2005-02-25 - Discipling
Originally Published - 2000-09-08
This devotional is primarily for those of you who are either new Christians or who are discipling new Christians (and all us long-timers should be). So you have asked God to forgive your sins, and have believed in Christ as your Savior. You have just made the most important decision of your life. But now what? What should happen tomorrow or this coming week, or during this coming year?
First, don't be discouraged that you still have temptations and difficulties. Christian growth is a slow process. But there are some steps God expects of us, in order to facilitate our growth:
A vital step: We need to read God's "Owner's Manual," His Holy Word, every day. Don't be intimidated by difficult versions of the Bible such as the King James Version. It is no more accurate or holy than others are; in fact, modern versions are more true to the original language. The important thing is to find a Bible with which you are comfortable, and whose wording you understand clearly. So where to start? Good question. Many new Christians find that the book of John is a good beginning. Some Bibles come with a Bible-reading plan that can be helpful.
Next, look for a Biblically-sound local church. Online fellowship can be enriching, and true friendships can form this way. But God intends for each one of His children to be actively worshipping, learning and serving in a local body of believers - if you are able. Here you can find help in your growth as a Christian, friendships, answers to questions, support during difficulties and an opportunity to support others and use your abilities.
Hebrews 10:24-26 And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Also, talk to your Heavenly Father each day. What to say? Another good question. Say whatever is on your heart. Speak respectfully to Him, but as openly as if you were speaking to a trusted friend. Yes, in His Omniscience, He already knows what you are thinking. But as a loving Father, He yearns to hear it directly from you. Thank Him for His gifts. Ask Him to forgive you for what you know you have done wrong. Pray for people who have needs. Pour out to Him the strongest desires of your heart, your joys, and your fears. You don't need formal or "pious" words; in fact, Jesus encourages praying from the heart, and detests pretentious prayers. You don't need any special posture or location. You can pray on your knees in your hou se, in the car (while also focusing on traffic!), in the shower, in line at the grocery store - anywhere, any time.
If you have just become a Christian, welcome to the Christian family! If you have any questions or comments, I welcome them.