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I’ve Decided to Follow Jesus- Now What? Here are 8 Steps to Consider
Once someone has decided to follow Jesus, a sense of relief and excitement sets in, but soon that excitement fades into confusion and decisions as to what’s next. Should I find a church to attend? How often should I read the Bible or pray? Should I tell someone (and chance inviting negativity in)? What’s the most important next step in my journey? Here are eight steps that can help guide new believers who have decided to follow Jesus. If you’ve been a believer for a long time, perhaps they’ll serve as additional things to consider.
1. Have Faith
The easiest first step is to allow your blossoming faith to lead you along your new path to Jesus’s love and support. Faith is an essential part of the Christian life. While you’ll still need to deal with life’s many challenges, as a Christian, you’ll have Jesus’s strength to draw from. You’ll also receive His forgiveness, His grace, and His miracles that include everlasting life.
2. Pray (and often)
Prayer has tremendous power! It is your direct connection to God. Prayers help you build a more intimate relationship with God. You can always expect an answer to your prayers even if it feels like God is silent. Perhaps when you feel like God is silent, He really is just saying not yet.
Of course, the answer can also be not what you expected or wanted. It may be challenging or present additional hills to climb. The good news is that God wants what’s best for you, even when it’s not immediately obvious to you. He will hear you and respond to you because He loves you (Psalm 116:1).
I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. -Psalm 116:1 King James Version
So pray when you’re struggling, feeling lost, or happy. Pray with others, for others, or pray for yourself. Pray from the heart and let God know how you feel.
Prayer also doesn’t always have to be formal. Just talk to God. Talking to God helps build a connection with Him. Tell Him about your problems, just like you would a parent or a close friend. Ask for guidance, share a happy experience, and tell Him how your day is going and what your plans are. Take time every day to thank Him for His love and support. Freely express yourself and share your thoughts and worries with God. He already knows your heart and is always here for you.
3. Dive into Scripture
Read and understand the Word of God by diving into scripture. Don’t just rely on what your pastor or ministry leader tells you. Look it up too and read the context. The Bible is a complex and beautiful book, filled with God’s teachings. He is at the center of Christian faith and lives. As someone new to the faith, it’s important that you know Him and how His teachings shape our lives.
It’s also good to know the Word so that you can be better prepared when faced with decisions, and when you are trying to discern truth from lies. There are a great number of groups that say they are Christians, but they pick and choose Scripture to support the message they are teaching. That’s a false gospel that actually does more harm than good for the kingdom. When you know the Bible, you can decide if what someone is trying to tell you is truth or part of a human agenda. God will never contradict what’s in His Word.
The best place to start is in the New Testament. I recommend starting with the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
4. Create Healthy Habits
Creating a habit of regularly worshiping God is important. Set aside some time to study the Bible regularly and be in the Word. It doesn’t have to take long or be boring. You can worship God through prayer, song, and even art like Bible journaling or faith art journaling. Don’t put up barriers to spending time with God. He will meet you where you are.
5. Get Connected
If you’ve decided to follow Jesus, it’s important to get together with other Christians regularly. You can do this online too! Especially since we’re practicing social distancing right now. You’ll want to find a Christian church that you will attend and participate in. Consider joining a Bible study group or helping out with church events. Spending time with supportive Christian believers will help encourage you in your new faith.
6. Get Baptized
Baptism is not required to be saved. However, it is an outward expression of your faith and a testimony that symbolizes the end of an old way of life and a new beginning. Getting baptized is not only an outward celebration of your decision to become a Christian, but it also encourages others as well.
7. Tell Others About Your Newfound Faith
Sure, telling others that you’ve decided to become a Christian can be scary, especially in today’s world. The fact is, telling others about your newfound faith also helps reinforce it. Sharing your faith can be rewarding and can potentially help bring others closer to Jesus as well. For believers, there’s no greater joy than being a Christian, meaning it’s only natural to want others to enjoy the same experience.
If you share your faith, but face resistance or negativity on the other end. Remember that who you’re talking to may not be ready to receive what you have to say. Be open and willing to share when they are ready. The good news is that when they are, they’ll know who to come to with their questions.
8. Be Confident
Confidence starts with the belief that you have something or someone to rely on. We trust the people that we have confidence in. Jesus’s love is reliable and steadfast. His love for us provides courage and strength, which helps build confidence. Christians are confident in their faith because they know that they’re saved. As a Christian, once you’re saved, you can’t be unsaved.
Deciding to follow Jesus is a life-changing event, a joyous change of heart and belief, thanks to the supreme, unselfish love He bestows upon us. Follow the steps listed here and continue to nurture your relationship with Him as He guides you and draws you even closer.
What other ways can you think of that help new believers to continue on their path?
Remember me, my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.
The grass withers,
the flower fades;
but the word of our God stands forever.”
And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.
1 Corinthians 15:17
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
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