Faith is More Than Believing: Take the Next Step
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.” (Mark 10:52 NASB)
I don’t know your next step, but I do know that you need to take it. For some, the next step is to accept Jesus Christ into your life. For others, it may be baptism or joining a church. Perhaps you need to get into a small group, tithe, find a ministry, go on a mission trip, or invite a friend to church. No matter where you are on your faith journey, you do have a next step. God will never be finished taking you deeper in faith. There is always a next step.
If you don’t take the next step, you’re going to get stuck in a rut. Without moving forward in faith, you'll die. Your heart will grow cold, and you will feel distant from God. He isn’t going to help you with step three, four, and five until you take step one. Maybe you've been aiming to do something. Stop aiming and pull the trigger; take that step.
Before Bartimaeus met Jesus, he was sitting beside the road. After receiving his sight from the Lord, he “began following Jesus on the road,” (Mark 10:52b NASB). Which of these describes your life: sitting beside the road or following Jesus on the road? Which lifestyle do you think is more fulfilling, offering more joy, meaning, and satisfaction? Which one do you want to represent your life?
There’s only one way to follow Jesus on the road: Take the next step.
Faith is more than believing or thinking, more than talking or having convictions about Jesus. Faith is movement; it is something you actively do. In fact, the Bible says in James 2:14, “If people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing,” (NCV).
There’s only one source for faith that allows you a fresh start: Jesus Christ.
“Everything that we have — right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start — comes from God by way of Jesus Christ,” (1 Corinthians 1:30 MSG). Bartimaeus had no idea that Jesus Christ was going to pass his way that day, but God gave him an unexpected opportunity that offered him a fresh start. God is giving you the same opportunity. Take your next step of faith before the opportunity passes you by.
What are you waiting on in order to take the next step of faith in your life? What’s your excuse for procrastinating?
What “next step” will you take today to move forward in faith?
Every Sunday we are challenged to take
"Next Steps" in our faith journey.
Join us this Sunday to find out your Next Step.
CHARLIE: Charlies has been asking questions about Jesus for quite some time now. After seeing a friend get baptized, she began seeking what it means to be baptized, to follow Him with her whole heart, to love Him, obey Him… be saved. When her mom asked her why she wanted to get baptized, she said because it’s what God tells us to do and maybe other kids will see her get baptized and ask questions about Jesus like she did when she saw her friend get baptized.
RYLAND: I’ve always gone to church and heard about God. I’ve always believed in Him. I’ve talked to my parents about salvation and baptism, but I never really felt it in my heart until Hot Hearts this year. God meant for me to hear what the guest speaker was saying and I just opened my heart to Him. I’m happy that I did. I knew then it was time to take my next step.
ELLA: Ella has been wanting to get baptized for a while now after making her decision while attending AWANAS at First Baptist Church Hamshire. Beth and I have had tons of follow-up conversations with her to make sure she knew why we get baptized. We wanted to make sure she understood the significance of her decision to accept Christ as her Savior, and believe in what He has done for all of us. I’ve never been seen anyone as excited as she was to be baptized. She has literally been telling everyone about her decision. As parents, there are so many days where we lack patience, say things we don’t mean, overreact, and end up feeling like failures as parents. There is no better success as parents than watching your kids commit their lives to Christ and follow up with baptism. #dadwin (Written by Tim, Ella’s dad).
PAULA DUECET: For years I've struggled with health problems. Almost two years ago I had reached my lowest point and was ready to throw in the towel and give up. One day I got on Facebook and saw post after post of God's love and I felt the Holy Spirit lift me up out of the pit of depression that I had dug myself into and I knew I was going to be ok! I started attending Grace and at a Sunday morning church service I accepted Jesus into my heart! I feel God's plan for me is to share my story with you and the reason for this baptism is to say good bye to the old me and start a new life to live and obey God's teachings!
TANYA POWELL: Due to some experiences in my childhood, I was convinced that God hated me and I would never live up to His incredible standards. I turned away from religion (and God altogether) for many years. I became an alcoholic and I also abused prescription drugs until I got sober at the age of 30 in a 12 step program. Although, I was staying sober and getting my life, kids, and career back...I still felt empty. I turned to Buddhism for a few years but I still felt a gnawing sense that something was missing. At 8 years sober I hesitantly returned to the church. I still had plenty of doubts. Over time and now 15 years sober, I have come to believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the only One who has ever brought about any real change in my character. The only One who has brought me peace and salvation. I am eternally grateful for the price He paid for me and would like to show that publicly through Baptism.
AUTUMN BROWN: I was baptized at age 5, but as I look back I realize I didn’t truly understand the commitment of what it meant to follow Jesus at that age. I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I see God working in my life daily and am open and willing to have Him use me however He sees fit. I’m not a perfect Christian, I know I’m a work in progress, but I’m willing and understand the commitment to accepting Him in to my life and follow Him; wherever He leads.
ELISABETH LEBLANC: Growing up Catholic, my family and I always moved from church to church trying to find one where we felt like we belonged. After search for the majority of my life, we finally found one. Except as much as my parents loved it, I never felt at home. Instead, I felt like I found a religion to follow; not God Himself! It soon got to where I tried getting out of going to church every chance I got because I simply didn’t feel the need to go. Then when I was able to drive myself, I found myself at Grace every weekend – falling in love with the Lord. As I fell deeper in love with all that He was doing in my life, I realized I finally found Him instead of just religion. And I’ve been walking with Him ever since. I am beyond thankful for my parents who love God and raised me to know about Him; which lead me to a place of wanting a relationship with Him that got me to where I am today.
HUNTER FREEMAN: My story is… God is writing my story! Baptism… given my life to Jesus and following Him is something I’ve known He has wanted me to do… something I’ve wanted to do. I love Jesus so much. My husband, and attending Grace, has really me further understand and I feel very ready to take the next step.
CLAUDIA KESTER: I was baptized as an infant and grew up in a Christian home. My parents instilled in me the importance of prayer. When I grew up and had children, I raised them the same way. I do feel I have a strong relationship with God. Even when my son was born with an illness, my faith in Him did not waver. It was stronger than ever. It really wasn’t until my marriage started falling apart that I began to stumble in my faith. I still prayed, but questioned, “why us?” My husband and I separated for a bit. When we got back together, we agreed we need God more than ever. We are both taking this step of baptisms together. I know I have a Father in heaven who loves me. I am ready to take the next step in my faith journey as my way of saying, I love Him too! I want Him to be my Lord and Savior. To welcome Him into my heart and my marriage.
KEVIN KESTER: My walk with the Lord had a late start. Growing up, faith, Bible reading and going to church was never a big priority. I grew up under the old adage, “The Lord helps those who help themselves,” so I relied on myself; never knowing to rely on Jesus for help and guidance. One day at work, after graduation, I was sitting in the break room when a co-worker asked if I made the decision to follow Jesus. I told him I had not. And then, in that breakroom I made the decision to truly follow Jesus!
After I married my wife, I began going to church with her and her family and raising our children in the church. I never really felt comfortable and I could never understand how the message related to my life. I still believed I could do things on my own and wasn’t ready to ask or accept any help from the only One who could help me the most. Jesus.
After my second separation from my wife, and this one looking like it was moving to divorce, I was devastated and sitting alone in an empty house at my lowest point in my life. I went to bed and, for the first time, instead of saying a blind prayer, I talked to God and asked Him for help. I can’t tell you if or what I dreamed about, but I woke up clear-minded and with a mind and heart set as if I had it since birth. It was time to let Jesus take the lead in our marriage and trust Him to let the small stuff work itself out. It was more important to make our marriage about us and not me. My job was, with God leading, to get my marriage back on the track Jesus would have it on.
I began looking for a home and not just church. I don’t want a sermon, but a message that I can apply to my life. I believe I’ve found it here, at Grace. I’m ready for God’s “next step” in my life!