I was nine years old when I decided I wanted to follow Jesus. I walked down an isle in a small church in Oklahoma where my father was the pastor. I professed in front of God and everyone that Jesus was the new Lord of my life.
I had wanted to go public with my faith for a while, but it was hard to get my nerve up to walk forward during the alter call. I knew everyone would be watching me. Being up there at the front of the church made me so nervous!
My dad placed his hand on my back to settle me and asked me if Jesus was the Lord of my life. I said yes! Of course, he is! There was lots of applause from our church family. A prayer was said, and I was baptized later that week. It was all very exciting, and I loved the whole experience. I look back on that day very fondly and with a lot of joy.
I also remember a few days later when a small, nine-year-old, new believer was a little confused. I wanted to know what to do now. I knew that Jesus had my heart but what did it mean? Was I supposed to be different? Would I think differently? Should I feel different about things? I didn’t know what life on this side of faith would look like.
I went to my mom and asked the most adult question I knew how to ask.” Mom, what does Jesus want me to do next?” While I don’t remember all she said she referenced 1 Peter 1:13. “prepare your minds for action, exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that comes when Jesus is revealed in the world.”
I loved that there were action words. The Bible often speaks to me in action words. I don’t like complacency very much. I have always had a lot of energy and I enjoy being active. God’s word is great for guys like me who want something to do.
The Easter season seems to offer us all a chance at a new start or a next step as we follow Jesus. Maybe last year was difficult. Maybe there were unexpected challenges or losses that have been hard to handle. Could it be that life just got in the way and you just want a clean slate with Jesus? I can totally relate.
Maybe you’re asking the same question I did when I was nine. What does Jesus want me to do next? Might I suggest you start with the action words from 1 Peter 1:13. Prepare – get ready for action. Exercise- build up your spiritual muscles through activity and prayer. Put your hope in your salvation. Trust that Jesus loves you so much!
As life has moved on and I have grown up, I’ve often asked that same question. I’ve almost always gotten the same response. Prepare for what Jesus is ready to give you, Exercise your spiritual muscles and put your hope in Jesus.
It’s been a great starting place for me. I hope it encourages you.
We are people who need fresh starts. We are people who love a new beginning. Thank you for being the God of the living and not the dead. Thank you for being the God of forgiveness and not condemnation. Thank you for giving us action words and practical steps when we aren’t sure what to do. Help us be the kinds of people who are ready, who are fit and self-controlled and help us to remember that our hope truly does come from a hope in our salvation.
You are awesome Jesus! We are amazed by you this Easter season.