Take sanctification. ("Please!" some would say.) Just when the Holy Spirit cleans up one part of my life and I begin to think I am finally getting the hang of this faith thing, God reveals another area of my heart that needs swept clean. I'm reminded of the Mennonite Bishop that told his protege, "When you've been practicing the discipline for forty years it goes this much easier," as he held his thumb and forefinger a fraction of an inch apart.
Or what about service? God - though never demanding more than He was willing to give (and gave) - always urges me to do more. Paul expressed it this way:
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.God always challenges his followers to take the next step.
What is the next step for you?
At South Lansing Christian Church, we focus on seeking, studying and serving God. And we frequently challenge people with where they are in that process. What is the next step that God is calling me to make? Does God want me to take a step of faith and serve him somewhere or with someone that challenges my comfort? Am I being called to take the next step by embracing some spiritual discipline that will help me seek God? Does God want me to take a step of faith and start doing life together with others in a study group?
The next step . . .
Over the course of the next four weeks, South is going to be exploring this idea of taking the next step in your spiritual journey. At the conclusion of that series, on October 4, I will challenge you to take the next step - wherever God is leading. And, there is a concrete, specific way that you can demonstrate that you're going to do so.
On Sunday, October 4, I am asking every person that commits to taking the next step to bring a pair of new or clean used kid-sized boots or shoes with them to church. We'll be donating them to kids that need them. Can't afford boots or shoes? No problem - bring a new pair of socks. We'll gather them all up and distribute them where they're needed.
Your generous donation will serve two purposes. First, it will signify that you're going to take the next step in your faith journey. You're going to go where God wants you to go - whether that is joining a study group, or committing to a regular time alone with Him, or diving into an area of service. And, in a very real way, your donation will bless a child with warm toes this winter.
I hope you will join me and take the next step.