Taking The Next Step

Taking The Next Step

Taking the next step by Dan Crowe

I believe that this year there are steps of faith that God has for each one of us to take.

I believe for some of us that will be taking new steps in doing things we are already doing, doing the same things but in a bigger way and for some of us it will be new steps in things that we have never done before.

What is our starting point for our steps of faith?

Although all our steps of faith will vary in terms of what we step out to do for God, the starting point is always exactly the same. The starting point is Jesus himself. The starting point is being rescued by Jesus. The starting point is that we deserved nothing but punishment from God, we deserved to be completely and permanently rejected by God. The starting point is that Jesus was punished by God and rejected by God in our place so that we could be forgiven and accepted as sons and daughters by God. The starting point is knowing God’s love and experiencing God’s love. The starting point is our lives were completely changed by God.

This is true for each and every member of the Crown and if you can’t relate to anything of what I’ve just said – can I encourage you to come to the starting point. It doesn’t mean much to try to take the next step if you haven’t come to the starting point yet.

Most of the letter that you can find in the bible that Paul wrote to the first Christians in Rome talks about this amazing message of salvation that I just talked about, then he talks about taking the next step.

He has lots to say on this and I want to pick out just one part of it.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Before I talk about how to respond to this I want to briefly talk about how NOT to respond to this.

This is NOT about Paul giving us an opportunity to earn God’s love and favour, by trying to tick as many boxes as we possibly can in the list above. Many of these are good for all of us to be involved in, my prayer is that God gives us faith to take the next step in the very specific part we all have to play

This IS about Paul describing to us different ways in which we can respond to God’s love and favour.

As I said earlier this may be about something you are already doing but in a greater way, or it may be about something new. It maybe that God brings to mind something for you that isn’t mentioned here but is mentioned elsewhere in the bible which is fine, as I’ve said, this isn’t about trying to tick boxes but an opportunity for us to receive faith from God for the next step.

Let’s read that list again…

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Then I would also add people involved in administration, in praying, evangelism etc.

I want to finish by quoting from a different letter in the bible, the book of Hebrews.

Although Jesus is the starting point for the steps we take, He’s the one we look to in all the steps we take. We have many many steps to take in following Jesus and it’s easy to get discouraged, so I want to end at the same place I started, which is with Jesus himself.

The bible says in the book of Hebrews

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.