taking your first step

Not sure what it means to be a Christian? You’re not alone. The word Christian is not always clearly understood and never has been. It was originally used to identify people who had made a specific decision to follow Jesus and his teaching. Even though there was lots of confusion in society about who Jesus was and exactly what Christians believed, there was a clear understanding that being a Christian—a follower of Jesus Christ—was unique.

Who is Jesus? The Bible tells us that Jesus was a man—and more than a man. He is also fully God and came to restore the relationship between God and us. Even though God created humans for a special relationship with him, that relationship has been broken by what the Bible calls sin, which is anything that goes against God’s perfect character and desires.

Jesus is the only person who lived a completely perfect life. Despite that, the leaders of his day had him killed. But Jesus’ death was actually part of God’s bigger plan, and because Jesus died and then rose again from the dead, our relationship with God can be restored. This new relationship is not something we earn—it is simply a gift offered by God which we can either accept or reject.

Are you interested in following Jesus yourself? All you need to do is tell God that and ask Him for that restored relationship. Here is an example of a prayer you could pray:

“Lord Jesus, thank you for giving your life for me.
Please forgive my sin and start me on a new life following you.
Send your Holy Spirit to cleanse me from my past, and to empower me for the future.

Do you want to follow Jesus more closely? If you have asked for that new relationship, we would love to help you understand more fully how God wants to change your life. Whether it’s helping connect you with another Christian, finding a church near your home where you can grow in your faith, or helping you find a place here at Lakeview Covenant; please let us know by contacting us at rich@lakeviewcovenant.org.

Some Key Promises from God

It’s probably pretty much impossible to identify all the promises God makes in the Bible. Some of those promises are clearly stated, while others are more implied. But the following Scripture passages cover some of the most basic ways in which God says he will help us get through even “normal” times, let alone unusual ones.   

These are not necessarily “blanket” statements requiring nothing from us—almost all have some “action step” or response for us to take. Yet all point to God’s concern for us and his commitment to do what we cannot do ourselves. The most basic and important of these is actually the last one—it’s the one that opens the way for the others to be seen in their fullest expression. We hope they’ll encourage and strengthen you in your own life and circumstance.

The Promise of Presence. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

The Promise of Comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (II Corinthians 1:3-5).

The Promise of Guidance. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The Promise of Wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

The Promise of Empowerment. “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:16-17a)

The Promise of Forgiveness. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceiver ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:8-9)

The Promise of Resistance over Temptation. “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way so that you can stand up under it.” (I Corinthians 10:12-13)

The Promise of Salvation. “‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’” (John 3:16)