They were the first things I learned as a new believer in Christ. I had just turned my life over to Christ at a youth camp, where I was a counselor, and was still at the old alter. The altar was just two milk crates with a 2 X 12 laid across the top. The pastor who had come to pray with me and several others had his arms around me and another guy when he told us that if we were going to make it we needed to make sure we did the following five things. I did not understand them then but they stuck anyways and have become a key part of my walk. I have taught them, preached them, written about them and made sure any new believer I meet has them as part of their lives. Here they are with a little information to help you understand what they can each mean to you as a believer.
- Look to the Word of God for DIRECTIONS. The Bible is there for the believer to discover and grow in their relationship with Christ. 2 Timothy 3.16-17 says the word will teach us what we need to know, show us where we have gone wrong, guide us back to the right path and train us so we make the right decisions over and over. A lifetime in the Word of God will not reveal all the wealth it has to offer.
- Listen and talk to God DAILY. Spending time with God in prayer is vital to a strong and lasting relationship with Him. Bill Hybels in his book “Too Busy Not To Pray” has a great acrostic to use with prayer. It is the word of ACTS and it is a great outline for daily prayer. The ‘A’ is ADORATION: Taking time to praise God for who He is. You must never forget God is not a vending machine to answer your prayers. The ‘C’ is CONFESSION: Being honest and opening with God about your sins, shortcomings and failures is a vital part of prayer. If you are not getting these right with God you don’t need to go any further in prayer. The ‘T’ is for THANKS: Taking the time to thank God for all he has done is a key to your growth as a believer. It is not about you, it is about God. Thanking God helps keep that truth in focus. The ‘S’ is for SUPPLICATION: We can ask God for all our needs. Jesus has promised to answer and the Bible is full of promised of His answering the prayer request of believers. It is vital that Prayer be part of the daily routine of a believer.
- Spend time with other BELIEVERS. From the birth of the church to this day the gathering of believers in large and small groups has been a vital part of growth and strength. It is a way and place to learn, encourage and fellowship with others who share the same values.
- Share with others what God has DONE for you. There are no secret agents working for God. We are in this world as witnesses to the truth of Christ life, sacrifice, resurrection and His reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We need to know others will not know if we are not willing to share. This is not about forcing the conservation. This is about allowing the Holy Spirit to open doors and opportunities for us to make a difference in Christ name.
- Use your RESOURCES as part of your life as a believer. When you become a believer and accept God’s forgiveness you are also signing up to be used of God. You are part of the family of believer and also part of God’s army here on earth. Your time, talents and resources (money) are all to be used to help in the Kingdom of God, the local church and in outreach to spread the Good News about Jesus.
Whether you are a new believer or have been one for decades these five points of Christian growth need to be part of your life.
(c) 2016 Bob Highlands III