By Brian Mavis
Recently, a 20-something friend became a new Christian, and he asked me, “What are the top 10 things for a new Christian to learn within the first year?” (Apparently, he is a David Letterman fan.)
This is a wise question because if you are off by a few degrees at the start and you travel that path for a while, you will be off by miles later. I know that from experience. I have been a Christian for over 25 years, and God has had to redirect me on multiple things because of what I mistakenly believed early on about being a Christian. And it is better to learn sooner than later.
The top 10 things a new Christian should know within the first year.
So here are the 10 things (not necessarily in any particular order) that I thought my new Christian friend should sink down deep into his heart, head and hands as he travels his first year with Jesus:
- The one thing that the Bible emphasizes more than us loving God and people is that God loves us. He loves us first and most. God isn’t in heaven plucking a daisy saying, “I love you” when you obey and “I love you not” when you sin. He cannot not love you (Rom. 5:8 and 1 Jn. 4:16).
- Your motivation to and the purpose of learning, serving, worshipping, giving, reaching, reading, praying, etc. is to grow relationally more in love with God and people (Mt. 22:36-40).
- You not only are saved by grace, but you grow by it, too. A common trap for new and growing Christians is trying to clean up their lives without God’s help. This is a false equation: The less you sin = the less you need God’s grace. You can’t sin less and love more without the strength of God’s grace.
- Don’t trample all over the Great Commandment (love God, love people) trying to obey the Great Commission (go and make disciples). New and enthusiastic Christians often do this. Instead, lead people to Jesus by loving people to Jesus (1 Cor. 13:1-3). If they ask you why you live the way you do, humbly and simply share with them why you put your hope in Jesus.
- Love your neighbors—your literal neighbors—the ones you have, not the ones you wish you had. Do this because you are a Christian, not just because you want them to be Christians.
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Source: Church Leaders