Do you remember when you first came to know the Lord as your Savior? If you’re like me, you may have prayed to follow Jesus at such an early age that you don’t really recall what it was like to not know Him. Of course, we all stumble and, as the Bible teaches, fall short, (Romans 3:23) but since we do have a relationship with Christ, as we are convicted by the Holy Spirit and are led to repentance and restoration, it’s not exactly the same feeling as it was at first.
That’s why I’m enjoying a season the Lord has me in right now, and why I think it’s important to share my thoughts.
There’s someone in my life who is just beginning her journey with Jesus as a new Christian. For her privacy, I won’t reveal her name, but let’s call her Jenna.
Jenna had heard about Jesus. Her parents said they were Christians. She had even been to church. But, based on the examples she saw, the walk was not what the Bible taught, and certainly not what the preacher talked about. Drugs, drinking, abuse. This was her view of the Christian life, and she didn’t want any part of it.
But then one day a friend invited her to Bible study at her church. It wasn’t on a Sunday, instead it was on a Tuesday night, and it didn’t matter that she didn’t really have a nice dress to wear or that her hair smelled like cigarette smoke or that she needed a ride because she didn’t have a car.
Her friend just ignored all that. And so, she came.
She came and she learned that there were numerous references to what Jesus did in the Bible before He was even born. She heard about how Jesus was different because He spoke with women in an era when that was frowned upon.
Jenna learned that Jesus taught and preached about love and kindness, and that He was the example of that by giving up His life so that all of humanity had the opportunity to live with God for eternity.
And she learned that He would have done all of it even if Jenna was the only person on earth.
Jenna couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew by. When the class was over, she wanted to cry. She was desperate for more! How her heart tugged when someone invited her to come back next week! She had no idea this went on every single week.
As her friend dropped her off, she reached in the back seat and handed her a Bible and promised to pick her up again. Jenna would be counting the hours.
Friends, fellow leaders, let us not lose sight of the look on the face of a new believer.
- Take a moment to share your testimony with someone. If you have never done that, simply start by saying what life was like before you knew Jesus, and how it’s different now that you know Him. Tell it to yourself in the mirror. Then share it with a friend.
- Next time you’re in church, look for someone whose salvation you’re unsure of. Commit to pray for them, then, if the Lord leads them to a decision, be ready to share that you have been praying. Then continue to pray, and if it’s appropriate, offer to walk with them on their journey.
- Lead a study or small group. Be on the front lines leading others to know Him better. See their joy as they discover a new truth or a kept promise.
Jenna’s trash can was heavy that week, as she threw away all the self-help books, the astrology charts, and the things she used to think were crucial to her well-being. Her self-esteem grew and soon she began to attend Sunday morning service, and the Lord began to bless her obedience. Her joy was evident when she surrendered her life to Christ, followed His example in baptism, and joined the church.
Now Jenna is on a journey of her own, taking courses in a Christian college and is committed to share the hope—the confident hope—that comes from walking with Jesus. I can’t wait to see what happens next!