Over the past years I’ve seen so many young people giving their lives to Christ or recommitting their lives to Him. I’ve seen young people becoming passionately on fire for Jesus…but I’ve also seen some of them backslide. Working in youth ministry now, I recognize how incredibly important discipleship and mentorship are. How can the new believer grow, mature, and become strong without support?
This year at work we’ve seen some super exciting things with the teens we work with. More kids are seeking, asking questions, and interested in hearing more about God. We’ve also got several who already gave their lives to Christ or recently recommitted. It’s so incredible and exciting- but it has also challenged me to look at what God says about discipleship. I have such a desire to see these kids grow up loving and serving God. I’ve been trying to better equip myself to support new believers, and ended up writing some thoughts on things I would’ve loved to have been told when I first gave my life to Christ. I’ve combined these thoughts with what the Bible says and wrote a ‘letter to the new believer’.
Dear New Believer,
My heart is so happy for you! I’m incredibly excited that you made the decision to give your life to Christ. I’ve been where you’re at now, and I understand a bit about what you’ll face in the coming months.
- I want to remind you that you can have confidence in Christ! In Philippians 1:6 we see this beautiful promise: “being confident that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus!” You can be confident in your salvation, and confident that God will not leave you. Satan will totally try to convince you that you’re not actually forgiven and that you’re not actually loved. Don’t ever buy into that lie. Draw from God’s promises in these moments and remind yourself of the truth. Here are some Bible passages that you can start with: Psalm 103:12, Philippians 2:13, Daniel 9:9, 1 John 1:9, Isaiah 43:25, Colossians 1:13-14, Isaiah 1:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 1:7, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8, and Romans 5.
- Grow in your knowledge of God. There is SO much exciting stuff to learn. Don’t get overwhelmed by it all. Even though you’re a changed person now, God is still going to continue to grow and teach you. You won’t suddenly ‘know it all’. It’ll be a lifelong journey. You’ll find that in different seasons of your life there will be different things that you have victories and challenges with. God knows what those things will be already, but you don’t. So let Him take the lead and show you things in His timing.
- Don’t walk this path alone…fellowship with other believers! Spending time with other Christ-serving people is SO important. Church isn’t only about worship or learning stuff about God…it’s also about being refreshed and encouraged by other Christians. It’s actually a huge blessing to belong to a community of people who believe the same things as you do and share your passion for God; people whom you can look up to as role models. In the Bible there are so many places where God talks about the value of belonging to a body of believers- passages like Hebrews 10:24-25, Matthew 18:20, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 5:19, Romans 1:12, and Acts 2:46-47. Don’t miss out on the blessings you could get out of church or on how you could use your gifts and talents in the church!
- If you have questions, ASK! If you’re wondering what it means to be sanctified, why people get baptized, what God means by ‘spiritual fruit’, or anything else, you just can ask for answers. God loves when you seek wisdom and clarity. Ask God, ask someone you trust, or find a mentor that can help walk you through these questions. Don’t ever be too embarrassed to talk to someone.
- Your spiritual walk is about momentum and forward movement, not speed. Don’t compare your spiritual walk to others.
- Figure out what some big temptations in your life are, or if there are things holding you back from growing your relationship with God. Are there some things you need to get rid of, spend less time with, or re-prioritize? It helps to share these with someone else so that you have someone to keep you accountable. You can pray to God that He’ll show you anything in your life that’s holding you back.
- Don’t stop praying. Even if you have a crazy schedule, always make time to connect with God. That time of prayer is SO important. It’s during this time with God that He will teach you, encourage you, fill you up with strength, and give you everything you need to handle your day. Some things you can pray for is that God will give you knowledge, discernment, and show you what changes you need to make in your life. When Jesus tells us to follow his example of prayer in Matthew 6, he doesn’t mean we should literally pray that prayer every day! He’s giving a template of things we can and should pray. Praise and thank God, ask Him to show you His will, give your requests and needs over to Him, and ask for His spiritual protection.
- In John 15:5 Jesus say, “Abide in Me, and I in you; apart from Me you can do nothing!” Once you figure out what it means for you to abide in Christ, that’s when God will start doing some really cool stuff in you and through you. That’s when God will be able to give you boldness and lead you to share your testimony and His love with other people. It’s also when you will discover His purpose for you. It’s also when people around you will notice that there’s something different about you- in a good way!
If you’re a new believer or recommitted to God, I hope this encouraged you and gave you hope and excitement for what’s to come! If you’re already serving Christ, I hope that this still encouraged you. I also hope that you now feel better equipped to support new believers in your life!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13