When I was a child, I asked my father for a bicycle for Christmas. My older brother had a 10-speed racing bike and he would ride off for hours at a time. He was 10 years older than I, and it seemed like he had so much more freedom than I did. If I would have had a bicycle like his, I might have been allowed to ride with him when he left on these long adventures. I was very specific in describing my request; I knew just what I wanted. Now all I had to do is wait and hope.
That Christmas, we drove to my grandmother’s house to celebrate the day with family. Of course, the bike was not able to take the drive with us, but I was assured that my desires were fulfilled and all I had to do was wait. I was patient and I did not complain. Soon enough, we were on our way home.
As we pulled into the driveway, the garage door began to rise. You could see all my teeth because my smile was so big. I Jumped out of the car, full of excitement, and ran inside in order to jump on my brand new Christmas gift and ride off. I looked around and I did not see what I was looking for. The only thing in the garage that was out of place was a large light brown box. Written on the box were the words: “some assembly required.”
The Bible states in the book of Philippians, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” I believe that we need to instruct the babes in Christ and the new converts that the beautiful gift of salvation is just the beginning of the journey. Just like that morning when I received my Christmas gift, I could not just jump on it and ride. I had to put all the pieces together first.
I believe we lose some of the new converts because they are expecting to walk out of the church looking and acting like a seasoned believer.
It takes some time and effort in order to grow your spiritual man to a point that Christianity becomes second nature. Take in the milk first before you try to eat the meat of the Word.
That day while I was standing in the garage, my father came and stood next to me and put his hand on my shoulder. He then leaned over and with his other hand he reached in the box and pulled out the instruction manual. He said lets start here.
For our new family members in Christ, we need to give them the instruction manual for their new gift. The Bible is a perfect starting point. It gives step by step instructions on how to put together the greatest gift you will ever receive.
Tom N. Johnson III is the pastor of Freedom Worship Center and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.