I’ve become a Christian… now what?
Praying the prayer is just the beginning!
So you have you just decided to follow Jesus. Wow! That is super exciting!! Did you know that when just one person turns to Jesus the angels in heaven have a party?!
It is a really exciting time, but it's important to remember this is just the beginning. In fact you still have your whole life ahead of you. But now it's a whole new life. So what does that mean? What are you to do? What will it look like? Well here are just a few things to get you started on your new life as a Christian.
First, becoming a Christian means that you now have a new Lord ruling over your life. Before, you were in control, so you did what you wanted, when you wanted. But putting your trust in Jesus means trusting in Him and living His way, doing what He wants.
So how do you find out what he wants? Well you can find that in the Bible. The Bible is God's word to us, telling us about who he is and what he has done. In fact it gives us all we need for life and godliness. So the first thing to do is to get your hands on a Bible and start reading it regularly, maybe try just a little bit each day. You could start right at the beginning in Genesis or try reading about the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.
But making this change to follow Jesus is going to be hard sometimes, so you are going to need God's help. That's why he has given us prayer, where we can talk directly to God anytime and anywhere, like a direct phone link. We can talk to him, ask him for help and thank him for the good things he does. We get to talk to the King of the universe, how cool is that!
Secondly, from the moment you put your trust in Jesus you were brought into a whole new family. You have just been adopted into Gods special people, so you now have a whole bunch of new brothers, sisters, mums and dads. You are now united with every other Christian because of Jesus. Awesome, I know.
What the Bible says is that it is important to keep meeting up with your Christian family. The Christian life is never one you should do alone, your not meant to. When we gather with other believers it reminds us of the truths we believe, gives us opportunities to serve one another and spurs us on to keep going when life gets tough. So make sure you connect yourself with a church or a youth group and if you need help finding one, just let someone know.
Thirdly as a follower of Jesus you now have a new identity. Your old life no longer defines you but now your value, worth and identity is found in Jesus. He now defines you and he really cares about you. So he is the one you should live to please, not anybody else.
But that means the bad habits of your old life need to be cut off. Sinful acts like lying, swearing, getting drunk, watching porn, bagging people out, being violent or disobeying your parents all need to go. That is your old life. It's not who you are anymore. Now, this is a tough process and won't happen over night, in fact you will be battling this for the rest of your life. But the good news is that God gives us his Spirit to help us keep putting off our old ways.
While we put off the old, we also put on our new self, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. So we work on things like kindness, patience, self control, encouraging others, respect and most of all love. The one thing that must be a clear marker to show you are a Christian is that you love God and love others. Love your friends, love your enemies, love your parents, show love to anyone you can. This will be how you grow as a Christian.
New Birth Day
Fourth and finally, mark this new life with a new birth day. To help you always remember and to celebrate the amazing thing that God has done in your life, mark the day each year just as you would your regular birthday. Because the truth is that there are going to be all sorts of reasons why you might want to give up. There will be things in the world that distract you, people that will tempt you to walk away and other people that will make your life hard because you are a Christian. Don't be surprised when that happens because the King we are following was hung on a cross! Yet it is worth sticking it out to the end. Celebrate your new birth day each year, because each year is one step closer to the new creation. Our true home, the hope that we look forward to, where we will live with God forever and there will be no more crying, pain, evil or death. That is something worth living for!
I am so glad that you decided to put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour! I can't wait for that day when you and I will stand side by side as family in the New Creation. Until then read, pray, gather and grow as a follower of Jesus, celebrating each year the amazing grace that God has shown to you.