Not For Sale
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I was overjoyed when I heard the news that you had decided to put your faith in Jesus. In fact, my heart is leaping for joy at this very moment as I write this letter to you and I cannot wipe the grin from my face. I am sure that all of heaven is rejoicing with me too that we now have a new brother who has joined the family. I pray that this will be the start of a wonderful new life for you that will only get better and better with time. May you become more and more like our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as you grow to know and love him deeper each day.
I would now like to offer you some important lessons that I have learnt from my own experience of being a Christian. I am by no means the perfect example, but like you, I was once a new believer seeking to know God more and understand what it means to live for him. By God’s Spirit living in me, I have experienced many wonderful moments of victory and spiritual growth. Yet, I have also made many mistakes, and by God’s grace, I am still learning and growing every day. My prayer however, is that you may be built up as I share with you some important lessons that I have learnt over the years. Be assured that God’s Spirit also lives in you. I am confident that as you learn from my experience, God’s Spirit will also continue to work in you and transform you moment by moment until one day you will stand perfect before God.
Firstly, as you embark on the journey of living as a Christian, it is important that you regularly feed on God’s words in the Bible. Jesus summarised it well when he said that we live on “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” We live in a world that is constantly trying to feed us lies, and without God’s truth, we will be led astray. However, if we are reading the Bible regularly and seeking to live by its message, then we will be grounded in God’s truth and will grow up to become all that God has made us to be, being well equipped to serve him in every way. I pray that you would never stray away from the truth of the gospel and the truth that you have been saved by faith in Christ. May you continue to stand firm in these truths and in the hope that you have in Jesus, as you grow up strong in your salvation. So invest your time in reading the Bible each day. Join a church that is committed to teaching all of God’s words faithfully, and who will not shy away from the parts of the Bible that challenge us and make us uncomfortable. Surround yourself with godly mentors and Bible teachers. Don’t stop asking questions about the meanings of particular words and passages. The Bible is like a bottomless treasure chest that we will spend our whole lives digging through. In fact, I have never met a single person who has claimed that they know the Bible too well. So pray that God would continue to ignite your passion for reading his words and that he would help you to find new treasures in it each day.
In any strong relationship, it is important to make time to spend with the other person. Similarly, our relationship with God should be marked by regularly spending time with him. Not only can we hear his words to us in the Bible, but we can also communicate with him through prayer at any time and in any place. God is always ready and willing to listen to us when we call to him, so I pray that you will experience the joy and delight of communicating with him. As you lift up to him your thanks and praise each day, confess your mistakes, share with him your needs and concerns and ask for his help to do his will, may you keep growing in your trust in God in all things and share the same desires that he has.
Another important thing to remember is that the Christian life is not a solo adventure. The journey ahead of you is long and you cannot hope to make it to the end on your own. Thankfully, you are never alone. God has made you a member of his family. You now have more brothers and sisters than you could ever dream of, as we are all united together through Jesus. So learn what it means to be a member of God’s family, being ready to serve others and not being too proud to be served. Be wise about who you choose as your closest companions in God’s family. On this journey, you will need good friends who will help you draw closer to Jesus rather than draw further away from him. You will need good friends who will stick by you when things get tough. You will need good friends who not only encourage you, but will also be willing to speak the hard truth and challenge you when it is needed. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can make it on your own. We need each other and we are stronger together when we are living as God’s church.
Furthermore, I was so glad to hear about your passion and energy for wanting to live for God. I hear that you are pouring yourself into serving others and are eager to tell everyone about Jesus. I pray that you never lose your spark. You may have heard other Christians tell you that you won’t always be on this spiritual highpoint. Life will indeed get much harder. People will reject and hate you for following Jesus and life’s storms will leave you feeling discouraged and weary. Sometimes you may even feel like giving it all up. So remember that we are running a marathon. The road ahead will be full of ups and downs, but with God by our side, we have the help we need to keep running strong all the way to the finish line.
So keep praying that God would grow your love for him. Pray that he would grow your passion for serving him. Pray for his help to resist the idols and temptations that will come your way. Pray that he would help you to stand firm through the trials of life, so that they won’t cause you to despair or become bitter and cynical. Create a list of Bible verses and store them somewhere close, so that they will comfort and encourage you during the hard times. Don’t forget that there are brothers and sisters around you who you can reach out to for support and prayer. Finally, remember that our lives are short and time seems to fly past ever faster. So make a commitment today, and every day after that, to live wholeheartedly for God and to keep growing in spiritual maturity, so that one day soon you might hear him speak the words to you, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
1. Quoted from Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
2. Quoted from Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
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