The journey you are starting is an exciting one. When you prayed to receive Jesus Christ into your heart, you entered a world of precious, life-changing promises, including the one found in Romans 10:13: “For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The Bible offers this promise as well: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
My prayer for you—from this moment forward—is that you will take the steps necessary to discover God’s plan and purpose for your life.
Here are eight simple steps to help you begin your new walk with Jesus Christ, starting this moment:
STEP 1: GET STARTED NOW When you prayed to accept Christ into your heart, you made a choice to give your life to Him—to trust in His plan of salvation, rather than a man-made one:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17).
But what does it mean to become a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ the Savior? Some people think you can be a Christian and go to heaven simply by going to church or being a good person, helpful neighbor or honorable citizen. The Bible, on the other hand, points to only one way.
A phrase to describe this new relationship is “born again.” Jesus was the first person recorded in Scripture who used those words. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). By asking Jesus Christ to forgive you and cleanse you from your sins, you given His forgiveness for every wrongdoing you have ever done: “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). You were born again!
Jesus Christ now lives inside you. You are freed from the penalty of sin. As you obey God’s commandments and apply His principles for daily living, the transformation continues, and as you make Him the Lord of your life by walking in obedience to God’s Word, the Bible, you will become more and more like Him every day.
Don't put off this new walk. Get started now!
STEP 2: DEVELOP YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD Salvation is totally God's work. He gave His Son as your sacrifice. Jesus did the work on the cross of Calvary. You simply accepted what He did for you when you asked Him into your heart.
Your walk with Him, however, requires your participation.
Let me quickly point out that it is important to know that your new walk is not an empty religion of rules and requirements; it is a personal relationship with God: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
Your relationship with God has nothing to do with being “good” enough, but is available only because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for you:
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)
God has an entirely new, blessed life in store for you. He has forgiven your past and has prepared a future filled with His love and abundance. And this is just the beginning!
STEP 3: RECEIVE AND DEPEND ON THE HOLY SPIRIT The Bible teaches that when you receive Jesus Christ into your heart, God not only saves your soul from the emptiness, depression, and destruction of your past, but He also seeks to empower you with the Holy Spirit.
God’s gift to the sinner is eternal life through Jesus Christ—you’ve already received Him. God’s gift to the Christian is the Holy Spirit, available to all who will receive. Jesus said: “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
Acts 2:38 and 39 instructs: “Repent, and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ…and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
When Jesus left this earth after His death, burial, and resurrection, He told us He was sending the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter, our Teacher, our Helper and our Guide. When you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, He broke the chains of the past—including sin’s grasp on you. Now, the Holy Spirit is given to you to keep you strong—to continually break any hindrance in your life. That strength comes through the Holy Spirit’s power. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” That power is God’s gift to you, and all you have to do is receive the Holy Spirit.
Are you ready?
If so, lift your hands to heaven right now and thank God for saving you. Rejoice for the great gift you are going to receive. Think upon Jesus and worship Him. If you are thirsty for God’s presence in your life, you will receive Him.
STEP 4: READ YOUR BIBLE DAILY Just as food is vital to your physical body, God’s Word is the spiritual nourishment that will help you grow stronger. Reading and obeying God’s Word will set you free from sin and temptation. The Bible will guide your Christian life: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).
The Bible is not a humanly produced document, but it is the inspired Word of God: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Besides revealing God’s desire to forgive you, to help you overcome temptation and to show you how to have eternal life, the Bible can also answer all of your important questions about living your life right now. Since God’s Word is His love letter and road map to successful living for believers, you should set time aside every day to read it.
Start reading the New Testament, preferably in John, Mark, Acts, and Romans. Take your time as you read each verse, asking God to help you understand the wealth of His wisdom contained there. Just by devoting fifteen minutes or so daily, you can read the entire Bible in one year.
STEP 5: PRAY DAILY God is your loving heavenly Father. He delights in answering your prayers. Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24, NKJV).
The key to a fruitful prayer life is spending time—abiding—with Jesus and His Word: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7).
Prayer should be a two-way communication process between you and God. It is you talking to God and listening to Him as He responds to you. Talk with God often. Talk honestly about your challenges and successes and your feelings. Praise Him and thank Him for what He is doing for you.
Most importantly, plan time—even fifteen minutes a day in the beginning—to spend with the Lord. Make sure it is a quiet place where you can be alone, if possible.
Prayer is a habit. Just as each of us develops good or bad habits, we also have the choice to forge a new future filled with good behavior and relationships. Prayer is one of the best, most life-changing habits you can establish in your life.
STEP 6: ATTEND CHURCH REGULARLY Local church attendance is not only a good commitment to make, it is necessary for spiritual survival: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
When you accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you began a relationship not only with God but also with His family—the church. Whether or not you have been involved with churches in the past, it is important now to find a good church and attend as often as possible.
Jesus established the church to be His instrument of Christian care, spiritual growth, and outreach to the world. As you grow as a Christian, the gifts and talents that the Lord has given to you will be a great blessing in the church; likewise, you will be blessed by the encouragement and mentorship through your association with other believers.
A good church will have many positive qualities; however, these are essential:
Teaches and communicates the Bible as the inspired, dependable, fail-safe Word of God.
Teaches openly about “blood of Jesus Christ his Son [which] cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7) and the absolute importance of the Lord’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross.
Gives people the opportunity to know Him personally, just as you have received Him.
Lifts up Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord, and soon-coming King
Has an atmosphere of positive spiritual praise, worship, and excitement.
Good pastors will serve as God’s shepherds to you. They will not try to “run your life” nor control you, but they should teach you and help you grow in the ways of the precious Savior. Get to know them and share with them your needs and concerns with them. Receive their godly counsel.
STEP 7: Begin Giving to God’s Work Giving is not just a financial issue; it is a matter of obedience and Lordship. God directs Christians to give the tithe (10 percent of whatever you earn) and offering (gifts beyond the tithe) to His work: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10).
God’s Word promises that He will bless your obedience by giving back to you in health, prosperity, and security: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).
Giving faithfully to God’s work builds discipline in your life, something most people sorely lack. It also helps build a powerful foundation for other areas of your spiritual life.
Read all of Malachi 3 (in the Old Testament, look in the index), especially the part about “rebuking the devourer” from your life and your family. You will be richly blessed, so give cheerfully and expectantly of God’s blessings.
STEP 8: WITNESS FOR JESUS CHRIST God wants you to share with others what He has done for you. It doesn't matter that you are just beginning your walk with the Lord. You just need to know enough to lead someone to Jesus just as you have come to Him. Simply share what happened to you. Note that the emphasis should be on sharing, not arguing or debating. Just remember that your willingness to share Christ with others can make all the difference for them, not just during this life, but also throughout eternity.
You will find that the greatest thrill of serving God is through leading others to Christ! It’s also one of the most exciting and effective ways to continue to grow in your walk with the Lord.
ETERNALLY-MINDED As part of God’s special family, it is important to grow daily in your walk with the Lord: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
God loves you! He wants to have total victory in every area of your life. He will help you, lead you, and prepare you for heaven where you will be welcomed home for all eternity:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)
You already have God’s best, for you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart. Now give Him your best for the rest of your life!