By Billy Sunday
You have by this act of coming forward publicly acknowledged your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. No one could possibly be more rejoiced that you have done this, or be more anxious for you to succeed and get the most joy out of the Christian life, than I. Therefore, I ask you to read carefully this little tract. Paste it in your bible and read it frequently.
What it Means to be a Christian
"A Christian is any man, woman or child who comes to God as a lost sinner, accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, surrenders to Him as their Lord and Master, confesses Him as such before the world, and strives to please Him in everything day by day."
Have you come to God realizing that you are a lost sinner? Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior; that is, do you believe with all your heart that God laid all your iniquity on Him? (Isa. 53.5-6) and that He bore the penalty of your sins (I Peter 2:24), and that your sins are forgiven because Jesus died in your stead?
Have you surrendered to Him as your Lord and Master? That is, are you willing to do His will even whenit conflicts with your desire?
Have you confessed to Him as your Savior and Master before the world?
Is it your purpose to strive to please Him in everything day by day?
If you can sincerely answer "YES" to the foregoing questions, then you may know on the authority of God's Word that you are NOW a child of God (John 1:12), that you have NOW eternal life (John 3:36); that is to say, if you have done your part (i.e., believe that Christ died in your place, and receive Him as your Savior and Master) God has done HIS part and imparted to you His own nature (II Peter 1:4).
How to Make a Success of the Christian Life
Now that you are a child of God your growth depends upon yourself.
It is impossible for you to become a useful Christian unless you are willing to do the things which are absolutely essential to your spiritual growth. To this end the following suggestions will be found to be of vital importance:
1. STUDY THE BIBLE: Set aside at least fifteen minutes a day for Bible Study. Let God talk to you fifteen minutes a day through His Word. Talk to God fifteen minutes a day in prayer. Talk for God fifteen minutes a day.
"As new-born babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby." - I Peter 2:2.
The word of God is food for the soul.
Commit to memory one verse of Scripture each day. Join a Bible class. (Psa. 119:11)
2. PRAY MUCH: Praying is talking to God. Talk to Him about everything -- your perplexities, joys, sorrows, sins, mistakes, friends, enemies.
"Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Phil 4:6.
3. WIN SOMEONE FOR CHRIST: For spiritual growth you need not only food (Bible study) but exercise. Work for Christ. The only work Christ ever set for Christians is to win others.
"Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15.
"When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." - Ezek. 3:18.
4. SHUN EVIL COMPANIONS: Avoid bad people, bad books, bad thoughts. Read the First Psalm.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness - what part hath he that believeth with an infidel - wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord." - II Corinthians 6:14-17.
Try to win the wicked for God, but do not choose them for your companions.
5. JOIN SOME CHURCH: Be faithful in your attendance at the Sabbath and mid-week services.
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is." - Heb. 10:25.
Co-operate with your pastor. God has appointed the pastor to be a shepherd over the church and you should give him due reverence and seek to assist him in his plans for the welfare of the church.
6. GIVE TO THE SUPPORT OF THE LORD'S WORK: Give as the Lord hath prospered you. - I Cor. 16:2.
"Give not grudgingly or of necessity, fo God loveth a cheerful giver." - I Cor. 9:7.
7. DO NOT BECOME DISCOURAGED: Expect temptations, discouragement and persecution; the Christian life is warfare.
"Yea and all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." - II Tim. 3:12.
The eternal God is thy refuge. We have the promises that all things, even strange and hard unaccountable obstacles, work together for our good. Many of God's brightest saints were once as weak as you are, passed through dark tunnels and the hottest fire, and yet their lives were enriched by their experiences, and the world made better because of their having lived in it.
Read often the following passages of Scripture: Romans 8:18; James 1:12; I Corinthians 10:13.