Spiritual Basics - Thoughts from a New Christian

Starting Your Faith with the Spiritual Basics

 If somewhere, somehow, you stumbled upon receiving Jesus Christ into your life and you are now wondering what's next, this blog is for you.

You asked Jesus into your life. What's Next?

Perhaps you visited with a HopeCoach via Live Chat and they cared about you and didn't judge you, and they told you about Jesus. Perhaps it was something you read on this site or elsewhere.  Maybe a friend told you about their faith, or you remembered what your grandma used to say, or you heard something on Instagram. Who knows how God got your attention...but He got it!

No matter how it happened...you took the next step and asked Jesus Christ into your life!  Now you are wondering, "What does this all mean? What is the next step? Do I have to go to church?"  It's going to be o.k., settle down, you are about to start the most exciting and life-changing experience of your life.

Life-Changing Experience

I've been there.  If your experience was like mine, you know that something has happened inside of you because your desires have changed, you feel free of your burdens, and for the first time you feel unconditional love. This was my experience.  From the bottom of my feet to the top of my head, I felt the heaviness leave me and it was replaced by a deep peace. Since I did not have a church background, I did not know what had happened or what I was to do. Fortunately, the church I found had a singles group that offered alternative activities, a social life and Bible studies. I was able to replace my bar running to a new safe clean home called the church. However, it takes time. Be patient with yourself while finding your new life.

The first few months of your new life are critical to your future with Christ. The things you do, the things you say and the people that you connect with for support will be the foundation for your new life in Christ. The following are resources and guidance that will help until you find a church, Bible study or fellow Christians to support you.

Three Tips to Help Build Your Relationship with Christ

LifeStyle:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. (Corinthians 5:17)

The best place to start is finding a church home so you are can meet people who can encourage you in your new life. However, not knowing your circumstances, this may be hard initially, especially if you have never attended church or had a negative experience in the past. But there is a church that God has picked for you that will be safe and life-giving. Here is an online directory of local churches you could start with Church Finder

Perhaps you are also thinking, "Oh no! I will have to get rid of my friends and change my lifestyle." Whoa! Who said that? Ask God what He wants you to change.  Then ask for His help to change and replace things that you do not want in your life any longer. You cannot take something away without replacing it with something better.

For more tips on finding a church read: Finding a Church

The Bible:

If you abide in Me, and My words (Bible) abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:17)

My suggestion immediately after praying to receive Christ is to get a Bible. (You can get an online Bible here: The Bible)  Reading the Bible will give you an immediate connection with Christ. It will help explain who He is and how He is important in your life. I suggest start reading the book of John because it will explain the life and ministry of your new best friend.

Try not to be intimated by the Bible.   It will look like one book but actually has 66 different books inside. There is a table of contents in the front just like any other book, so you can find the book you are looking for and the page number. There is also an index in the back to help you find a subject you want to read about.

When I first read the Bible, I could not get enough of reading it.  I did not understand everything it was saying. However, I read it anyway because I felt closer to God. So now you have one hand on God and one hand on the Bible. This is a good start for your journey.

For more tips on reading the Bible read: Reading the Bible

Another good place to start are these Bible Verses: Hope from God

Prayer:

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

The next step is prayer.  This is communicating with God as if He is sitting next to you. Do not be concerned about whether your head is bowed or you are on your knees. If you can do that, great. It shows reverence. However, God is looking at your heart to see if it is humble before Him.

Acknowledge that you need His help. Ask Him what church to attend or to send you strong active Christian friends that can help you grow in your relationship with Him. Ask Him for insight and understanding as you read the Bible. Pray for others in your life that need help.

Then also listen to God without distraction. Part of prayer is listening. Perhaps you will hear a still small voice that talks to you. Perhaps He will speak to you through what you read in the Bible or through other people.  Pay attention to the messages you are receiving. Just note that anything God says will not contradict the Bible. No robbing banks because God said so.

For more tips on prayer read: How to Pray

Prayer for Your Future

I pray blessing, strength, and guidance upon those that are reading this blog that have asked Jesus into their life.  Your journey never ends until you see Him face to face. He will never leave, hurt or abandoned you.

Plan of Salvation

For those of you that have not yet asked Jesus Christ into your heart, please read the following scriptures for understanding.

We are all sinners

Romans 3:10 "as it is written: There is none righteous. Not even one;" (This means that there is no one who does right all of the time, or who is totally pure in heart and life.)

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
(No matter how good we live, there is still sin in our lives. And, because of sin, we all fall short of what God wants us to be.)

We all deserve death

Romans 6:23a "for the wages of sin is death,"
("Wages" is payment or a paycheck. because we are sinners, if we die in our sins, the paycheck we will receive will be "death," eternal separation from God.)

God gives the free gift of salvation

Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Do you want to know how much God loves you? Look at the cross. Christ was punished by death for your sins.)

Romans 6:23b ..." but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Do you want forgiveness of your sins? Do you want to be saved? You can have it as a free gift from God. How? Read on.)

We just need to believe

Romans 10:9-10 "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

("Confess" means to tell God what you believe about Jesus Christ. He wants to know that you believe Jesus is Lord and Savior, and that you believe His death on the cross was in payment for your sins. Next...God wants to know that you believe that Jesus is alive today. Then...That's God's promise: If you acknowledge your belief in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection - that He did this for you - God will give you eternal life. How do you acknowledge this? Read one more verse.)

Romans 10:13 for "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved
("Call" means to pray. When you pray, you "confess" and "believe" - verse 9. Then God will save you. It's as simple as that. He's just waiting on you to call. Will you do it now?)

Prayer of Salvation

If you understand the good news of salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead and are ready to ask him to be Lord of your life, here is your next step.

Pray

Ask God to forgive your sins, confess that you believe in Him and in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus and that you want to live your life for Him.

If it helps, here is an example of what you could pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I’m sorry for the wrong things I’ve done. Please forgive me. I believe your Son died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead, and because of this I will enter into heaven when I die. Jesus, come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. I willingly give you my life. Now, Father, help me do your will. Thank you again for saving me! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

If you are a new believer, you likely have a million more questions and want to learn as much as you can.  Here are two more resources for you. New Believer Page - full of blogs, podcasts, eBooks, video resources and more. Learn More About God - more in-depth information about our Hope in Christ.

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