Welcome to Next Steps. If you've recently made the commitment to follow Jesus, congratulations! That was the best decision you will ever make. Having said that, following through on that decision is just as important. We all need to develop roots in our journey with Jesus, and we realize that it's not always easy to know what to do next. Here are some ways to help your relationship with Jesus and to become who he wants you to be.
If you haven't made the decision to follow Jesus, tap here.
ESSENTIALS FOR FOLLOWING JESUS
Our identity must be rooted in Jesus. There are many things that try to define us: our upbringing, our economic status, our race, our gender, our age, our past, our failures, our successes, our spiritual accomplishments--these things may be good, bad or neutral, but none if which our identity should be based. Our identity and worth can only be found in Jesus and his cross. That Jesus loves you so much, even though we were all dead in our sin, that he willingly gave his life just to have a close relationship with you and to live with you forever. Jesus is perfectly good in every way, the only one completely trustworthy. This truth shapes how we respond in a world that is trying to divide our attention and define who we are based on circumstances and feelings. You are a new creation that belongs to Jesus because of Jesus, for Jesus.
Be Like Jesus
The ultimate goal of every person is to be like Jesus. This does not mean that we become God, but that we become like God in his nature. He is loving so we must be loving. He forgives so we must forgive, He heals so we must heal, etc. Every biblical command and every worthwhile cause can be found in this one pursuit: Be like Jesus. We become like Jesus by developing our relationship with him and surrendering to his will (see "How To Follow Jesus" below to help you grow in that area).
Full Surrender & Full Grace
Jesus wants and deserves wholehearted devotion. There is no middle ground or "christianity lite". If we commit to following him, that means we're surrendering to his lordship. This is a decision, but also a lifelong journey. We all make mistakes and are in process, so when you mess up don't run from God, run to him. Jesus is so gracious and the cross provided all the forgiveness we could ever need. No matter what, keep pursuing more of Jesus!
The bottom line: Jesus is now our home and he wants to make his home in us--a relationship like no other because there is no one like Jesus.
PRACTICAL STEPS TO FOLLOW JESUS
The following are ways to do what is mentioned above: Know Jesus, be like Jesus and glorify Jesus. These are not merely religious rituals, they are real ways that help us become who God wants us to be. We can't make up how we live for God, his word shows us what he likes and how we should live. Therefore, the following is based on values, principles and commands found in scripture and accepted by the church around the world.
Prayer is how we connect with God personally. It is the foundation of our relationship with Jesus. Think of it as a conversation with God--a conversation that transforms you from the inside out. We should pray everyday, not out of obligation, or just because we need something, but because we want to grow in our relationship with Jesus. One of the best ways to connect with Jesus in prayer is by attending our Prayer Room, open Tuesdays from 7pm-8:30pm and Sundays from 9:30am-10am.
Worship is not just singing a song, it's a life that's surrendered to Jesus. We express that through singing, lifting our hands, bowing down, clapping, shouting and dancing. We do this all to glorify Jesus. We should worship everyday, not out of obligation, but because Jesus is worthy of all of our devotion and affection. One of the best ways to worship Jesus together is to attend our Sunday gathering at 10am.
The Bible is holy, true and alive. It will never be outdated or irrelevant because it shows us who God is, what he has done and how we should respond to him. The word of God is life to our souls. We should read the Bible everyday, not out of obligation, but because we want to know Jesus better and be transformed by his word. One of the best ways to grow in God's word together is to attend our bible study, Wednesdays at 6:30pm.
God commands us to repent and be baptized. When we decide to follow Jesus, we need to make a public confession of our commitment to him. Water baptism symbolizes the burial of our old life and the resurrection of our new life in Jesus. We would be honored to baptize you.
God commands us to gather for worship, prayer, teaching, encouragement and correction. In fact, the church by definition is the people of God who gather together. We were never meant to follow Jesus alone. Jesus said he would be present in a special way when we gather in his name. Our main gatherings are Sunday 10am, Tuesday 7pm and Wednesday 6:30pm.
Following Jesus is a personal process, yet it's also worked out in a community of believers. If you have any questions, would like to talk to someone about growing in your relationship with Jesus, or would like to be water baptized, we'd love to help you. Please contact us here.
RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
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