by steve russo
beginning your journey with God
You've just taken the most significant step in your life. The decision you've made to surrender your life to Jesus will affect every part of your life on this planet and in eternity. It's not about religion. It's about the most important relationship in your life. But like any other relationship, it requires time and energy on your part to grow and succeed as you journey with God.
Here are a few things to help and encourage you in this process. You'll also find some contact info at the end. Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions.
you are loved
God loves you more than you can imagine! What else would have motivated Him to sacrifice His only son Jesus on the cross to take the punishment for your sins before you were even born!
The Bible in Esphesians 3:18 describes how amazing His love is for us. "And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is." (NLT)
We cannot begin to grasp how much God loves us. And guess what - no one can ever take this away from you or separate you from His love.
Take a couple minutes to slowly read these verses from the Book of Romans in the Bible. Let the words soak into your mind and heart.
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
Take time throughout your day to just than God for loving you.
you have a guide for life
God has given us a great guide for our journey through life with Him - the Bible. It provides answers for everyday life challenges we face and it's also His love letters to us. And just like we need physical food everyday, we also need spiritual food too to help us grow spiritually. That's why it's important to try to read the Bible each day.
But God has also given us another guide - a spiritual one that lives inside us. He's called the Holy Spirit. "but when the father sends the Advocate as my representative - that is, the Holy Spirit - he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you." John 14:26 (NLT)
The Holy Spirit encourages us and helps us to understand and practically apply the Bible to our daily life.
You'll need to get a Bible if you don't already have one. Bible apps work great. Check out bible.com/en/app. It's confusing to find it in the app store so if you go to this link it's a lot easier. There are lots of other ones available too. The important thing is to find the app and translation that works for you.
your life matters
No matter what anyone else may tell you or say, you matter to God. In fact you are so important to Him that He has a unique plan and a purpose for your life that no one else shares. Check out what the Bible teaches in the book of Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (NLT)
Nothing will be more satisfying and fulfilling than when you discover the purpose God has for you and start living it. As you study the Bible and grow in your relationship with God, you will learn what God has planned for you. It's an amazing journey!
you can talk with God
Have you ever wondered if you could actually talk with God? You can. It's called prayer. Just think you have the awesome privilege of talking with the God of the Universe! He listens to you and will answer - although sometimes the answer is not what you expected. But you can be confident that He will always do what's best for you!
Here's a cool promise from God about prayer. "Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come." Jeremaih 33:3 (NLT)
You can talk with God about everything you are feeling, thinking, fearful of and hopeful for. There's no special place, time, language or words that are necessary. You can talk with Him anytime and anyplace and as much as you'd like. God is always available. Just be honest and real with Him about what you need and feel. But don't forget - prayer works two ways. God wants us to talk with Him but also wants us to take time to listen to Him too.
you're not meant to live alone
We were created to have a relationship with God and with others. He never designed us to live solo without having a community of others to hang out with and share life with. Especially with others who have surrendered their lives to Jesus and believe the same way we do.
"Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)
The best place to find this kind of community is with other members of God's family in a local church. You can also find additional opportunities to be together with other Believers to encourage and lift each other up at a Bible study at school or work. The important thing is to find a place to connect with other Christians where you feel comfortable and encouraged.
you are encouraged to tell somebody
The choice you made to surrender your life to Jesus is "Good News" - for you as well as others. The Bible teaches that we become brand new people by accepting Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). So as our lives begin to change others will notice the difference and may even want to know what happened.
But what's even more important is that every one of us needs to accept Christ or we will be hopelessly lost for eternity and never fulfill our God-given purpose in this life. Telling others about our relationship with God should be as natural as telling them about other good things that have happened to us.
"And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way." 1 Peter 3:15b-16a (NLT)
Don't get hung up on what to say or how to say it. Just be willing to tell others in the best way that you can, the change that Jesus has made in your life and how He can do the same thing for them. The hardest part is usually getting the conversation started. Trust God to help you.
And don't be afraid to invite them to go to church or a Bible study group with you. You might be surprised how God will work through you in the lives of family members, friends and co-workers.