Joining Jesus' movement
Jesus is more interested in a relationship than a load of rituals, so there won't be hundreds of things to 'do'. Becoming a Christian is about giving God your life and letting him lead you, he has a different plan for everyone.
In any relationship, it’s good to talk, so a simple prayer is often the best place to start.
If you don’t know what to say, the following prayer is a guide. There’s nothing magic about it and you don’t need to follow it religiously, it’s just a framework to help get you started if you want to. If there’s a Christian you know and trust, it can be helpful to pray this prayer with somebody, but you don’t have to, you can just kneel in the quiet of your own room and speak to God as if he’s there, because… He is.
“LORD Jesus, thank-you that you know me completely. Thank-you that you know my best moments and my worst moments and that you love me unconditionally. Thank-you for living the perfect life that I failed to live, and thank-you for dying on the cross on my behalf, to pay the price for my sins.
Thanks-you for your forgiveness. Thank-you for the plans you have for my life and thank-you for the opportunities that await me. I put my life in your hands and pray that you’d teach me, lead me and guide me in this new journey.
Repentance is an important part of the Christian life, but God doesn’t want you have to live under a cloud of guilt or shame. When God forgives us, he completely forgives us, forever. He forgets your faults and he celebrates your victories. Knowing God’s forgiveness frees you to forgive others and to forgive yourself. Once forgiven, always forgiven, so you can let go of your past and ask God about his plans for your future.
Discerning the voice of God can be hard though. Some people have miraculous encounters with him, others have dreams and visions, and for other people, there’s just an inner conviction of his presence. I’ve met people who have experienced all of these, but it’s worth remembering that the most powerful way that God speaks to his people is through the Bible. It’s a beautiful thing to see the raw presence of Jesus echoing through the pages of Scripture, so why not start with one of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Whether you read it or listen to an audio-recording, ask God to speak to you personally through his word. You can explore the Bible as an app with different translations, reading plans and videos at www.Bible.com.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all your questions answered immediately. Any relationship takes time. Knowing God will take an eternity.
It’s important to find other people to help spur you on in the adventure. Jesus taught his followers to ‘love one another’ which is very difficult if you’re on your own. Find a friendly church and get involved. A church is simply the term for Jesus’ followers, anywhere in the world. Some meet in traditional buildings, others meet in people’s homes, I’ve been to churches that meet under the shade of a tree. The location isn’t important, it’s people that matter to God. There are many different expressions of worship and many different styles but as long as people love Jesus and love those around them, the rest is just detail.
God will guide you in your new life, if you let him. He doesn’t just leave us to it, he goes with us on the journey through what the Bible calls the ‘Holy Spirit’, the very presence of God. He guides us, teaches us and encourages us as we seek to follow Jesus. Jesus even taught his followers to ask God for the Holy Spirit when they prayed.
Why not pray that prayer right now?