I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
If you recently accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, this page is for you. We rejoice with you in that decision and pray that your relationship with Jesus will grow every day. This page could also be helpful to anyone who wants to be more firmly established in their Christian faith.
Before proceeding, please ask yourself these questions . . .
If the answer to these questions is YES, please read further. If you answered NO to any of these questions, we urge you to begin with GETTING STARTED, then come back and explore this page.
It is crucial that you receive Jesus into your life (John 3:1-6) before you proceed.
As you begin your walk with Jesus, we believe the following information will be helpful. However, these are not requirements to salvation; they are steps to spiritual growth. You have been saved by grace through faith, apart from any works of your own (Ephesians 2:8-9). Please know that these are stepping-stones and will likely take weeks, months, or even years. Take your time as you work through these suggestions; they will strengthen your faith journey:
Water baptism is an outward sign of your inner commitment. It is a symbolic act, demonstrating you have been cleansed of your sins by Jesus Christ. It does not save you, but says to the world – ‘I have made Jesus Christ the Savior and Lord of my life.’ The Bible shares that Jesus himself was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17). The Bible speaks of the need to be baptized – “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). Baptism is one of the first things you should do and could be done with a body of believers in a church setting of your choosing (see Connect to a body of believing Christians below).
When you are baptized in water, some ministers will pray that you receive the anointing of God’s Spirit, but some do not. The baptism of the Holy Spirit does not save you. Praying the sinner’s prayer, confessing sin, and receiving Jesus as Savior does. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an extension of your salvation experience in which you are filled to overflowing with God’s Spirit to empower you (Acts 1:8), teach you (John 14:25), guide you (Acts 16:13), give you spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12:7-11) and much more. The baptism of the Holy Spirit will only make your relationship with God stronger. Pray for it; ask God to fill you to overflowing. For more information, please click here. We invite you to return to this page when you are ready.
The first thing the shepherds who visited Jesus at his birth did was return to their homes and share what they had experienced (Luke 2:17). We should do the same. Just a word of caution, though – what you share will be received in different ways. Some will be happy and rejoice with you. Others may refuse to hear what you say, but that’s okay. You will have planted a seed.
Devotions can be done anytime but we suggest starting your day with them, even if you need to rearrange your daily schedule. It is that important. Read a passage of the Bible and pray (Colossians 4:2-4). Use devotional readings that include scripture. Do this on a regular basis. In your devotions offer praise and thanks to God for the blessings you are experiencing. In devotional reading, reflection, and prayer, you will learn more about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, how to live a Godly life, and much more. Many resources are available online and for use on phone apps. Here are a few we recommend:
These are basic devotionals. Many other in-depth devotionals are available in written and Digital formats.
Establish a prayer life with God in addition to devotional prayer. If God is real to you, a regular conversation is vital. The more you share with God, the more you will hear the voice of God speaking to your inner spirit. In prayer life, some Christians follow the prayer acronym A.C.T.S., that includes:
Some find it difficult to do a journal, but logging what happens in your faith journey can provide opportunity for reflection and growth.
Find a congregation in which you can be fed spiritually by the preaching and teaching they offer, and in which you can use the gifts and talents God has given you. Both of these are important. Do not necessarily settle on the first one you attend. Try a few but then choose one as your church family. You need the preaching, teaching, fellowship, and support that a body of believing Christians offers.
If God confirms in your spirit the church family you chose, consider becoming a member. Membership in a church does not save you; it declares your commitment and assures support for you and your family through the years. To find a church family that was meant for you, do some Internet searching for local churches. Many of their websites will list their mission and values. Here are some key criteria when looking for a church family:
Find churches that share where you are in the faith, then go check them out. As we mentioned before, ultimately you need to choose one and settle in.
Find a congregation in which you can be fed spiritually.
You cannot walk alone on the journey. You need others close to you who will encourage you, share your burdens and pray with you; they can do the same for you. One of these friends could be a mentor to you or at least an accountability partner. Ask questions. Here is a sampling of Bible verses that call us to care for ‘one another’: John 13:34; Romans 12:10; Romans 14:19.
Worship and praise God for who He is and what He has done. Here is a good scriptural description of worship – “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20).
Your worship can be individual, done anytime of the day for short or longer periods of time, as an acknowledgement of God’s presence in your life. Worship can also be corporate, in the presence of others like your church family or a Bible study/prayer group. God loves our praise – learn to offer it in heartfelt worship on a regular basis.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.
This is different from devotions. This kind of study involves reading and studying more deeply in a book of the Bible or on some spiritual topic. It means thinking about what God reveals and applying it in various ways in your life. This type of study can be done on your own, with a group or both. Going deeper also means listening to good Bible teaching in a variety of settings from those with gifts for teaching. If you do not have a study Bible to mark up and make notes, we encourage you to get one and use it frequently. What you learn in study and prayer, put into practice in your life. Live your faith and make ongoing changes as God reveals things to you.
Be patient, you do not know everything yet and you are not perfect; none of us are. Change takes time, as God moves you from one level of maturity to the next (Hebrews 6:1-2).
Share your love for God and Jesus with others (beyond initially sharing with family and friends). That is called witnessing or sharing your testimony. As a witness, you are not called to be the judge, jury, or prosecutor of anyone. You are called to be a witness. You only need to say, in your own words, what God or Jesus mean to you and what they have done in your life. Share that basic information. Jesus himself said – “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). At the leading of God’s Spirit, witness to others on your end of the earth.
Tell what Jesus means to you, and what he has done in your life.
The Old Testament commanded tithing, i.e., giving 10%. The New Testament indicates that tithing is a good standard but encourages giving what you can, as God has blessed you. Some have more resources and can give more without diminishing their lifestyles. Others have fewer resources and should give as they are able. “Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor. 9:6).
If you are a member of a church congregation or fellowshipping on a regular basis with some body of believers, you should give unto the Lord through the work of that body. When you do that, you are financially supporting the preaching, teaching, caregiving, and other ministries of that fellowship. But there are other faith-based groups and organizations that spread the Gospel and help the needy. Consider giving to them over and above what you give to your church family.
If you leave this site now, we invite you to come back. We have much more to share. We have developed and continue to add to a repository of Resources for your spiritual growth.