Gift Guide for the New Christian
With God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in your Life
Whether your newly Christian friend came to Christ in an instant or the journey took years, there is much to learn. For me, it will probably never end.
Being a Christian, new, growing or seasoned, is following Christ, being in a relationship with Him. So for the new Christian it is about building this new relationship, get to know Him. You do that just like you get to know any other person. You listen to them, find out what they are about. You talk to them, tell them about you. You listen to others talking about them, not in a gossipy kind of way, but in a curious kind of way. You talk to others about them, tell others how awesome they are to know.
That translates into Bible study, prayer, learning in fellowship with other Christians and teachers and witnessing to others about Him.
Getting to Know Jesus
The new Christian obviously needs at least one Bible. Without a doubt, the word of God himself is the best way to get to know him. Sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him.
All Bibles we have today are translations of ancient scriptures. Not all translations are created equal. Some translations like the well known King James Version (KJV) or New American Standard Bible (NASB) are close to word for word translations. They reflect the original text quite accurately, but they are also very hard to read especially for a beginner.
Some will also argue that the King James Bible was translated 400 years ago based, not on the original text, but on a mideval translation. Furthermore, the meaning of many words has changed over those 400 years.
Other translations like the New Living Translation (NLT), New International Version (NIV) or Good News Translation (GNT) are more phrase by prhase translations designed to convey the general idea of the original. Sometimes that happens a little at the expense of accuracy, but these Bibles are much more useful for a beginner.
If the new Christian is a member of a church or study group, it is probably best to get the same version they use.
Let's get started.
Easy to Read Bibles
So when it comes to selecting the perfect Bible as a gift, we need to think about who the person we're giving it to really is and why we're doing it. Most new to Christianity will be overwhelmed by the arcane language. We want the person to grow in Christ, not discourage him or her. The Message is one options I think might work.
What it lacks in scholarly accuracy, it's got in readability. For the beginner it's about conveying ideas, building the relationship. It does that very well.
Prayer - Five Kinds
The second important activity all Christians do is to pray. Jesus tells us to go into our room and close the door when we pray. That doesn't mean you can't pray continually. In fact, that's what he wants us to do. Just don't be a show-off.
- Praise and adoration - Aren't you glad we even exist? Without Him we wouldn't.
- Forgiveness - We all need this.
- Petition - When we need something for ourselves. Yes, it is OK to pray for things for ourselves.
- Thanksgiving - For the blessings he continually pours upon us daily.
- Intercession - Praying for others.
Public praying from the heart has always been a particular challenge for me personally. Carrying one of these with me wherever I go turned out to be the answer for me.
The new Christian will obviously learn from his/her own pastor or fellow students in a study group. The constant challenge and interaction with other Christians is the best way to learn, but there are also plenty of resources for learning on your own.
Sharing the Faith
Jesus asks us to go out and tell others the good news. Not only that, he wants us to be an example, a light for others to follow. Witnessing involves your whole life, not just your words.