Dear New and Overwhelmed Christian
- Paula Hendricks Marsteller paulawrites.com
- 2017 7 Apr
It was so good to get your email and hear that you’ve been a Christian for almost a year now.
I’ve loved it, but it is also pretty overwhelming as I am just developing as a Christian and so many things are being thrown my way. Things such as Anglican tradition, special holidays, different perspectives of the Word and Christ, ways to act as a Christian woman, you name it.
I am not sure how long you’ve been a Christian, but I am pretty sure it’s been longer than I have been. Do you have any tips or advice you could pass on, which will help me in my journey with God as a new Christian? Advice regarding getting through the Word of God, praying always, listening to God, applying God to every aspect of my life, etc.?
First, praise God for giving you the gift of faith in Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice for your sins. I’m so excited I have a new “sister” in the family of God.
I’m sorry that the excitement of your new life in Christ has been crowded out a bit by lots of other stuff being thrown your way.
My main advice to you is this: Don’t ever get over Christ and what He has done for you. Remember that you contributed nothing to your salvation. You were dead spiritually.
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him [Christ], having forgiven us all our trespasses (Col. 2:13).
Dead people can do nothing! God had to give you the gift of faith in His Son in order for you to even see how beautiful His offer of salvation is:
By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8).
Guard yourself from believing that God will be more pleased with you if you read Scripture, pray, go to church, etc. Some Christians refer to these activities as “means of grace.” That’s because rather than them being acts we do for God, they are ways in which God graciously makes us more like Jesus.
So pursue these means of grace as gifts, not as duties. Here are a couple means of grace I’d start with:
1. Get involved in a solid church.
You need community; Christianity was never meant to be a solo sport. Here are three websites that can help you find solid churches in your area (but realize that they might not list every option in your area, so it’s also a good idea to talk to other Christians you know for recommendations):
2. Study the Word of God daily.
All of Scripture points to Christ, so this is where you go to look for and at Him. Ask an older, godly woman who has walked with God awhile to teach you how to read and study God’s Word. Here are a few posts I’ve written on the subject that will help:
- God’s Word and My Crooked Legs
- The Read-It-Like-It-Is Quiz
- But Shouldn’t It Be Easy to Read My Bible?
- One Giant Promise Kept
Then take a deep breath. It’s okay that there’s so much you don’t know right now. I’ve been raised on the Bible since I was a little girl, and there is still so much I don’t know! Above all, set out to know Christ.
As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving (Col. 2:6-7).
One of my favorite quotes of all time is by Robert Murray M’Cheyne: “For every look at self take ten looks at Christ.”
It’s fine to explore some of these other things that are being thrown at you, but above all, keep the main thing the main thing. Or rather, the main Person the main Person: Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord. As you do, I can say with Paul:
I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).
This article originally appeared on Revive Our Hearts and LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. Used with permission.
Paula Hendricks Marsteller no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. Instead, she blogs for teen girls and women by day and journals her adventures by night. Her first book, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, released September 2013, and she lives with her hubby (yes, hubby!) in Syracuse, New York.
Image courtesy: Unsplash.com
Publication date: April 7, 2017