a place to dive into the Word, ask questions, and have sweet fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. If A Call to Joy classes are offered at your church, go to them! They are so helpful in helping new adult believers with the basics. And if it’s not offered, don’t be afraid to ask for it! For more information on this series, click here: https://disciple-maker.org/home/. A Call to Joy was instrumental to launching Sam and I in our spiritual growth.
Seven. Consider Your Media Choices
What we listen to and watch has a big impact on us and our family.
- Check out Christian Radio stations like K-Love, HIS Radio, Family Life Radio, etc. Christian radio and music are so encouraging! And they are available online too!
- Christian Podcasts are also very helpful for growth and encouragement. Some great ones are by Pastor Tony Evans, Pastor Charles Stanley, Focus on the Family, Joni Eareckson Tada, or Jennifer Rothschild.
- Consider checking out Christ-centered books and television/movies. I listen to a lot of free Christian audio books through the Hoopla App and our local library.
Now don’t panic if you take a while to find a church, miss a Sunday service, miss days in your Bible reading, etc! These habits can take a long time to put in place. And depending on your season of life, you may be so busy with kids, school, work, etc., that carving out 10 minutes for God in the morning is very difficult. But know this – once you have invited Jesus into your life, you have received the Holy Spirit – which means you have access to a power not your own! When you are weak, He is strong; when you are tired, He is energetic; when you are discouraged, He will encourage! Don’t allow Satan to disrupt your relationship with God. He needs to be number one!
Psalm 31:3 (NIV)
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
God can do things with you that you can’t do on your own! So when you need help, simply pray and ask for it! As God begins to convict you in different areas of your life, know that He is not asking you do to things on your own; He is planning to help you every step of the way.
Psalm 32:8 (NIV)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Take that first step today to begin the best relationship of your life!