Thursday, December 11, 2008

Where to begin when you're a new Christian? pt. 1

Laying the Foundation

How do you share your faith when you're a new Christian and there is so much you don't know? This will begin a series on the prep work needed to share your faith effectively. What I will share really affects your entire walk with Christ, but I have discovered it is foundational to sharing your faith. I know that the woman at the well in John chapter 4 walked right out and boldly began sharing. But, that will only sustain you for so long. You do need to study and prepare yourself to be used by God.

When I got to college, I remember coming alive in Christ. I finally understood what true Christianity was and I began maturing in my walk. God sent an older, godly woman who mentored me named Bev. I am still thankful for all the time she spent with me. I went to her home once a week and we met, usually on the front porch and went over scripture and a Bible study book. Little did I know that she helped prepare me for a lifetime of obedience by her example.

1) I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, the most important thing you can do to prepare for sharing your faith is to memorize scripture, and lots of it.

Here is a list of scripture memory resources I have compiled which will aid you in scripture memory.

Here are some verses that I highly recommend. I used a system over 20 years ago by the Navigators called "The Topical Memory System." Goto and type this in their search box. The Topical Memory System is a set of perforated cards with the verses printed on the card. There is a carrying case for the verses too. Carry these with you wherever you go. There are several different versions you can choose to memorize scripture. However, I do NOT recommend memorizing verses using "The Message" Bible translation or the "Good News" version because they are only paraphrases of the Bible. I prefer the English Standard Version (ESV) or New International Version (NIV).

I recommend that you stick with whatever translation you begin memorizing scripture in and don't switch back and forth between different translations. These are just a few categories that you can use to memorize scripture. These scriptures were some of the first scriptures and categories I memorized over 20 years ago.

  • All Have Sinned:Romans 3:23 & Isaiah 53:6

  • Sin's Penalty: Romans 6:23 & Hebrews 9:27

  • Christ Paid the Penalty: Romans 5:8 & I Peter 3:18

  • Salvation is not by Works: Ephesians 2:8,9 & Titus 3:5

  • Must Receiver Christ: John 1:12 & Revelation 3:20

  • Assurance of Salvation : 1 John 5:13 & John 5:24

Whether you purchase the Navigator's or any other system is not important, but consistent, diligent study is. I now use 3 x 5 index cards and binder rings. You can purchase a box of binder rings at any office supply store.

  1. Write your scriptures on the lined side of the card. Add the reference at the top of your card. Include any Greek words you want to learn as well. I'm memorizing Philippians right now and want to learn the Greek words as well so I've included them.

  2. Read your verse out loud several times. Don't even try to memorize it at this stage. You just want to familiarize yourself with what you're studying. Do this for a few days.

  3. After you've read it several times over the course of a few days, then try to memorize. Your goal is to memorize it word and letter perfectly. If you leave out an "a", "an", or "the" keep trying until it's perfect. In times of doubt, Satan will use this weakness and exploit it to his advantage. I usually just put one verse per card unless the verses are really short. Here I wrote two verses on the card. Here's what I say verbatim when I am memorizing the scriptures. I say, "Phillipians 1:4 ...always in every prayer of mine for you all, making my prayer with joy,... Phillipians 1:4." I say the reference before and after each verse to solidify where it's found in the Bible in my mind.

  4. Another method for memorizing is to use a dry erase board or chalkboard and write the entire verse on the board. Say it several times out loud, and then begin to erase one word at a time and say it again completely. Do this until all the words are erased off of the board. By far, this is the fastest, most effective way to memorize quickly and accurately.
Tomorrow I'll finish helping you lay the foundation through scripture memory.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I use index cards as well... but not a ring ( great idea) I will now... no longer will they be falling out of my Bible or purse. ( which sometimes is not a bad idea ) Thanks!