Friday, January 15, 2016

How Can I Grow as a New Believer?

Now that you are a Christian, here are some steps which will help you grow closer to God and which will teach you how to reign in life. Know that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). 

1. Read the Bible

The Bible is God’s Word for your life. Just as the physical body needs nourishment from food, your spiritual life needs nourishment from the Word of God. Through the Bible, God speaks to your heart and reveals His plan for your new life. As you study the Scriptures, you will grow in your Christian walk. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Bible is God’s love letter to you. Contained in this book are God’s laws for living, the history of God’s dealings with humans, wonderful psalms and proverbs, prophetic warnings and encouragement, the life of Jesus, an explanation of Christian doctrine, and a look at the future when Jesus returns as a reigning king. It is a living and powerful book. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The truth of the word of God is everlasting. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8). 

You will experience victory over sin as you read God’s Word. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word...I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:9,11). 

I encourage you to read at least one chapter of the Bible every day. The best place to start reading is the gospel of John. This book will introduce you, in a simple yet powerful way, to the life of Jesus.  

2. Memorize Scripture

You will find great comfort, encouragement, and help in times of trouble if you will memorize some Scripture verses. The Bible says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).  
Do you find it difficult to memorize Bible verses? Here are some tips which will help you.

1. Say the verse out loud.
According to Romans 10:17,  “faith comes from hearing.” As you repeat the scripture loud enough for you to hear it with your ears, it will build your faith and it will become easier for you to remember.

2. Say the verse one phrase at a time.
If you feel the verse is too long to memorize, repeat  it one phrase at a time until you have the whole verse.
3. Say the verse over and over again.
Joshua 1:8 tells us to meditate on Scripture. The word “meditate” means “to chew on.” Just like a cow chews its food repeatedly, we need to mentally chew on the truth of God’s Word. Repetition will firmly cement the verse in your spirit and it will begin to change your life. 

4. Confess God’s word over your life.
Your life will be raised or lowered to the level of your confession. The words you speak with  your mouth reveal the condition of your heart, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:34-37). Confession of God’s promises brings possession of God’s promises. The words you speak will either help you or hinder you. “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21). 

3. Pray Every Day

Prayer is your lifeline to God. You should form a habit of praying every day. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). This promise means that God hears your prayers and He answers your prayers.  

Prayer is simply talking to God from your heart. Tell God what you are feeling. Let Him know what you are going through. Take your problems to God because He is interested in helping you in every area of your life. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Thank Him for His goodness in your life. Tell Him how much you love Him.

Prayer is a two way conversation. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). After you talk to God, be quiet and listen to Him. A radio station is continually broadcasting, but unless you tune your radio to the proper frequency you will not pick up the signal. In the same way, you will find that God is always willing to talk with you but you must be tuned into what He is saying. The way to do this is to spend time in prayer.     

If you do not know what to say when you pray you can use ‘The Lord’s Prayer” as an example.  When the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray, Jesus told them to pray this way:
            “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
            your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
            Give us today our daily bread.
            Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
            And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
            For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.”
            (Matthew 6:9‑16). 

4. Fellowship with Believers

You need to go to church. It is impossible to be a strong Christian on your own. The Bible says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another‑‑and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). As the time comes closer for Jesus to return, it becomes even more important to go to church which is the visible manifestation of God’s kingdom on earth.   

You need support, encouragement, and training from other believers. This means you need to be a part of a church. If you are not already a member of a church, find a church where the Word of God is faithfully proclaimed. Look for a pastor who preaches the Bible and who believes in God’s miracle power. Find a church where people are getting saved and healed. Go to a church where you can feel the presence of God when you walk into the building.    

5. Get Baptized in Water

Being baptized in water is an important part of the Christian life. It symbolizes the death of our old man and our resurrection as a new creation. Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Jesus commanded his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river at the beginning of his ministry (Matthew 3:13-17).

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached a mighty sermon, then he told the people who responded to the message, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). All those who “accepted his message were baptized” (Acts 2:41). 

Peter baptized the entire household of Cornelius after they had received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44- 48). Paul was baptized after he was saved (Acts 9:18). Throughout his ministry, he continued to baptize people (Acts 19:1-6; Acts 16:31-33).
6. Be a Giver

Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). Giving is like planting seed in a field. When a farmer sows seed, he expects a harvest. When you give to God you should expect to receive a harvest.    

We all love receiving a gift from a friend. Imagine how much God is pleased when you give Him a gift.  Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  It is impossible to out-give God, He will always exceedingly bless you.

Be happy when you give to God. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). 

7. Tell Others About Jesus

Jesus told his disciples, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).  Every Christian is called to be an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  There are many people in your circle of influence (neighbors, co-workers, family members, and friends) who desperately need to hear about God. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14‑15). Now that you are a Christian, God will send you to tell others about Jesus.

The best way to be a witness is to live a life that is different. You demonstrate your new faith by your actions, habits, and lifestyle. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).  As people see you living for God, they will notice how Christ changed your life and you will be able to share the good news with them.

Witnessing is like one starving beggar who found bread going to tell other beggars where they can find the same bread. Just tell others what God has done for you. If God has healed you, share that testimony with those around you. If God has delivered you from the oppression of Satan, tell someone your story. Begin to pray for opportunities to share Christ with other people and you will find many occasions when you can be a witness.

In Acts 1:8, witnessing begins with the disciple’s hometown but it does not stop there. It continues to their entire country, to the countries nearby, and ultimately to the uttermost ends of the earth. Jesus commanded the disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).  

This is an excerpt from Daniel King's book, "Welcome to the Kingdom." Over 600,000 copies are in print. Get your copy by clicking HERE.