Helping Babies Grow Up
Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12
We loved you so much that we gave you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too. 1 Thessalonians 2:8
IF NEWBORNS don’t have someone to feed and care for them twenty-four hours a day, they don’t survive.
New believers are like newborns. Freshly born into God’s family, they need a spiritual parent’s care and protection-especially in the first weeks and months of their budding Christian life. And if you were the one who helped bring people to spiritual birth in Christ, it’s natural that you fill the role of spiritual parent for them (see 1 Thessalonians 2:8-12). So what does a spiritual parent do?
First, check their vital signs. In the critical first few days of being a Christian, spiritual babes might be tempted to doubt they are truly different. The feelings that might have swelled when they trusted Christ might subside, making them wonder if Christ actually came into their life. Remind new believers that you care about them and their new life in Christ-and let them know you’re available to talk whenever they need you.
Second, supply nourishment. Like a baby needs food to survive, a new Christian needs God’s Word to mature (see 1 Peter 2:2). One of the first things new believers need is assurance about what happened to them when they trusted Christ. Go over the facts about their new life in Christ on your first visit together:
- When you trusted Christ, you became a child of God (John 1:12).
- Your sins were forgiven (1 John 1:9).
- Jesus Christ is in your life (Revelation 3 :20).
- He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5-8).
- Your old life is gone. You are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 17).
- You have received eternal life (John 5:24; 1 John 5: 12-13).
Third, build in some bonding time. Newborns need to bond with their caregivers, and new Christians need to get involved with other believers. Introduce them right away to Christian friends and your youth leader or pastor. Invite them to church with you. Welcome them into your Bible study or prayer group. To help them develop their faith, they need fellowship with good Christian friends.
When God lets you be part of reaching someone for Christ, that’s just the start of his using you to nurture that new Christian.
REFLECT: How do you feel about becoming a spiritual parent to new believers?
PRAY: Share your feelings and concerns with God today.