First Next Step
When we think of having a faithful life, it can often seem like a way of living that's beyond our reach. We question "How can I possibly be faithful the rest of my life?" It seems a little unrealistic.
Years ago, a mentor explained it to me this way, he said the life of faith is really a matter of just taking your next faithful step. It's not about the destination as much as it is who you are journeying with, Jesus. This way of thinking has helped me as I have sought to follow Jesus.
Taking the next step is an organic process of just putting your foot out there and letting gravity do the work. I think a journey of faith is very similar, we move a little and God guides our movement and the Spirit works in our lives to create momentum and before we know it, we are moving. It all starts with taking a first step.
Spiritually, the first step begins with getting to know Jesus. The best way we can know him is through the record of God's word, the Bible; particularly the New Testament. As we get to know him we will see our faith grow... It almost happens on it's own, but in reality, it's a process that works like this:
The more we know Jesus, the more we want to follow Him. The more we follow Jesus, the more we love Him. The more we love Jesus, the more we want to serve Him. The more we serve Jesus, the more we see our lives - our communities, and our world - change.
In 2021, we are going to be taking a step to get to know Jesus by reading God's Word together. I'm inviting our church to join me in a 5x5x5 Reading Plan.
5 minutes a day If you’re not currently reading the Bible, start with 5 minutes a day. This reading plan will take you through all 260 chapters of the New Testament, one chapter per day. The gospels are read throughout the year. to keep the story of Jesus fresh all year 5 days a week Determine a time and location to spend 5 minutes a day for 5 days a week. It is best to have a consistent time and a quiet place where you can regularly meet with the Lord. 5 ways to dig deeper We must pause in our reading to dig into the Bible. Below are 5 different ways to dig deeper each day. These exercises will encourage meditation. We recommend trying a single idea for a week to find what works best for you. Remember to keep a pen and paper ready to capture God’s insights.
Underline or highlight key words or phrases in the Bible passage. Use a pen or highlighter to mark new discoveries from the text. Periodically review your markings to see what God is teaching you.
Put it into your own words. Read the passage or verse slowly, then rewrite each phrase or sentence using your own words.
Ask and answer some questions. Questions unlock new discoveries and meanings. Ask questions about the passage using these words: who, what, why, when, where, or how. Jot down some thoughts on how you would answer these questions.
Capture the big idea. God’s Word communicates big ideas. Periodically ask, What’s the big idea in this sentence, paragraph, or chapter?
Personalize the meaning. When God speaks to us through the Scriptures, we must respond. A helpful habit is personalizing the Bible through application. Ask: How could my life be different today as I respond to what I’m reading?
You can download a reading plan by clicking the link below.
I (PG) will be journaling my experience here in our charge blog as well as in Facebook. Follow along to keep up to date.
If you use your smartphone for your bible reading, you can use the YouVersion app to follow along through THIS LINK.