Jesus Values Next Steps (or 3 easy steps)

June 28, 2013

what-about-bob As we continue our blog series on New Life’s values (and what we believe Jesus also values), I’m reminded of Bob. You remember Bob – he was a special kind of guy. He did have a few issues, but Dr. Leo Marvin was there to help with his groundbreaking new book, a book that was sure to make a difference in Bob’s life. It taught Bob what he needed in order to overcome his insecurities. What’s this revolutionary concept? Baby Steps.

By now (hopefully) you’ve sensed my tone of sarcasm. The reality is that taking steps, whether baby steps or next steps or whatever you want to call them, is a very old strategy.  Philippians 3:12-14 teaches us that we all have next steps. It’s not like we ever “arrive.” Rather we “press on” and “strain forward” to become who God would have us to be.

At New Life we say it this way: Everybody has a next step. We help people understand, pursue, and take their next steps. We value people taking next steps. Max Lucado said it this way, “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.” Since none of us are like Jesus, it becomes clear that we all have next steps to take. We also acknowledge that not everybody’s next step will look the same.

babyStepsFor some a next step would be to simply attend church. Maybe they’ve been talking to someone about God and are curious if He really cares or is relevant. Attending a service at a healthy church will help them learn more about God and His love for them. Someone else may need to take the step of joining a small group so they have others to encourage and challenge them. Someone else may decide their next step is to help someone else take a step.

The best way to understand your next step is to read the Bible. Acknowledging that this in itself may be your next step we have created a 3D strategy to help you understand some basic next steps that we feel are appropriate for everyone. These next steps are summarized as Discover, Develop, & Deploy.

3D on whiteDiscover God: Commit to weekly worship. Corporate worship and Bible teaching on Sunday morning helps us know God and His will for us. We continually discover new things about Him. Just because I’ve been going to church for over 40 years doesn’t mean I’ve learned it all. Far from it. I continually discover new things about Him. Any time I open my heart to Him on Sunday mornings He reveals something about Himself to me.

Develop Spiritually: Commit to read the Bible, pray, and give tithes and offerings. Sunday is great. It’s like going to a restaurant where a chef can prepare me a wonderful meal. But the reality is it would be unfair to blame a local restaurant for not feeding me all week long. There are many meals I prepare myself. Breakfast most notably. When I take ownership over reading the Bible for myself and connecting with God through prayer, I continue to discover God and develop myself. I still struggle at times so I also do this relationally with others in my small group. My life group is like a family dinner. We talk about our lives, what we are learning and how we can encourage each other.

Deploy Purposefully: Commit to share Jesus with others. Pursue God’s purposes for your life. All this learning and developing is for a purpose: to expand God’s Kingdom. Whether we deploy inside or outside the church we should do it purposefully. This means we encourage you to not only serve, but serve in a way that gives God the credit. It’s not enough to just show kindness to someone. We want that someone to know the reason you are being kind is because God loves them. If you’ll pardon me stretching the analogy we want people who come to our restaurant to not just enjoy a meal, but to know the name of the chef so when they see him other places they’ll know he’s good and can be trusted.

Our encouragement for you today is to wrestle with what your next step is. Is it to get involved in a community of other believes so you can encourage and challenge each other? Is it to volunteer and serve at New Life or in the community? Perhaps it’s to subscribe to a daily devotional on youversion.com. Whatever it is, if you are faithful and keep taking steps, God will reward you with life… life to the fullest.

What's Your Next Step

 

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