A Letter To New Believers In Jesus Christ
As a Pastor, I often find myself in a position to guide new followers of Jesus. Some of them have a strong Christian family up-bringing which gives them a good foundation to build their Christian life. Others (like me when I got saved) simply know nothing about what it means to be a Christian. Here is a portion of a letter that I have made available to individuals who are truly hungry for a deeper walk with God. I pray that it is a blessing to you.
Christians are members of the Church which is referred to in the Bible as The Body of Christ. Our primary goal is a deeper relationship with Jesus. Much like the relationship between husband and wife, it takes purposeful effort to become closer and more deeply in love. The following are some suggestions on how to achieve a deeper, more committed and loving relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Many people don’t know if they are born again or not. Some people therefore quite naturally doubt their salvation. There are three books that I think are very helpful. Any one of these books or hopefully all three can be very helpful. I am listing them in the order of their need.
Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life” (ISBN: 978-0310205715) will walk you through your search for spiritual fulfillment in a very nice and biblical fashion.
Erwin Lutzer wrote a book called “One Minute After You Die” (ISBN: 978-0802463067) . It is a preview of what the Bible says will happen to you and your final destination, depending upon the decisions you make.
Adrian Rogers wrote a book entitled “What Every Christian Ought To Know” (ISBN: 978-0805448009). He walks you through the foundational principles of basic conservative Christian beliefs in an easy to understand fashion.
Christianity is a life long journey. It takes time. If you were walking through Europe from the shores of France to the coast of China, you could not do it instantly or overnight. You would have to prepare, map it out, schedule, make reservations and save up money. You might even have to stop for a time and get a job. Metaphorically, this is the Christian life. It is a journey. It requires methodical diligence. I want you to succeed in your journey. Here are some of the things that I would post as the basics for that success.
1. Daily time in your Bible, devotional time, preferably with your husband (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
2. Prayer time. I have a book or two on this as well as other stuff. (Philippians 4:4-9 Praise, Prayer, Ponder & Practice = Peace of God)
3. Take a long hard look at what you put into your brain. Like a computer “garbage in=garbage out” (Luke 6:43, Phil 4:8)
4. Church attendance-like a coal removed from the fire is a Christian out of church (Isa. 58:13-14, Heb. 10:25 & Acts 2:42)
5. There are 10 Spiritual Disciplines that are recommended once you are beyond the basics (listed above) “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald Whitney (ISBN:9781576830277)
· Bible Study (more in depth than devotionals) Ps. 119:11 Rick Warren’s book “12 Bible Study Methods” is a very good resource on “How To”.
· Prayer there is a wheel of what to pray and how “The Hour That Changes the World” by Dick Eastman (ISBN:9780800793135) Col 4:2, 1 Thess. 5:17, Ps. 19:14
· Worship (praising God for He is worthy) Rev. 4:8, 5:12-13, John 14:17,23-24
· Evangelism (Jesus commands it) Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Pet. 3:15
· Service (often, but not always, in the church) Heb. 9:14, Ps. 100:2
· Stewardship (giving to the local church, Time/Talent/Treasure/Testimony) Rom. 14:12, Ps 24:1, 1 Cor. 16:2-3
· Fasting “Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough” by Dr. Elmer Towns (ISBN:978030718399)
· Solitude (Jesus did it. We need it too. Sometimes it does a body good to be alone with God) Matt. 14:23, Mark 1:35
· Journaling (this is good for prayer requests and for Bible study notes and pouring out your heart to God) Ps. 77:11-12
· Learning (it never ends in the Christian faith) Prov. 9:9, Prov. 10:14, Prov. 23:12
NOTE: DO NOT go out and buy all these books and try to digest them! Take them one at a time in the order I have mentioned them. First things first, your ASSIGNMENT is to make sure that you develop the habit of spending time in your Bible and Prayer each and every day. Be in Church. Study the Book of John (find all the “7”s that are in there!) Here is a good free online resource: https://bible.org/series/you-might-believe-study-gospel-john Here is another one that also has audio files to listen to as you work or drive or whatever: http://www.raystedman.org/new-testament/john.
Here are two pages for you to print off and use:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything
worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me,
practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:4-9