YOUR NEXT STEP— WHERE WILL IT TAKE YOU?
Your next step (thought, word, deed) will take you in some direction. Will it be in the path of good, or will it be in the path of evil? Will your next step be taken toward God, or will it be in the direction of Satan? The decision as to direction will be entirely yours. Joshua called on Israel to “fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose ye this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:14). They could serve the Lord, or they could choose to serve gods. Joshua said the choice “for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). You have no choice but to make a choice. What direction will you choose to take?
Several kings of Judah and Israel took steps to walk in sin. For example, Rehoboam and Abijam. (1 Kings 14:31-15:3). Solomon warned against being enticed by sinners whose “feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.” (Proverbs 1:16). Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians that their former life was one of “walking in craftiness.” (2 Corinthians 4:2). Many have walked in sin. That number has certainly not diminished today. It appears that the further we get away from the cross, some 2000 years, the worse things get. Cf. 2 Timothy 3:13. Any step taken toward Satan and sin will only lead to ruin. Solomon said the feet of a strange woman “go down to death; her steps take hold of hell.” (Proverbs 5:3-5). David said, “The way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:1, 6). Paul was inspired to write, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23).
Josiah is proof that one can walk in the right way, the way that is pleasing to the Lord. (2 Kings 22:1, 2). All in sin are called to rest in the Lord. (Matthew 11:28-30). Those who heed the Lord’s call must come to Him in humble obedience, as Mary the mother of Jesus said, doing “Whatsoever he saith unto you.” (John 2:5). “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23). Therefore, “In all thine ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). Jesus “also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21). Any step toward God is a step of faith, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7). This means that we walk according to God’s word, because “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17). In coming to Jesus one must take the step of faith (John 6:29; Hebrews 11:6). The next step is one of repentance. (Acts 17:30, 31; Luke 13:3, 5). One then confesses, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9, 10; Matthew 10:32, 33). Immediately following this confession of one’s faith, one is taken down into the water (Acts 8:38), where one is buried or planted in baptism (Acts 8:38, 39; Romans 6:1-5) for the remission of sins, to be saved. (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:20, 21). The saved person arises from this watery grave in imitation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:5), having also been added
to the church (Acts 2:41, 47) through this baptism into the body, the church. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22, 23). One has then laid hold to the claim of the gift of salvation by grace through faith, because one has complied with the “good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10). Jesus asked, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). Dear reader and student, have you walked in the steps of Jesus as He laid them down? Remember, “he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:8, 9). Cf. also. Revelation 22:14; Matthew 7:21-23. Have your steps been ordered by the Lord, or by some honestly mistaken person? ”The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23).
The Psalmist wrote, “Neither have our steps declined from thy way.” (Psalm 44:18; Job 23:11). They were walking faithfully. Steps along the path of faithfulness include walking circumspectly, exactly, accurately, diligently (Ephesians 5:15), in truth (2 John 4, 6; 3 John 3, 4), after the example of Jesus (1 Peter 2:21), after the steps of the faith of Abraham (Romans 4:12), in the Lord’s word (Psalm 119:133; 1 Kings 2:1-3), in newness of life (Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17), after the Spirit (Romans 8:1), honestly (Romans 13:13), and more. The rewards of such steps include all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 1:3; Romans 6:23b). Cf. also. Proverbs 2:7; 28:18. Are you walking as you should, Christian? If not, why not take the steps to return to the Father, as did the prodigal son. (Acts 8:22-24; 1 John 1:8-10; Luke 15:11-32).
Christians have no guarantee against becoming unfaithful. One who has taken the right steps to be saved may be overcome, turning out of the way. (Job 31:7; Psalm 73:2, 3; 2 Peter 2:18-22). Paul said some brethren could walk disorderly. (2 Thessalonians 3:6). God told the Israelites that they might leave him, and begin worshipping other gods (Deuteronomy 8:19, 20), which they did. (1 Kings 22:51-53; 16:29-33). It is easy to step out of the way due to the many temporary enticing pleasures Satan offers. (1 Timothy 5:6; Hebrews 11:25, 26). Examples of falling are covetousness (1 Timothy 6:10; Colossians 3:5), forsaking the assembling (Hebrews 10:25), failure to seek first God’s kingdom, putting other things first (Matthew 6:33), failure to do what Jesus asks (John 14:15), and other things. Paul gave the key to escaping unfaithfulness. (Galatians 5:16; Cf. Luke 10:27; 1 John 1:7). Christians who sin and fail to repent, are to be disciplined by the church. (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; 1 Corinthians 5). Are you out of rank or order? Do you need to repent?
David’s words, “There is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3) should be remembered by all. We are here but for a moment. (James 4:14; Job 14:1, 2). There are no guarantees that we may see old age. Therefore, walk in readiness, preparedness.
ARE YOU READY?
God sees all our ways, and counts all our steps. (Job 31:4; Proverbs 5:21). We will one day give an account of what we have done/not done. (2 Corinthians 5:12; Matthew 25:31-46). Are you ready for that day? (Matthew 24:42, 44; 25:13). Are your steps ordered by the Lord? Where will your next step take you? Make sure it is to God! Sing the song.
EACH STEP I TAKE
Each step I take my Saviour goes before me, And with His loving hand He leads the way. And with each breath I whisper “I adore thee;” Oh, what joy to walk with Him each day.
I trust in God, no matter come what may. For life eternal is in His hands. He holds the key that opens up the way. That will lead me to the promised land.
(Chorus) Each step I take I know that He will guide me; To higher ground He ever leads me on. Until some day the last step shall be taken, Each step I take just leads me closer home.
The person who gave you this tract is trying to walk in the steps of Jesus and wants you to walk with him/her. Please call the one who gave you this brief study. Visit the church of Christ with him/her this week. Read Isaiah 1:18. Or, you may write to the author at the address thereon.