You’ve decided to follow Jesus. Now what? Best decision you’ve ever made, btw! But, no one instinctively knows the next steps. There are some practical first steps you can follow.
Follow Jesus to a healthy church
To go on living as before would be counter-productive. You need sound teaching. Aside from your decision to follow Jesus, the next most important decision you’ll need to make is not “if” you should go to church, but which church you should attend.
A diligent church is required. Jesus attended church, but not just “any” church. You also need a strong Bible teaching, Bible believing, Bible behaving church. This is crucial to your spiritual growth. Regardless of where you live, if you need help tracking down a reliable church, I’d be happy to assist you.
The Bible: instructions for all followers
Many people avoid reading the Bible because they think it’s boring and can’t be understood. It’s true for those who don’t believe in Jesus. However, if you’ve tried to read your Bible before, and you became more frustrated than anything, promise me you’ll try again, k?
Once you’ve dedicated your life to Jesus, the Bible will come alive. The power of the Holy Spirit will give you new understanding. You’ll begin to see everything in a brand new way. As you read, verses will start to leap off the page. This is God speaking to you, Loved One! It’s so exciting. You’ll become aware of your souls thirst for more. At the same time, you’ll feel completely satisfied, like never before.
We follow Jesus, but we pray to God. We call Him Father. Jesus prayed to Him too. As you discover new ideas from the Bible, express what you are feeling – out loud. A sense wonder is common. God is even closer when you praise Him, so tell Him you’re in awe. If you feel loved, thank Him.
The more you get to know God, the more questions you’ll have. As you read through your Bible, interact with God. Be bold. Ask your questions. God invites and loves your honesty.
What about your concerns; for loved ones, for provisions, for safety, and about the future? Tell God what’s bothering you. Psalm 138 is God’s response to issues that make you heavy-hearted. Read it yourself, but here’s a glimpse: verse 3 states that God responds to you in the moment you call out to Him. In verse 8, He reassures you, He will accomplish whatever concerns you. WOW!
Following Jesus requires action
Going to church, reading your Bible, praying, these are all important. Where faith takes hold is when you decide to trust that Biblical instructions are the best way to live your life. You won’t get it perfect. However, God is patient. He even uses failures to help you grow. When you mess up, apologize to Him and get back up – quickly.
Followers get connected
There’s lots to enjoy, when you’re following Jesus. But, there’s no days off. You can’t take a vacation from your faith. Following Jesus demands a huge commitment – continual self-sacrifice. Christians get weary, sometimes. On your own, you’ll be at risk of giving up.
Add to this, the rest of the world will want you to change directions. When you are discouraged, there will be no shortage of people telling you, “it’s not worth it”. My friend, YOU need a solid soul-strengthening friend. Someone to remind you of God’s promises, for those who persevere. Someone who refuses to let you go on in unhealthy habitual patterns.
God knows your need, so ask Him. He never refuses to give good gifts. He has already prepared someone to walk beside you. I’m praying God will send that soul-strengthening friend into your life soon.
Been following Jesus for a while? Please consider the role God is calling you to play in the lives of new believers. They need a strong role model, a soul-strengthening friend. YOUR faith is required!