I’ve accepted Jesus as My Lord, My Savior – now what do I do?
All Things Are New .. and surely, you will have questions .. upon questions .. How can I deepen my relationship with God? .. Why should I read the Bible? .. Why pray? What is prayer for? .. I still have the impulse to sin. What does that mean?
First of all .. get it inside your head that you do not need to get caught up in the “Religious Performance Trap” .. it’s like a treadmill – lots of activity, burning energy – but going nowhere! Isn’t it ironic that you spend all that energy and great effort without really going anywhere?
So it is with people who try to work their way to “righteousness” .. Many New Christians grow stagnant in their faith because they expend tremendous energy trying to attain some lofty ideal of their New Christian experience. Understand that grace is what saved you – UNMERITED FAVOR – The Grace of God, through the Blood Sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary! .. nothing else paid the “price” for your sin debt!
Now What ?? .. do I need to “pay God back” with good works in order to remain saved?? .. Do you believe you need to maintain a mental or psychological “checklist” to ensure that you do what you should and resist what you should not? Are you closer to living under the law than under God’s grace? .. When you act outside of God’s will, your life runs on your own strength – so if you begin now to understand the end result of doing things in your own strength will be exhaustion, anger, frustration, withdrawal, bitterness .. and all kinds of negative things – The real Christian experience requires only that we have faith in Jesus Christ and abide in Him, the true Vine – Take Time And Read John 15:1-17 .. about The Vine and the Branches.
How difficult to understand – You Can’t Do Anything to Make God Love You More – Nor can you do anything to make Him love you less. This is the liberating truth! Your heavenly Father isn’t keeping score – we can’t pay Him back for His grace. In fact, no amount of good works can pay the debt of love we owe. The apostle Paul wrote, “The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Gal. 3:24-25). He explained that there is no way we can keep God’s moral code perfectly. We need a Savior.
Even after we become Christians, God doesn’t want us to add law to His grace. He wants obedience, of course. But obedience is the overflow of a heart full of love, not legalism. When Jesus tells us to keep His commandments, He emphasizes that obedience shows others we love Him ( John 14:31 ). The moral law shows us our need of a Savior. But we cannot obey the Lord Jesus without His help. We are children wanting to please the Father because we love Him. This delivers us from legalism and keeps us grounded in grace, not only for salvation, but also for living the Christian life.
Living by Grace
The Scriptures compare our relationship with God to a race. Paul calls us to run so that we may win (1 Cor. 9:24) .. and the author of Hebrews adds that we are to do so with endurance ( Heb. 12:1 ). Only by running on the wings of grace can believers triumphantly finish the course God has assigned for each one of His children. The legs of performance eventually grow weak, the muscles of legalism and religion weigh us down and become rigid hindrances. Our main problem is that we can understand the need for grace in salvation, but we tend to rely on other means for the process of sanctification.
How can you cease striving and struggling and get off the performance treadmill, and learn to walk in grace? Here is the key: the more you humble yourself before God, the more you will receive the fullness of His grace.
God “gives grace to the humble” ( 1 Peter 5:5 ). Not to the strong, but to the weak. Not to the self-sufficient, but to the dependent. Grace belongs to the poor in spirit—in other words, those who humble themselves by recognizing God’s majesty and worshipping Him. The more you adore and praise the Savior, the more highly you’ll think of Him. Humbling yourself won’t reduce your self-esteem or diminish your worth to God. Rather, it positions you to receive your sustenance from the source of all good things, Jesus Christ. As a humble believer, cast yourself on the grace of God, leaning on Him with your full weight. Draw all your strength, peace, joy, and security from the sufficiency of the Holy Spirit living within you. Be strong in grace. Throw off the chains of works and “religion,” and receive the remarkable power of God’s merciful lovingkindness.
Begin each day with a simple prayer and a short reading of Scripture .. and begin with learning to pray the way that Jesus taught .. Get into a study of The Lords Prayer.