Friday, December 14, 2012

First Steps

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25 NIV)

First Steps
When I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior some thirty over years ago during an evangelistic meeting, I was given a small booklet by a counselor on the first steps for new Christians. In the booklet, I got to understand the basics of how to stay assured of my salvation, grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus by studying the Bible, and to pray.

Years later, God granted me the opportunity to serve as a counselor for several large scale gospel events, including those organized for speakers like evangelists Billy Graham, Luis Palau, and Reinhard Bonnke. During these events, the people in the crowd receiving the Lord were one by one directed to a counselor for briefing after prayer. My task as a counselor was then to go through with the new believer the steps to peace with God using a booklet that explained God’s plan, man’s problem, God’s remedy and man’s response.  After that, it was all administrative stuff for follow up arrangements.

When the new believers were eventually assigned to the various participating churches, my role continued in following up to guide them in the first steps as new Christians. This systematic approach to follow up new believers before they join a Bible study or cell group had helped kept many in the faith.

The task of guiding new believers on the right steps to take to grow in Christ is critical, especially for those who were previously from another faith. As Christians, we have been called to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything our Lord has commanded us (Matthew 28:19-20). To this we have been called, since Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). If we therefore live by the Spirit, we should also keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). And if anyone should fall or be caught in a sin, we who are spiritual ought to restore that person gently, keeping watch at the same time that we ourselves are not tempted (Galatians 6:1).

Dear Lord, help us not neglect the following up of new believers in the faith. Teach us to be sensitive toward them Lord that we may not be too quick to point a finger at them when they falter or fall into sin. Place within us a gentle spirit Lord that we may correct, restore and nurture those who are weak, and help them grow strong in You. We thank You Lord for readily suffering on our behalf to die on the cross to redeem us. Henceforth Lord, we purpose to walk in Your ways and keep in step with Your Holy Spirit.

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