This month our congregation has been focusing on prayer. There has been something selected each day this month to be in prayer about. This Sunday, our focus of prayer is on new Christians. In the last year we have baptized several into Christ from young to old. No matter where one is in their stage of life, if they are capable of understanding, one who believes and wants to follow Christ is baptized. Once someone is baptized, it is the duty of the mature believers to help them cultivate their faith and grow in Christ. This is done in several ways.
In Acts 2, the new believers devoted themselves to the apostles teaching. This means that the apostles had to devote their time to teaching those new believers. For the new Christians, it was not enough for them to know the gospel of Christ, they wanted to understand the prophecies that declared and proved Jesus was the Messiah. The same is true today. New Christians are eager to learn. It is the duty of the mature Christians to help bring new Christians into greater understanding of the scriptures. May the mature Christians pray for and help to bring the new Christians to greater understanding of the Scriptures.
In Acts 8, Saul is ravaging the church dragging Christian men and women to prison. The new Christians were scattered because of this and even though they fled, they preached the gospel wherever they went. This means that the new Christians were truly convicted in their belief. Even in the face of persecution, the new Christians could not help but speak of what they had seen and heard. Persecution still exists against the Christian today. Thankfully, we in America are not persecuted in this way though it comes in other forms. May the mature Christians pray for the new Christians to have the resilience to preach the Word even in such times.
Finally, I’m reminded of the way the mature Christian, Paul, addressed the new Christians of the church in Thessalonica. He uses encouragement to help them maintain The Faith and continue to live properly according to Christ. He gives thanks to God for the new Christians. He encourages them in their teaching of Macedonia. He reminds them that they are not saved because of his teaching, but because they obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ and continue to live by His standards. Paul encourages them because they became mature Christians so that he could continue to preach elsewhere and know that sound teaching was taking place in that church. May the mature Christians pray for new Christians to become like the mature Christians of Thessalonica.