4 STEPS TO GOD
1God loves you
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”
The problem is that . . .
2All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.
The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”
The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,
3God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life — of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”
God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgived
4 If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always.”
Did you pray this prayer? You are now a Christian
Step 1: Be Sure
If you have truly asked Jesus Christ into your life to be your Lord and Savior, you are now a Christian. You are not a Christian just because you go to church or do good things.
All of us have done or thought things that are wrong. What makes us a Christian is that we believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ; we have asked forgiveness for our sins; and we have asked Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord.
The Bible says when we accept Jesus Christ we are born again. There may be days when you don’t “feel” like a Christian. But your feelings don’t determine your salvation; your faith in Jesus does. Just like when you are born into your family, you are now a child of your father; when you ask Jesus Christ into your life you are now a child of God. The Bible says “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” You can thank God every day that He loves you and you are a Christian if you have truly accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
Step 2: The Holy Spirit
When Jesus rose from the dead and left this earth, He said God would send the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who believed in Him. The Holy Spirit is God, here on earth.
The Holy Spirit is invisible. God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. We can then ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit each and every day.
It is like an electric light it is dark until you turn on the power. God does not expect us as Christians to live a godly life in our own power He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit in us, we can live a holy life and can tell others about Jesus. “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” So you can ask God to forgive you your sins; ask Him for His help to live a godly life each day; and ask Him to fill you each day with His Holy Spirit. God has given the gift of the Holy Spirit to those who accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. When Jesus left this earth, He said that God His Father would send the Holy Spirit to be in His disciples. If you are a Christian, you can ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit each and every day.
Step 3: Prayer
God has given us the privilege of talking with Him. Talking with God is called prayer. We can pray to God at any time; Christ said He would be with us always.
God is our heavenly Father. In the same way that a good earthly father wants to spend time with his children, so God your heavenly Father loves you and wants to spend time with you. We can pray to God and tell Him we love Him; we can ask Him for His help; we can pray for others.
You can pray to God throughout the day, but it is also good to set aside some time each day when you can spend concentrated time in prayer to God. When you pray, it is good to spend some time praising God and thanking Him for saving you and for His many blessings. You can also spend some time and quietly listen and ask God to speak to you. It is good to pray for others; God says in the Bible “Call to Me and I will answer you.” (Jeremiah 33:3). And you can also pray to God and ask Him to help you grow as a Christian and pray for your daily needs. Remember, God loves you and it is very important to spend time with Him each day.
Step 4: Bible
God has not left us without help in leading the Christian life. He inspired holy writers over the centuries to write the Bible – 66 books organized into the New Testament and Old Testament.
You can learn about Jesus; learn how to live a Christian life; and study the lives of godly men and women of old by reading the Bible. God has given you “His instruction book” to help us live a victorious Christian life.
You can start by reading the Bible each day. In the New Testament, you can start with the Book of Matthew, which is one of 4 books that tells the story of Jesus. It is a good idea to read from the Bible every day you can read one or more chapters and ask God to help you understand His word. Just like you would read instructions about something you bought from a manufacturer, so you can read the Bible and find out from our Maker how we are to live life. God says the Bible is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” So read the Bible each and every day; obey what it says; and you will find spiritual strength to help you live a victorious Christian life.
Step 5: Community
You are not alone in living the Christian life. All the true Christians in the world are now your spiritual brothers and sisters.
In most places in the world, there are Christian churches where you can find other Christians. If you can find a good church which faithfully teaches about Jesus and how to live a Christian life, we encourage you to go. There, you can learn more about Jesus and can join with other believers in worshipping and praising God.
One log in a fire may stop burning if it is all by itself, but other logs all joined in the fire will keep the fire going. In the same way, so you can be helped by other believers to have your faith grow. In addition to church, you may be able to join a small group or Bible study where with a small group of believers you can learn more about God. You can also connect with other Christians online through iChristianLife.com; you can email one of our volunteers with any questions. Also on iChristianLife.com, we have churches in many parts of the world that we can help you find. We encourage you to learn about God; spend time with other believers; worship God; and help and serve others if you can in your local church.
Step 6: Sharing Faith
When His disciples asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment, “Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”’ So one of the most important things we can do as Christians is to love others. This can mean to be kind; to think of others; to forgive people when they sin against us; to do what is good for them.
One of the greatest ways we can love others is to tell people about Jesus. When Jesus left His disciples, He told them that they would be His witnesses – they were to tell others about Him. As Christians, we have the privilege of telling other
this: you can talk to people about Jesus, you can send them an e-mail about God, you can give them a Christian book. You can ask God to have His love shine through you. God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), so you can go in the power of the Holy Spirit and tell others about the salvation available through belief in Jesus Christ!
New Believers Guide
The New Believers Guide was created to take the new or rededicated believer on a journey of discovery and spiritual growth. This guide covers six core principles: Knowing God, Life in the Spirit, Prayer, The Bible, Community and Sharing your faith.
Each principle has five lessons which contain short videos about core Christian principles, scriptures from the Word of God and applications for everyday life.
We want to encourage you to complete all 30 lessons in the order they are presented. Take your time and use these lessons as an opportunity to focus on your relationship with God.
IT IS TIME TO BEGIN! Start each lesson with a brief prayer and ask the Father to reveal Himself to you through your studies.
Lesson 1: Knowing God
Do you desire a close relationship with God? God uses illustrations from our life to help us understand the kind of relationship He wants to have with us.
One of His favorite illustrations compares Himself to a Father who loves His children more than anything else in the world. Psalm 2:7 says,”The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father.'” This is a promise to anyone who trusts in God’s Son Jesus as Savior: “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn – not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:12,13). Because you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are now a child in God’s family.
If you are a parent, you can understand the importance of what God is saying. God loves you so much that He tells the whole world you are His child! This means that God is not embarrassed by you—no matter what you have done. In fact, He sent Jesus to die for you while you were at your worst! Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” That’s how much you are loved. And God wants to have an intimate relationship with you as a father does with his child. He wants to teach you great things and listen to your heart. He wants you to trust Him and know Him as a loving Father. This relationship takes time to build, but God is committed to it. Take a moment and thank God for being your Heavenly Father. Ask Him to show you how much He loves you.
Lesson 2: Knowing Jesus
Who is Jesus? Jesus is God in human form. The Bible teaches that Jesus is both fully human and fully God.
Listen to what Philippians 2:6-10 tells us about Him: “Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. Instead He gave up everything and became a slave, when He became like one of us. Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross. Then God gave Christ the highest place and honored His name above all others. So at the name of Jesus everyone will bow down, those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.” Wow, what a powerful description of Jesus! This is why we worship Him as the Savior and Lord of the universe.
Jesus has Always Existed
The Bible explains that Jesus existed with God in heaven before He came down to earth as a man. This is because Jesus is part of the Godhead, which includes God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. John 1:1-4 says this about Jesus: “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.”
Jesus’ Life and Reign
Jesus came from the Father and was born of a virgin, performed many miracles, and foretold of His death and resurrection. When God raised Him from the dead, it proved that Jesus is who He said He is—the very Son of God and Savior of the world. After His resurrection, Jesus returned to his position in Heaven where He now reigns with God and prays for those who believe in Him. We will meet Him again at His Second Coming and live with Him in heaven for eternity. How wonderful that will be! Take a moment and honor Jesus as the Lord of all and your Savior and friend. Ask Him to reveal Himself more to you.
Lesson 3: You are Saved by Grace
Everyone is in need of salvation. In Romans chapter 5, the Bible tells us that everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and that this sin deserves death.
How many sin? All. And since all of us sin, all of us face death. Our sin is what separates us from God, and it only takes one sin. Our good deeds cannot change that. Imagine someone was guilty of murder and was pleading his case in court: “But I fed the homeless, Your Honor! I also gave away money to charity and was nice to my mom!” His few good acts wouldn’t erase the murder he had committed. He would still have to pay the penalty for his sin. It is the same with us. Stuck in our sin and moving towards death, all of us are in a hopeless situation.
But here’s the good news: God, in His mercy, sent His Son to die in our place. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Christ paid the penalty for our sins by dying in our place as a totally innocent man. Like a bridge, connecting two separated people, God made a way through Christ to connect us to Himself. God did that because He wanted to—not because He had to—because of His great love for us. This is the grace of God, and it is given to us by faith in His Son Jesus, not by working hard to be good. Isn’t that a relief? Take a moment and thank God for saving you while you were still a sinner. Thank Him that you don’t have to earn His love or salvation.
Lesson 4: Created for a Purpose
Have you ever wondered why you were born? Augustine, one of the early church fathers, said “Our hearts are restless until we find God.”
You cannot truly experience peace and joy in your life without an open relationship with God. Romans 5:1,2 tells us, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”
The purpose of your life is to bring God glory in everything you do: in your worship, your relationships, and your work. “The chief purpose of man in to bring glory and honor to God and to enjoy Him forever,” says the Westminster Confession of Faith. Remember, by accepting Christ as your Savior you now have God who “works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). But this does not happen overnight. It is the result of a growing relationship with God. Faithfulness to read God’s Word and to pray according to His will help grow your relationship with God. That is the ultimate purpose of your life—to have a meaningful relationship with God. And beyond that, God has specific things for you to accomplish in your life. The next section deals with the special plan God has for your life. Take a moment and thank God that He knows you and cares for you specifically and has a great plan for your life.
Lesson 5: God’s Plan for Your Life
Most of us have dreams for how we want our lives to be. We want to be happy and find contentment in what we do and the relationships we have.
Unfortunately we also find there are circumstances in life beyond our control—circumstances which interfere with our plans and make us sad and unhappy. Often, these difficult circumstances drive us to seek God more than we normally would. God is able to use the circumstances of our lives to draw us to Him. If our lives worked out the way we wanted to, we might never have a need for God. We would build our lives on a foundation of self-centeredness, but that foundation would eventually fail. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 3:10 “to be careful how we build” for the only lasting foundation for our lives is the one already laid, “which is Jesus Christ.”
So how do you build on God’s foundation? The key is to obey God’s Word. Jesus said, “Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock” (Matthew 7:24,25). God’s plan for your life is built upon His Word because it is the most trustworthy foundation there is. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). A crisis clears away the unstable parts of our life and allows us to rebuild on the solid foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. Though painful, this is good because of the promise we have in Roman 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” God can take your life—no matter how bad it may seem—and make something beautiful out of it. Take a moment right now and thank God for His great plan for your life. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to do.
Lesson 6: The Holy Spirit
You received the Spirit the moment you accepted Christ as your Savior, and He will never leave you. Ephesians 1:3 says, “We have been sealed with the promise of the Holy Who is the Holy Spirit? And what does He have to do with your life?
Spirit.” Have you ever put a label on something to show others it is yours? When you became a Christian, God put a stamp on you, claiming you as redeemed and forgiven. That stamp is His own Spirit. And this Holy Spirit is your greatest friend and helper in life. He prays for you, helps you deal with the challenges of life, and is the power that transforms your life. Think of it this way: Before we accepted Christ we were like a light
bulb without electricity. But now, the Holy Spirit is the “electricity” that lights up our lives
The Spirit gives you a whole new life. Jesus, in John 6:63, says, “The Spirit gives life; our flesh counts for nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” The Bible talks about being “born again.” What that means is simply that the Spirit has given you a fresh start and an entirely new nature to live differently. Galatians 2:20 says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” It’s like a car that was constantly breaking down, and someone came and put in an entirely new engine. If you are a Christian, you already have the Holy Spirit living inside of you; now you just need to learn how to relate with Him and walk in the new life He has for you. Read on in the next lessons about what exactly the Holy Spirit does to change your life and how to receive His power and grace.
Lesson 7: Holy Spirit’s Work in Your Life
The Holy Spirit is your constant companion and helper. Have you ever been given a task that is too big for you? Living like Jesus is impossible for us on our own.
But that’s why God gave us His own Spirit—to help us live as new people. Jesus said, “But the Helper will teach you everything and will cause you to remember all that I told you. This Helper is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name” (John 14:26). As we saw in the last lesson, the Spirit is the stamp of God’s salvation and gives us new life. But He does a lot more. Let’s look at the things He does for you:
The Spirit Teaches
Do you ever wonder how to live the Christian life? 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching.” “Inspired by God” is a reference to the Holy Spirit who is the life-giving breath of God. It’s like studying a book and having the author of the book there with you to help you through the hard-to-understand parts. Since the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, He will help you to understand it and give you new life as you read it.
The Spirit Corrects
2 Timothy 3:16 also tells us another benefit of the Holy Spirit: He corrects us. “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching us how to live right.” As believers, we will experience the prompting of the Spirit in our lives when we do things that God does not want us to do. For example, sometimes we may not want to forgive someone for wronging us. The Spirit will keep reminding us of the importance of forgiving that person and how God has forgiven us.
The Spirit Leads
John 16:13 tells us, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” When you follow the leading of the Spirit, you follow God’s will for your life. Sometimes we resist the Spirit and do things of our own will and not God’s. To be self-willed only delays God’s blessing in our lives. The Bible tells us we must give up the control we have over our lives and turn control over to the leading of the Spirit. This will lead to living the abundant life God has for you.
Lesson 8: The Holy Spirit’s Power
How much power does the Holy Spirit have? The Holy Spirit has all the power of God because He is God. The life-giving power of the Holy Spirit is seen at creation.
We are told in Genesis 1:2 that the “…[Holy] Spirit of God was hovering over the waters…” and that God said “…’Let us make man in Our image’…” (Genesis 1:26), demonstrating the equality of God and His Holy Spirit. We receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Christ. Romans 8:11 says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
What kind of power does the Holy Spirit give?
Paul tells us two important things. The Spirit gives us the power to love others as God loves us and to be witnesses for Jesus. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Where do we begin to access this power?
We begin by asking God to fill us with His Spirit and confessing areas where we have ignored God. Jesus said, “How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you love others as God does and be a great witness to Jesus in the world. You will begin to experience the abundant life God has for you as you do.
Lesson 9: The Holy Spirit Fills You
Ever done anything you wish you didn’t? Even with the gift of the Holy Spirit we can find ourselves doing things we really don’t want to do.
We fall back into sinful patterns or don’t act toward others the way we want to. Even the Apostle Paul struggled with this. He said, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (Romans 7:19). What can we do about this? First we have to understand we are in a battle against sin. Our sinful nature still fights against our spiritual nature and will until we die. Galatians 5:17 says, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” But Paul goes on to give good news: “But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses” (Galatians 5:18).
What are practical ways to be directed by the Spirit?
One way is to feed your spirit through praying and studying the Bible on a daily basis. Just as we give food to our bodies every morning, so we need to feed spiritual food to our souls. That’s why Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). As one person put it, “ No Bible, no breakfast.” Prayer connects you with God and builds intimacy. And when we do sin, we need to confess it to God and to ask others to forgive us. The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Daily confession can be like a daily shower, cleansing you from the shortcomings of your day. Try this: begin a habit of daily prayer and reading the Bible for about 30 minutes. As you feed your spirit, you will walk in God’s power and love more and fulfill His will for your life.
Lesson 10: Living in the Spirit
What kind of life do you want? Jesus makes a promise to us in John 10:10: “I come that they have life and have it to the full.”
We can claim that promise by living life in the Spirit. In the last lesson we learned that life is a battle between our sinful nature and our spiritual nature. Paul teaches us a great lesson in Galatians 6:7,8: “People harvest only what they plant. If they plant to satisfy their sinful selves, their sinful selves will bring them ruin. But if they plant to please the Spirit, they will receive eternal life from the Spirit.” Think of yourself as a farmer and your life as a crop. What do you want to grow in your life? If we sow seeds of selfish desires, we grow a crop that reflects that.
However, we can sow seeds according to the spirit and have a crop that produces wonderful, spiritual fruit.
Listen to Paul describe that difference between the two kinds of lifestyles in Galatians 5: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
What kind of crops do you want to harvest in your life? Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you right now and help you to sow according to His way. He wants to bless your life and produce good fruit. You just need to trust and obey Him.
Lesson 11: The Bible is Trustworthy
How do you know you can trust the Bible? Can you believe it as God’s very words to you?
Listen to what the Bible says about itself: “All Scripture is inspired by God…” (2 Timothy 3:16). Additionally, every book of the Old Testament is quoted in the New Testament. Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament as did Paul and the other Apostles. Even greater evidence for the authenticity of the Bible is its power to change lives. When someone asked Dr. Ironsides how he knew the Bible is not just another book, he said, “For every one person you bring whose life has been transformed by another book, I will bring 100 who have been transformed by the Bible.” Millions of changed lives testify to the power of the Bible.
But how can we know if words weren’t added to the Bible over time and aren’t reliable? We know the Bible is reliable for several reasons. Several ancient texts of the Old Testament were found in a cave near the Dead Sea in the 1950’s. When these texts were compared with newer ones, the accuracy was near 100%. The same is true of the New Testament as well. Of the more than 5000 existing manuscripts dated from 100 to 500AD, there is a better than 99% correlation. Martin Luther said, “The Bible is a Lion and can defend itself.” The Bible has been an international best-selling book for nearly 300 years and its power and trustworthiness are confirmed by its 3000 year history and transformative power. You can trust the Bible as God’s very word to your life. Begin to read it as God’s communication to you and His guide on how to live your life.
Lesson 12: Origin of the Bible
The Bible was written over a period of 1600 years, by more than forty different writers, on three different continents, and in three different languages.
Every book of the Bible has a unified message and points us to Jesus. Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” When it says “God-breathed”, it means that the Spirit of God inspired the writers to write what God wanted us to know. This fact is confirmed by the Spirit within us who testifies to the truth in the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is alive and powerful.” In other words, the unique “living” feature of the Bible is confirmed as it speaks personally to you. Scripture has the power to transform our lives and feed our souls.
How is the Bible organized?
The Bible contains 66 Books: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Testament simply means covenant, a word that refers to God’s promises to us and His faithfulness to honor those promises. Each book has a different theme and a different way of showing who God is and teaching us His ways. Have you ever had someone teach you a point using many different illustrations? That’s how the Bible is: there are so many different stories and ways God shows us who He is and who we are. Talking about the things that happened to people in Bible, it says, “These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age” (1 Corinthians 10:11). We can learn from the things people went through in the Bible and feel comforted by them. Take a moment and thank God for giving us so many stories and ways to understand Him.
Lesson 13: How to Read the Bible
How are you supposed to correctly read the Bible? Is there a structure you should follow? Is there one right way?
Sometimes it can be a bit difficult to start reading the Bible on your own since the names of the books, people, and places are not familiar to us. Here are a few facts to help get you started: The Bible is divided into two parts—the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament covers the history of Israel’s relationship with God and looks forward to God sending Jesus as Savior. The New Testament begins with the coming of Jesus in the first four books (called The Gospels), followed by the letters which tell us how to now live as Christians. Since Christ is the focus of both the Old and the New Testament, a great place to start your reading is with one of the four Gospels— Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.
The rest of the Bible is for your benefit too.
Joshua 1:8 says, “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” It is filled with answers to your questions about life and God, and God can speak personally to you through it. Remember, God has given the Holy Spirit as your teacher and He will be your guide as you read the words He inspired. Paul tells us in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit Himself testifies within our spirit.” Why don’t you start reading the Bible everyday? You can start in one of the Gospels in the New Testament, and ask God to speak to you about Jesus. God wants to open your mind to understand His Word and change you into His image as you read it. Try to dedicate 15 minutes a day to reading the Bible and see what God does in your life.
Lesson 14: Developing a Daily Pattern
Have you ever heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect?” Maybe you have tried eating really healthy before.
And if you have, you know that the effects don’t happen overnight, but have to be continued for a lasting effect. It’s the same with reading God’s Word. As Christians, it is important for us develop a daily pattern of prayer and Bible study. Then we will see the effects of following God’s Word throughout our whole lives. The apostle Peter said in 2 Peter 3:18 that we “should grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Spiritual growth, just like physical growth, requires a source of nutrition. Jesus said He is the “living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51) and that whoever “eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:58). So in order for us to receive the benefits of our relationship with God, we have to spend time every day with Him in His Word to grow in our faith.
How do we start? Set aside time each day:
It doesn’t have to be a long period, but it helps if the time is consistent, early in the morning before work, for example.
Pray before you read:
Ask the Holy Spirit to be your teacher.
Have some paper and a pencil:
Write down what you are learning and read back over your notes as a reminder of what the Spirit is teaching you.
Put what you read into practice.
If you read this morning about loving your enemies, try being kind to those who are mean to you that day.
The most important step is to get started. A great place to start is in the book of John. Begin by reading the entire book just as you would read a letter from a good friend. After that, go back to the beginning and read one chapter a day for the next 21 days. An Online Missionary is available to help with any questions that you may have as you read. Send us an email anytime; we would love to hear the things God is teaching you, etc. As you read, you will learn so much about Jesus, and God will speak to you.
Lesson 15: How to Use the Bible
There are some tools that are very helpful to have on hand. A knife, a flashlight, a ruler, a compass, for example. Did you know that the Bible compares itself to all of these?
David said, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Hebrews 4:12 says, “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.” Since the Bible is the greatest tool given to you, it is best used on a daily basis to help us with the challenges of life. Say, for instance, you don’t know if something is right or wrong. The Bible is a ruler—or like a measuring stick—to help you decide. Or say you don’t know which decision to make in life (maybe for a job, a move, or a mate); the Bible is one of God’s ways to speak to you and light your path in dark times.
So how do you start to use this tool? One of the best ways to start is just by reading. How can you use a tool you’ve never handled before? As you start reading the Bible, you learn more about who God is and who you are called to be. It’s like using a blueprint when building a house. The house is your life, and the Bible is the blueprint of how you should build it so it will not fall. Jesus said, “Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock” (Matthew 7:24,25). Begin by reading the entire book through in one sitting just as you would read a letter from a friend. Take your time and allow the Word of God to restore you. Taking notes as you study is very important since it is the opportunity for us to hear from God and to remember all the things God is teaching us.
You can also use the Bible to help others. The Bible gives us the answer to some of life’s most important questions:
Where do we come from? Genesis 1:27
Whatis my purpose in life? Matthew 22:37-40
What happens when we die? Hebrews 9:27
How can I be sure I will go to Heaven? Ephesians 2:8-9
As you look each of these verses up think of ways you can use them to share with other people. People are looking for answers and the Bible has the truth. You can share God’s truth with others as you learn it first for yourself by reading it daily.
Lesson 16: Not a Religion
Did you know that when you became a Christian, you joined a family—not a religion? “What’s the difference?” you say. A lot.
You can change your religion, but you can’t change your family. Your family is with you for life: through good and bad, thick or thin. Your family shapes who you are. The Bible says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12).
This family is called The Church, and it is the most beautiful group of people on earth: God’s own children given the amazing privilege of showing the world who
He is. 1 Peter 2:9-10 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God.” This family is spread across the whole world and is made up of every culture and language. It is not limited to a building, just as a natural family isn’t limited to their house.
So how do you get connected in this family? As a Christian, you are automatically part of God’s large family, called the UniversalChurch, but He also has a smaller family for you to be a part of, called a local church. It’s like having relatives all over the world, but living with your immediate family. The Bible says, “God settles the solitary in a home; He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land” (Psalm 68:6). A local church is just a group of believers in Jesus who have committed to support each other and follow Jesus together. You may or may not belong to a local church right now, and there is still a bit to learn about it all, but take a moment now and just thank God for adopting you in His family and having a great plan for you.
Lesson 17: God’s Family
Why did God create the Church to be like a family? Right from the start, Jesus made His followers as special as His own mom and siblings.
“Pointing to his disciples, [Jesus] said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:49,50). That is why we can call each other “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ.
Think about all the benefits of a family. A family provides a warm, safe place for you to call home. It gives you your sense of security and identity, and teaches you the difference between right and wrong. Your family feeds and clothes you. It is in a family that you learn how to love your siblings and respect your parents. And it is in a family that you discover who you are and how you can contribute to the world.
God wants you to have a spiritual family in a local church. A young baby can’t be expected to feed himself, change his diaper, and teach himself all the things he needs to know as an adult. Just the same, God knows you need the guidance of a pastor, the care of other Christians, and the safety and support of a good church home to help you grow as a Christian. Listen to what the Bible says about it: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Take a moment and ask God to lead you to the right church, if you don’t yet have one. And if you do, ask God to speak to you about the church family you do have and how you can contribute.
Lesson 18: How Does it Work?
So how does this thing called the Church work? Jesus said, “I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).
But how is Jesus building His Church? Ephesians 4:16 tells us the answer: “As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow.” Did you know that you are meant to play a crucial part in God’s family?
Imagine for a moment a young boy who never wanted anything to do with his family. He never came out for family dinner, but just ran in his room when he got home from school. He never did any chores around the house, refused to clean his room, and pushed his brother whenever he saw him. In addition, this boy had it in him to become a great soccer player, but he never let his dad teach him how to play. Think of all that child would miss out on! Not to mention how the family would suffer as well.
Just like a family, the church has a give-and-take relationship—like how people need the oxygen trees give off and trees need the carbon dioxide people breath out. Just the same, you need the Church, and the church also needs you. Look at mutual benefits of being in a church:
You are protected: Just as a house keeps people protected from harm, so God’s house keeps Christians safe from false teaching. God gave this instruction to pastors: “So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as elders” (Acts 20:28).
You are taught how to follow Jesus: I Peter 2:2,3 says, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” Newborns can’t feed themselves; they need someone to help them. Pastors and teachers help you grow as a Christian as they feed you the spiritual food of the Bible and help you know God better.
You learn how to love your family: Jesus said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34,35). Being part of a church family helps you learn how to love others and their differences and show the love of Jesus to the world.
You discover and use your gifts: Have you ever had someone tell you that you are good at something you were unaware of? God has given you spiritual gifts, and your church family can help you discover them and learn how to use them. The Bible says, “Since you want spiritual gifts very much, seek most of all to have the gifts that help the church grow stronger” (I Corinthians 14:12). As you use your gifts, the church is strengthened and grows.
You need the Church and the Church needs you. What are the gifts God has given you to build His Church? Maybe you haven’t discovered them yet. As you join a spiritual family, you grow as a Christian and help the whole body of Christ to grow as well.
Lesson 19: The Big Picture
Have you ever wondered why Jesus doesn’t just take every Christian straight to heaven once they believe in Him? Why wait, right? Wrong.
You see, the Church has a great job to do. It is the hugest responsibility and privilege God could give: to be a representative of Him to the world. Jesus said to His followers, “All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Imagine for a moment a young boy who never wanted anything to do with his family. He never came out for family dinner, but just ran in his room when he got home from school. He never did any chores around the house, refused to clean his room, and pushed his brother whenever he saw him. In addition, this boy had it in him to become a great soccer player, but he never let his dad teach him how to play. Think of all that child would miss out on! Not to mention how the family would suffer as well.
The Church is Jesus’ own body on the earth. The Bible says, “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself” (Ephesians 1:22,23). That’s what the Bible says, but what does that mean? Think of your own body. Your head tells the rest of your body what to do. If you want your arm to pick something up, it does it. If you want to step on something, your foot obeys the command. It is the same with the Church. We are the representatives of who Jesus is and what He wants done in the world. That means, when people ask the question, “Who is Jesus?”, they can look to the Church and find their answers.
This is a wonderful responsibility. Being Jesus’ body means we act like He acts and tell others about Him. The Bible asks this question, “How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? And how can anyone tell them without being sent by the Lord?” (Romans 10:14,15). This is the main goal of the Church—to tell others about Jesus that they too may be saved and added to God’s family. You have an important role to play your part. Maybe God gave you the gift of singing so that you can sing about Him to others. Or maybe He made you to be a teacher and teach people about Jesus. Whatever role God has made you to play is a very crucial one, and His body cannot function at its best without you
Lesson 20: Finding the “PerfectChurch”
There are dysfunctional families, you know. We’ve talked a lot about church being like a family…so how do you find the right one?
Not every church is perfect—in fact, no church is perfect just like no family is perfect. Even the healthiest of families will have problems: children who fight, parents with financial problems, and illnesses and issues to deal with. This doesn’t make it a bad family. But a family can get dysfunctional when there is constant fighting, no trust or moral standards, abuse, and no commitment. Same with a church! God wants you to be in a healthy church family. Here is a checklist to help you in your search:
* Does it believe that faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved from your sins and have a relationship with God? “It is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Some churches teach “extra” things you have to do to be saved—that faith in Jesus alone isn’t quite enough. This is a major red flag.
* Does it believe that the Bible is 100% true and try to live it out on a daily basis? Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28). Some churches only believe certain parts of the Bible or have added extra books to it. This is not good. You want a church that respects the Bible as God’s Word and as the guidebook for life.
* Does it seek to tell the world around them about Jesus and be an example of God’s kingdom on earth? “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’” (Matthew 28:18-20). It can be easy to get inwardly focused in a church and lose the driving mission of telling others about Jesus’ offer of salvation. But that is the purpose of every church. So, find one that is actively obeying Jesus’ command to preach the gospel and love others.
If you can find a church with these things, praise God! Each church will have a different “personality,” just as families do. Maybe they sing different songs than you’re used to or have different ways to reach out to their community. But what really matters is the core beliefs about Jesus and commitment to follow Him. Do you have a church that matches these qualities? If so, thank God and ask Him how you can serve there. But if not, take a moment to ask God to lead you to one. He has promised to provide for you, so you can trust Him to answer your request.
Lesson 21: What is Prayer?
What is prayer? Prayer is the ability to communicate with your Heavenly Father and hear back from Him! Some think of it as a duty. Others think of it as a quick fix or last resort.
Prayer is none of these things. It is actually the greatest privilege of a Christian. The whole Bible is filled with the command to pray: “Pray in the morning”, “Pray when you are sick”, “Pray when you need help”, “Pray for peace.” Why are we told to pray so much? It is because God wants to answer our requests. Jesus said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22). What a promise!
Think about your relationship with your best friend: you talk to him, listen to what he has to say, and enjoy spending time together. This is the essence of prayer, building a relationship with your Heavenly Father. He loves you very much, wants to hear what is on your mind and give you direction. God says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and wondrous things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). Your job is to call out and talk to Him, and He promises to answer—what a wonderful guarantee! Your prayers do not have to be anything fancy. In fact, God prefers honesty over babbling on and on. Just start today by telling God what is on you mind and asking Him to speak to you. You will be amazed at His response.
Lesson 22: Why Pray?
What is the point of prayer? Why take time out of your day to talk with God who you can’t see or necessarily hear out loud? The main reason we pray is because it’s what God wants.
Why does God want you to call out to Him? Think of the relationship between a father and son. A good father wants his son to come to him with his feelings and needs; it is his desire to provide for his son and let him know he can be trusted. This is even more true of God! Listen to what Jesus said about praying to God: “If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? Or if your children ask for a fish, would you give them a snake? Even though you are bad, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11).
Have you ever had a friend who wants to hear about your problems? Probably not. But it makes God happy when you talk to Him about your thoughts and needs, because it shows Him that you trust Him. The Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith just means that you believe God is who He says He is in the Bible. For example, you can ask God what to do in a certain situation and believe He will guide you because James 1:5 says, “But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you.” Why don’t you take some time today to tell God a pressing need or thought that has been weighing you down? Relying on your Heavenly Father will both please Him and build your faith as you see Him respond to your request.
Lesson 23: When to Pray
Have you ever needed something really badly from the store and found it closed? It used to be that many stores were closed on Sundays.
If you needed something, you would just have to wait until Monday to get it. God is not like that. His ears are always open to hear what you have to say. The Bible says, “He will not let you stumble; the One who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, He who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps” (Psalm 121:3,4). You can know that you can come to God at any time and have His full attention. And your prayers don’t have to be especially long. You can shoot up an “arrow” prayer to God anytime: “God I need your peace,” or “Please comfort me right now.” He loves you that much.
But how much should you pray? Should you pray every hour on the hour or just once a week? The Bible does not give a specific amount to pray. Instead, it tells us to pray continually. Paul said, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything, give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). Does this mean you can’t ever sleep? No, think of prayer like water. Health experts tell us to drink water continually. This doesn’t mean you have to drink water at all moments of the day; the point is to stay hydrated by frequently drinking water. It’s the same with prayer. You can keep spiritually hydrated by communicating with God throughout the day, telling Him your needs, asking him for guidance, and thanking Him for all of His many blessings. You can talk to Him at work, while you drive in the car, even when you are talking with other people! Practice close communication with God today and see the difference that it makes.
Lesson 24: Where to Pray
Prayer can happen anytime, anywhere. Have you ever had a cell phone conversation cut off because you lost your signal?
That will never happen with prayer, because God’s Spirit is everywhere and even lives inside of you! 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” So wherever you are—whether it’s the grocery store, your room, or your job—God always hears you.
Jesus knew this better than anyone else. He said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. I know you always hear me” (John 11:42). As a Christian, you have the same assurance as Jesus to know that God hears your every prayer. This is a great source of comfort, as God is never more than a prayer away. He is ready to hear you at all times, but sometimes to hear clearly from Him, you have to go somewhere without distraction. Have you ever tried to have an important conversation with a friend in a very loud restaurant? Not easy. Just the same, often we need to find a quiet place to pray and connect with God. Listen to what Jesus did: “It was very early in the morning and still dark. Jesus got up and left the house. He went to a place where he could be alone. There he prayed” (Matthew 1:35). Do you have a special place you can meet with God? If not, find a place to get away from the noise of your life and spend time there with God today. You will feel refreshed and find it easier to connect with God.
Lesson 25: How to Pray
Is there a right way to pray? Jesus’ disciples were wondering this when they said, “Lord, teach us how to pray” (Luke 11:1).
Upon being asked, Jesus gave His disciples—us—a model prayer. It goes like this: “Our Father in heaven, may your name always be kept holy. May your kingdom come and what you want be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. Give us the food we need for each day. Forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us. And do not cause us to be tempted, but save us from the Evil One. The kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13). Why this prayer? Jesus didn’t mean that this would be the only words you could pray. Otherwise He wouldn’t have prayed other things He did in the Bible. Instead, this prayer guides us, just as railroad tracks guide a train. Look at the different parts of the prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may Your name always be kept holy: You can praise God for His great name and who He is.
May Your kingdom come and what You want to be done here on earth as it is in heaven: You can ask God to take control of your circumstances.
Give us the food we need for each day: You can ask God for whatever you need.
Forgive us for our sins, just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us: You can receive forgiveness from God for your sins and forgive those who have hurt you.
And do not cause us to be tempted, but save us from the Evil One: You can ask for God’s protection against Satan and sin.
The kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours forever. Amen: You can get an eternal perspective and rely on God for everything.
What is the recipe for great prayer? Have you ever tried to make a cake without flour? The cake would fall flat because it has no substance. Faith is the substance of prayer. You can add in all the ingredients of the Lord’s Prayer, but if you don’t have faith in God, they won’t do much good. Jesus said, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him” (Mark 11:22,23). How do you have faith in God? Basically, you just believe what God says in the Bible is true. Say you told your child, “I want you to help you get good grades.” He would know that if he needed help studying, he could come to you for help. It’s just like that with God: Whatever He has promised in the Bible you can trust He will do. Why don’t you take some time today and pray through the Lord’s Prayer and believe that God will give you what you ask for in Jesus’ name.
Lesson 26: Great Commission 101
How did you first hear about Jesus? Someone told you right? It is very rare for someone to have heard about Jesus just through a dream or message from God.
For most people, they had to hear it from someone. Romans 10:14,15 says, “How can people have faith in the Lord and ask Him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? And how can anyone tell them without being sent by the Lord?” Did you know that you have been sent by the Lord to tell people the good news about Jesus and how they can be forgiven of their sins?
This amazing task is called the Great Commission. It’s what Jesus told His followers right before He left earth to go to Heaven. He said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world” (Matthew 28:18-20). As one of Jesus’ followers, you have the privilege and the responsibility of helping to fulfill the Great Commission. The goal is that every single person on earth would be given the chance to hear about Jesus that they might receive eternal life as you have.
Think of it this way: Imagine you had cancer and were chosen to be part of a special test group for a new cure. The treatment cured all of your cancer completely free of charge. What is the first thing you would do after you were healed? You would want to tell all of the other cancer victims about this great cure! Well, sin is a cancer affecting every single person. And you been cured—forgiven of your sins—by Jesus Christ. Do you remember how you felt before you believed in Jesus? Maybe you felt lonely, guilty, and without hope. The entire world is lost with Jesus. That is why Jesus has sent us to reach them with His love and forgiveness. Will you obey His command to make disciples of all nations? If so, tell God right now that you desire to give your life to this. It is the greatest thing you can do with your life.
Lesson 27: Why Share?
Have you ever bet on something? It’s easy to make a bet when the stakes are low, say, buying dinner or doing the dishes. But what if the stakes are high?
What if the cost of losing the bet would totally change your life? When it comes to the Great Commission, the stakes are very high—life and death, to be specific. Have you ever met a Christian who seemed a little too radical? Maybe they couldn’t stop talking about Jesus…maybe they even were a little embarrassing? Paul was so radical that even when he was put in jail for talking about Jesus, he only cared about the gospel being preached. He said, “My dear friends, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the good news. The Roman guards and all the others know that I am here in jail because I serve Christ. Now most of the Lord’s followers have become brave and are fearlessly telling the message” (Philippians 1:12-14). Why was Paul willing to risk his life for the sake of the message about Jesus being told?
It is because life and death are at stake. The only way for someone to be saved from sin and receive eternal life is through faith in Jesus. There is no other way. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6). So, if someone doesn’t hear about Jesus, they face eternity in hell. And Jesus has entrusted the job to us—His followers. That is why Paul didn’t care about being put in jail, about being beaten, made fun of, excluded, and eventually killed for the gospel. He knew everything he went through would be worth people being saved from their sins. Have you ever run a race before? You have to train your body with long, hard hours of exercise and give up certain foods and activities to be in the best shape. But the end goal of winning the race makes it worth it. If you can understand the eternal difference you preaching the gospel can make in other’s lives, it will drive you to sacrifice great things for it. Ask God right now to help you understand what is at stake eternally and how you can make a difference.
Lesson 28: What is the Gospel Anyway?
If someone asked you how to get to heaven, would you know what to tell them? When I was a young girl, my mom drove me to my friend’s house everyday for 5 years.
But if someone had asked me how to get to her house, I couldn’t tell them, because I had never driven there myself. A lot of Christians feel that way with the gospel. They generally know what it means to be a Christian, but if someone asked them how to become one, they wouldn’t know what to say. I Peter 3:15 says, “Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.” You don’t have to have been a Christian for many years or be a preacher to share the gospel; you just need to be willing. Bill Bright described successful evangelism as “taking the initiative to share the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.” But what exactly is the gospel?
The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ coming to earth to save us from our sins. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. If you can tell someone one thing, tell them about Jesus. Speaking of Him, the Bible says, “You can’t be saved by believing in anyone else. God has given us no other name under heaven that will save us” (Acts 4:12). Tell them that Jesus is God, who came to earth as a man, and died for the sins of the world. Tell them that they can be completely forgiven of their sins and receive eternal life with God solely by believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord. The Bible gives everyone this guarantee: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). That is the gospel. Anyone can share it and everyone needs to hear it. Pray and ask God for an opportunity this week to share the gospel. Remember: all you need to do is take the initiative to share the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God.
Lesson 29: Must I Share the Gospel?
Who needs to hear about the gospel? And who needs to tell it? The same answer is for both questions. Everyone.
Every person on earth needs to hear the gospel and every Christian needs to tell them. It’s not the job of pastors or preachers. “Jesus said to His followers, ‘Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone’” (Mark 16:15). If you are a follower of Christ, you have been told to go and preach the gospel. Imagine you lived in a desert where everyone around you was dying of thirst. You were the only one who knew where an unlimited water supply was…who would you tell? Everyone right? And you would probably start with the person closest to you. After you told them and they drank the water, you would instruct them to tell others as you continued to do the same. This would get the job done in the shortest amount of time and make sure everyone got some water. It’s the same the Great Commission.
Everyone is spiritually dying of thirst. And you know where the water is, since you have tasted it. Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13,14). Do you know someone who is spiritually thirsty? Maybe they have been trying to fill their thirst in a job, relationship, or possessions. But they keep ending up thirsty. You do not need to look very far to find someone who is desperate to hear about Jesus. Chances are your neighbor, family member, or coworker is waiting for someone to tell them there is a way to be forgiven of their sin. YOU are that person. You do not need to be a preacher or Bible expert; you just need to care and be willing to share the good news about Jesus. Take this great adventure with the Holy Spirit to lead people to salvation! Ask God to make you bold to share the gospel with the many thirsty people around you.
Lesson 30: Don’t be Scared
You’re not alone. Breathe a sigh of relief. This is not God sending you out on your own to preach the gospel all over the world and saying, “Good luck!”
No, He has promised to send the Holy Spirit to help you be an effective witness for Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “The Helper will teach you everything and will cause you to remember all that I told you. This Helper is the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name” (John 14:26). What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is your Helper to be a witness for Jesus?
Fill Your Sails
Imagine a sailboat. You set out to sail across the sea to another country. You buy your boat, map out your general direction, and take off from land. But you have to trust that the wind is going to come, fill your sails, and carry your boat across the sea. That’s a lot like witnessing. You have heard the command from Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations. You can set your heart to be obedient to Him and prepare to tell others about Jesus, but it’s the Holy Spirit who is going to fill your sails and do all the work. And He promises to send the wind to you. Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8).
Anyone Can Do It
And it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a naturally “bold” personality. Sometimes we think that only the really confident or outgoing people are good at sharing the gospel. But the power of the Holy Spirit is available for everyone—not just the extroverts. Think of the sailboat illustration: it doesn’t matter if the sailboat is big, small, brown, colorful, long, or short. As long as it has sails, the wind can carry it. It’s the same with the Holy Spirit: He can take whatever personality you have and use it to draw fame and glory to Jesus. The sails of your boat are just your willingness to tell others about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will give you the power and the right words. Would you like to witness with the help of the Holy Spirit? Ask God right now to fill you with His Spirit and give you opportunities to witness. Jesus said, “How much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). As you and the Holy Spirit work together, you will see people believe in Jesus and receive eternal life
The Apostle John tells us that what “you have heard, what you have seen with your eyes and what you have held in our hands concerning the Word of Life” bears witness and proclaims the eternal life we have through Jesus Christ. We have good news to share with those around us.
As followers of Christ we are always a student desiring to grow in our faith and in our relationships. The next step is to continue the journey by.Following the path
Following the Path takes the same six core principles and expands the number of lessons to give you more depth and detail and is designed to help you grow.
Following the path