Awesome and welcome to the Family of God. You have entered into a whole new life and journey, one that God will now walk with you every step of the way, because as a child of God He comes to live in us through the Holy Spirit. This new life will have challenges and the enemy of our faith will come and try to steal and destroy, but God says that He will lose none that are His.
There are four things that I always encourage new believers that will help you on your journey with Christ.
1) Get into the Word of God (the Bible). There are two great places to start (Choose one). Read either Luke or John. Select a Bible version that is comfortable and fairly easy to understand. Set an amount of reading that is doable on a daily basis, preferably in the morning, but the key is daily.
2) Spend time in prayer. Prayer is simply communicating with God ... no special language, only remembering that we are speaking to our heavenly Father Who is holy and righteous. Again, set aside time daily and a place to spend with Him. Make the time an amount you can actually accomplish. If you start with a short amount of time that is OK. If you stick to it you will find that the time will expand. Leave some time in the prayer time for silence seeking the Lord to speak to your heart or mind. This is usually difficult in the beginning as the things of the world and our life want to crowd our minds with all kinds of stuff.
3) Find a local fellowship that believes Jesus lifting Him up and not simply the organization. Be sure they trust the Word of God (the Bible). You may have to go to several churches before you find the one that the Lord will settle you in to. Also, remember that while you are looking for a church home that there is no such thing as a perfect church. The Jesus is perfect ... the church is being perfected. People, even children of God, do stupid things from time to time.
4) Engage here on AAG TheNET. Asks questions, respond to forums, read various blogs and groups, and feel free to join us in one of our Bible Discussions we hold using Hangouts On Air. Feel free to ask for more info.
Regarding whether God has forgiven you ... God is not concerned with what yo did in ignorance as much as what you have done in faith. His offer of forgiveness is possible because of His sacrifice on the cross. His shed blood is the payment for our sins. When we come to Him by grace through faith His blood washes away the stain of sin. Now that we are saved He calls us to live for Him, not out fear of punishment, but because we now know Him and love Him.
Ryan. Congratulations! This is the most important decision of your life.
It can seem overwhelming, but as you study and learn you will begin to grow. Now, as a believer, you have The Holy Spirit to open your heart for understanding and a love for God's word.
LT has given you excellent advice on how to grow.
Let me just tell you there is rejoicing in heaven over your salvation. We rejoice here on earth too. Praise God.
Luke 15 The Lost Coin
8“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9“When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Oh dear friend, you took the biggest step, I am so happy for you. One day at a time brother, that is how we do it. I fell from a star, my ego and life of pride and judgement. Illness almost took me, I almost gave up but enter God's grace. You are forgiven if you asked, now you need to believe it. I have struggled to fel clean after all I have done but he sends our sins far into the deepest of the deep, the only condemnation you hear will be coming from the enemy. Shut him down and learn the warriors prayer. Read your Bible, everything you need to know is insdie and don't ever let doctrine or theology separate you from the love of Christ. I will pray for you.
Hi Ryan, God bless!
James 4:8 talks about drawing near to God and He will draw near to you. The verse is interesting because it begins with you choosing to draw near to God and then speaks of God's response. A translation that I usually don't use but found intriguing...
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet. (James 4:7-10 The Message)
Draw close to Him. Say yes to Him. He'll draw close to you and be there in no time.
Welcome to the Kingdom of God.
You said - "The reason God has not provided me with evidence all these years is because the evidence was already there, I just need to open my eyes and open my mind."
That's beautiful Ryan......because look how closely you're quoting out of =
Romans 1: 18 -21, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (19) because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (21) For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened." (New American Standard Bible).
Like you say Bro, God has always made His evidence obvious. Most folks will/have not 'fessed up and looked to God through Christ Jesus for salvation.
You're ready to enter in to sanctification of your life. That's setting yourself apart from the world, and shedding all those worldly habits from your daily life.
LT has listed a good outline for you to follow.
Also, check Galatians 5:22-23 for the Holy Spirit to start producing His nine fruit in your life.
Also, check Romans 12:1-2.
Grace and Peace, Ryan.