If you’ve invited Christ into your life, here is a quick tutorial on what to do next.
Step 1. Tell someone that you have received the Lord. The evil one knows you did and you have now been moved up on his list of whom to pester. The first thing He is going to do is try to convince you that nothing happened here. Your address for all of eternity has just been changed, but he’ll try to tell you that you imagined it.
Call a friend or a Christian help line and tell someone that you have received Christ as your savior.
Step 2. Get a Bible. Find a version that seems comfortable to read. Money should be no issue because used stores are overflowing with Bibles of all translations. Go there if affording one is an issue.
Start reading it. Genesis (the first book in the Bible) is great for beginning to get to know your new God. At the same time, read a chapter a day from the New Testament. Read a chapter from the Old Testament and the New Testament every day.
This will educate you and empower you and enlighten you. God will bring something fresh into your life whenever you read. It is like opening your mail. Don’t miss God’s message for your day.
Step 3. Find a church. This is somewhat like finding shoes that fit. You try them on. Listen for preaching and teaching that talks about Jesus as Lord and mentions sin and its consequences. Find sweet people who love the Lord and each other.
Ask God to lead you to the right fellowship of believers. If you feel comfortable and welcomed and can enjoy the worship times together, then it is probably right.
Step 4. Talk to God. Nothing complicated here. He can hear your thoughts so you can talk silently anytime, anywhere. Remember that although He is the great God of the universe, He loves you personally and cares about every little thing in your life. That means you can talk to Him about anything and everything.
It’s like if you have a sweetheart. That person just wants to be with you. They are interested in what you have to say. They care about you. That’s God.
Step 5. Hang out with Christians. Find a group of them who are studying the Bible together and join yourself to them. As with a church, find a group that fits and feels comfortable.
This is important because once you become a Christian; you need to GROW as a Christian. There are a lot of new thoughts and knowledge that need to come to you. Your private Bible reading, prayer and church attendance can bring you along but what really gets it going is to study the Word of God with others.
This is also important because they become part of your “church family.” It is normal for a group that studies the Bible together and prays together to become intimate; like good friends or family members.
They become a life support group of sorts. This is immeasurably valuable. Often these folks are the ones who come along side when your life is hitting speed bumps.
Step 6. Dump the bad company. This is the time to put people out of your life who always take you in bad directions. People you sin with or people who are very negative and toxic. The people who poison your mind with how bad you are or make fun of your new Christianity.
If these are people you really love, you don’t have to put them out of your life forever, but you probably do have to do so for a time.
Step 7. Stop sinning. I know. Easier said than done. You remember how you confessed that you were a sinner when you received Christ? You knew right then what some of the things were that separate you from God.
I find that God is very kind with us about our sin. If He opened our minds to all the sin in our hearts and made us aware of every sin we have ever done all at once, we would find it unbearable.
What He does do is wake up our conscience to our sin and it seems like He only asks us to clean up our act at a rate we can stand. Usually, the most dangerous sins in our life are the ones He targets first, urging us to quit them.
Understand, we can’t clean up our act on our own. The powers of darkness on this earth are too strong for us. The power to break free of sin comes from God Himself.
God will tell you what needs to go and your part is to say “Yes, Lord. I know that needs to go. I need your help to break free. Please set me free in Jesus’ name.”
So you provide the will to change and you rely on God to empower you to do it. Then take the logical steps to make the changes trusting God to be there with you, helping and empowering.
Know that there are new Christians who have been healed instantly of deadly addictions, although you may have to walk through a longer time of trust and dependency on God for deliverance to happen.
Step 8. Obey God. I guess it should be obvious that if you have received Jesus as the Lord of your life, it would be expected that you would obey God. No surprise, since we are sin-infected humans, we ignore what God is urging us to do all the time.
Here’s my advice. Make it the goal of your life to obey Him. Do it for the love of Him. He loves you beyond what you can ever imagine. He made you for relationship with Him. That’s why you were created.
As you get to know Him, your love for Him will grow in return. Obeying God is showing love for Him. Obeying God is also the ticket to having a life that is not full of pain and trouble. Obeying God is how we can turn loose His tremendous power in our lives to live the abundant life He has for us and to pass out God’s love to others.
It’s the best advice anyone can give you: Obey God.
That’s it, really. Welcome to your new Christianity. Don’t forget any steps.