How do I begin following Jesus?
You can work through these items right now or ask someone who is a Christian or a pastor to help you think through them if you have questions.
Confess. Confess that you have sinned and are a sinner.
Believe. Believe that there is a God, and that God’s son, Jesus, died and came back to life to get rid of your sin.
Receive. Receive God’s healing and forgiveness as you accept Jesus’ healing love in your life.
Live. Try to live in line with Jesus’ teachings as expressed in God’s word, the Bible, particularly the New Testament.
Seek. See the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit and the community of believers (the church) to understand the Bible and how to live the Christian life.
You can pray the above as a prayer putting the above in “I” language:
I confess that I have sinned.
I believe there is a God. I believe that God’s son, Jesus, died and came back to life to get rid of my sin. I can live now and in the future in peace with God.
I receive God’s healing and forgiveness through Jesus.
I will try to live in line with God’s word.
I will seek the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit and the community of believers (the church) to understand the Bible. I want to live the kind of life of love Jesus would have me to live.
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Martin Luther: God does not want hearers and repeaters of words, but doers and followers who exercise themselves in the faith that worketh by love. (From A Compend of Luther’s Theology, 16th century reformer)
Hans Denck: For whoever thinks they belong to Christ must walk the way that Christ walked. (From Anabaptism in Outline, early Anabaptist leader)
Ron Sider: Following Jesus means we look in the face of Jesus and say, “I want you to be in charge of my life. That means my family life, my pocketbook, my business life, my politics, the way I conduct my sexual life: every single part of my life I turn over and surrender to you.” It immediately also means saying, “I know I can’t do that very well and I’ll mess it up even though I want to follow you. So thank you for continuing to accept me in spite of the fact that I mess it up.”
Susan Muto: In my personal life, it’s inconceivable for me to imagine walking my way through this world without the Lord at my side. He’s very with me in so many life experiences: the suffering Jesus is with me in times of pain; the compassionate Christ is with me when I reach out in my ministry and help other people; when I sense the depth of my own sinfulness, he is with me as savior and redeemer.
Tim Amstutz: Discipleship means walking with Jesus: being a learner. It means we’re followers of Jesus, that we walk with him, we’re learners and that we’re focused on a goal. We know where we’re headed. Discipleship and walking with Jesus involves balancing two things. On one hand, Jesus offers us the power of his resurrection in living the Christian life. On the other hand, he also calls us to the path of his cross and suffering. Both of those things have to be brought together in our walk with Jesus. And in that combination is where we see discipleship happening. (World Relief worker,Cambodia)
These are all things you can do to increase your discipleship and help you follow Jesus.
- Bible study: studying God’s Word and applying it to your life.
- Prayer: listening and talking to God.
- Journaling: keeping a written record of your prayer, reading, and meditation with reflections on your growing spiritual life.
- Fasting: setting aside time by not eating, not watching TV, or whatever you choose, to give more time to spiritual disciplines.
- Meditation: reflecting and centering on aspects of Jesus and your relationships with him.
- Celebration and worship: praising, honoring and offering yourself to God in private and group worship.
- Group discernment and accountability: voluntary sharing with a group of fellow believers about your life. The group can help you figure out direction with decisions and help to hold you accountable in accordance with scriptures.
- Confession: Confessing your sins to God and to those you have wronged, asking forgiveness.
- Service: giving time, talents and yourself to others.
- Solitude: periods of silence away from people and other distractions.
- Giving and tithing: offering gifts and financial resources to the work of God’s kingdom.
- Simplicity: learning to focus only on our needs, not our desires.
Words Of Jesus offers readers a modern translation of Christ’s words, lifted from the New Testament Gospels, and organized according to subject, in multiple languages.