Growing in Christ is the task for every believer. In this blog post, three key aspects of Christian growth for the believer is outlined and discussed in detail. My prayer for you, as a new believer, is to study these three aspects and begin to put into practice these suggestions so you can live out your faith in Jesus.
Many people treat baptism very loosely, but baptism is the command of Christ, not merely an option (Matthew 28:19). I put a strong emphasis on baptism because I believe it is vital for a strong Christian walk. Why be baptized by immersion? Consider these points:
- Jesus commands it. It is the first step of obedience to Him (Matthew 28:19)
- Jesus was baptized Himself as an example. (Matthew 3:16-17) The Bible says it pleased God when Jesus was baptized. How do you think it will make God feel when you get baptized?
- Baptism pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Consider what Romans 6:3-4 says about baptism.
- It is the first step of obedience for a new Christian. (Acts 2:41)
Prayer and Bible Study
Did you know that God wants to spend time with you alone? That thought may amaze you but consider it for a moment. When you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you become a member of God’s family as a child of God. You can call God your Father! Any good father wants to spend time with his children–sometimes with all of them together, but often with each one alone. That is the way that a person gets to know another person well–by spending time along with that individual.
The best way to get to know your heavenly Father is to spend time alone with Him. He has made it clear that He is interested in us as His children. The best way to get to know God better is by reading His Word and talking with Him in prayer.
We can pray to Him any time of the day–driving to work (but don’t close your eyes!), mixing a cake, talking a walk, studying at school. To spend time alone with someone is to give attention without distractions.
Perhaps the morning is best for you, or perhaps the evening is the best time for you to spend time with God. Whatever the time, be consistent in meeting with Him each day. Jesus rose early to pray, and He went somewhere that was quiet, which is a good example to follow!
There’s no ritual to your time alone with God any more than there would be in spending time alone with an earthly parent. A word of greeting should come first such as a short prayer to God asking His blessings for your time together. Then you will want to read some of His Word to you, which is found in the Bible.
If you are just getting acquainted with the Bible, you will likely find the Gospel of John the most interesting, for it is here that God’s plan for you through Jesus Christ is most beautifully summed up in one book.
After you have finished reading John, you may want to continue in the book of Acts to see how the early Christians shared their faith with those around them. Sharing your faith is one of the most important things you can do. (I’ll be sure to blog on this later.)
While you are reading, meditate. To meditate simple means to think seriously about spiritual things. To meditate on what you are reading is to think quietly, soberly, and deeply about God–how wonderful He is, what things He has done for you, what He is going to do for you, and what He wants you to do. I encourage you to notice such things as:
- A special promise for you to claim,
- A guidepost to help you in your daily life,
- A command you should follow,
- A searchlight that is pointing out some sin in your life, or
- A meaningful verse you will want to memorize.
Do not read too fast or try to finish too much as one time. Take time to look for all that God has for you in what you read. You do not need to rush through your time alone with God, especially if you spend some time with Him each day.
When you have read and meditated for a while then talk to God in prayer. Talk to Him as you would your own earthly parent who loves you, who wants the best for you, and who wants to help you in every way possible.
Perhaps you do not know what to talk about with God in prayer. These few suggestions may help you.
- You can praise Him for what He is. Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, yet interested in each one of us who are in His family!
- You can thank Him for all He has done, for all He is doing for you, and for all He will do for you.
- You can tell Him about the things you have done, said, and thought for which you are sorry. This is confessing your sins. He tells us in His Word that He is able and faithful to forgive our sins.
- You can pray for your family. We have a special obligation for our own.
- You can pray for others…for friends or neighbors who have needs, both physical and spiritual. You can ask God to work in the heart of some person you hope will come to know Christ as Savior, as you have done.
- You can pray for yourself. Ask His guidance for the new day. Ask Him to help you with any problems. Ask Him to arrange opportunities to serve Him through helping others by means of words or works.
You may want to make a list of your prayer requests so you do not forget any, and so you can record the results of your prayers. God answers in three ways–Yes, No, or Wait. Keep track of God’s answers in a notebook or on note cards, whichever works best for you.
Be sure to remember you can pray to Him anytime, anywhere. You can ask Him anything or thank Him for anything you have received. As any loving earthly father would be, God is interested in all that happens to you,
And He is looking forward to spending some alone time with you again tomorrow!