You said a prayer asking God for forgiveness? Now ask yourself these five questions:
Did you mean it? (Only you know the answer to that)
Did God hear you? 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Has He forgiven you? 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
What’s happened to your sin? Hebrews 10:17 “Then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
So, if you died today where would you go? John 3:16 “For 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.”
It is as simple as that – God wants you to be in Heaven! Congratulations!! BUT, is that all there is to it? No, salvation is much more than just praying a prayer.
While you can do nothing to earn or buy God’s gift of salvation, there is much you will do after Christ has saved you. So, if you prayed, you’re saved, BUT you need to maintain that salvation.
You don’t have to do this alone! God has already given you His grace – the ability to do what you don’t have the power to do by yourself. God is coming alongside you to help you live this Christian life. And the good news is that His grace is available to you each day in direct proportion to your need. Grace never, ever, ever runs out! Ever!
Here are five things that will help!
1. Read the Bible
God gave us the Bible as a way to get to know Him and as a way to know how we should live this new life. The Bible dictates for us our lifestyle and our world view. It is the final word for the Christian.
If you’re not sure where to start reading, I’d suggest starting at the Gospel of John, then following on with The Gospel of Mark, I, II, III John, Ephesians, Galatians, Acts, Psalms. One thing you need to realize is that doing any of these 5 things, including reading your Bible, doesn’t make God love you more. He loves you just because He loves you! Don’t let these 5 things trip you up when you read the Bible each day!
Prayer is how we speak to God. It is how we communicate with Him. It is also how we open up our hearts for Him to change us and to keep our hearts and minds focused on Him.
There are three things you need to know about prayer:
Prayer is not reading other people’s prayers.
God doesn’t want us to just read other people’s prayers. It’s not wrong to allow written prayers to inspire us to pray, but written prayers are not a replacement for us expressing our heart to God.
We can pray wherever we are.
In your bed, in your shower, in your car…you can pray anywhere and at any time. Just like a parent is always ready to listen to whatever their child has to say, so God is eager to hear our prayers! You don’t have to be in a church to pray, and no one has to do the praying for you. God wants to hear your heart! Just start talking to Him as you would your best friend.
God cares about the small things.
You will never annoy God with your prayers, and nothing is too small for God to care about. In fact, He cares about the small things in our lives as much as the big things. Are you thinking about buying a new car? Pray about it! Are you considering putting your children in a new school? Pray about it! The Book of James tells us that if we need wisdom for anything in life, all we need to do is ask God. He will give it to us.
3. Go to church
I know some people believe that this is optional, but it really isn’t (except during quarantine 😉). The Bible says:
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
While you may argue that the church is full of hypocrites, the fact is that there are hypocrites wherever you go. This argument often makes me laugh because you wouldn’t say, “I’m quitting my job because it’s full of hypocrites.”
The truth is that the church is full of humans, and these humans are all on various levels of maturity – emotional and spiritual maturity. Each of these humans have come to Christ with baggage, and some of them have come with a lot of baggage. And just because we come to Christ doesn’t mean that baggage just miraculously falls off. Instead, He takes us on a journey to resolving our past, step by step, and with each step, we learn more about who Christ is and who we are in Him.
4. Tell others
There is just something very powerful about sharing your faith with others. Telling other people about Jesus can feel scary and intimidating but taking that first step to tell someone about your new faith in Christ is so powerful!
Romans 10:15: And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”
You don’t need to have clever words or understand all of the Bible. It can be as simple as telling someone about what God has done in your life or how he’s helped you.
5. Praise God
Last but not least spend time praising God, this is almost an extension of prayer, and as we worship God in song our attitude and mood can change. Whilst we can get bogged down in day to day worries and concerns, the act of singing praise to God shifts our focus from ourselves and our problems to God and to his ability to move in our situations. Praising God can help with your faith, give you peace, and help build your relationship with God.
Isaiah 63:7: I will tell of the LORD’s unfailing love; I praise him for all he has done for us. He has richly blessed the people of Israel because of His mercy and constant love.
Finally, God has got a plan for your life, He knows who you are and you’re not an accident. Be encouraged and these five suggestions will help you in strengthening your relationship with God.
Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.