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That First Step

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Watching a baby take their first steps is so enjoyable and exciting. Whether you're the parent or just a friend or family member you can't help but get down to their level and encourage them to come to you. Their excitement matches your smile as you reach out to encourage them with open arms to come to you. Of course, those steps quickly turn to running and no one's life is ever the same again.

Not remembering my first steps I can only imagine what is going on in a child's head when they take that first step. It's new, it's probably a little scary letting go of mommy or daddy’s secure hand but when they are encouraged by those watching they step out, fully trusting the people around them to catch them or hold them when they fall.

Again, as an adult I have never lost a limb or have yet to break a leg but I'm sure those first steps after the healing or prosthetic, take a lot of faith, to stand and walk. Faith your bones have healed or that the new leg will hold. In order to move on in life the first step has to be taken.

In any situation having to take that first step physically or mentally requires faith. Faith is an important element to all human life on earth that helps us get through times of darkness and strength in times of weakness. It's a total belief in someone (God) or something, that will help us through each day or each circumstance we find ourselves in. It is through our faith we can be the best witness for Jesus to others.

Remember the story in the Bible when Joshua had to lead the Israelites to Jericho? They had to first cross the Jordan river. This was not your ordinary river where you hop across, but a sizeable body of water. Not calm water but rushing water that could knock you over. The Israelites were instructed to follow the priests, holding the Ark of the Covenant, as they walked towards Jericho, the way God was leading.

Now, when they came to the water’s edge they were told to walk into the middle of this fast-paced water and stand. Could you imagine holding the Ark of the Covenant (not a light little box) and then having to enter water that could possibly knock you over and then take you downstream? Could you take that first step in faith that God would keep you safe? At this point those priests set the tone for the trust in God for all the Israelites. Had they not had faith to take the first step things would have turned out quite differently. We know how the story ends, the water parts, Jericho’s walls fall down, and the rest is history. Faith in God requires the first step, even when the water seemed impassable.

What about Peter and the storm? Jesus meets the disciples in the middle of the sea amongst raging storms and is walking on the water. Peter wants to join Jesus and Jesus invited him out of the boat. Can you imagine the fear of stepping onto the edge of the boat while waves crashed about you and rain came pelting down? It required Peter to take the first step in faith that he wouldn't die. Peter does finally make that step and we read his faith shook a little and he did begin to sink but Jesus pulled him to safety and back into the boat and the storm calmed. Faith in God requires the first step even in times of the roughest storms and even if you falter Jesus is there to pull you back up and calm the storms.

What about you? What about me? We are called to step out in faith and share the good news about Jesus. We are asked to have faith in Jesus through all times good and bad. Sometimes we are called to step out of our comfort zone and follow Jesus’ leading. Everything requires that first step.

A baby will never walk if they don't take the first step. A broken bone will heal but if you don't take the first step after that, you won't get very far. Even if the first step is the hardest step, each step that follows will become easier and easier and our faith will become stronger and stronger.

Remember it's that step, in faith, regardless the danger because you have set your eyes on Jesus. There will always be victories when you step out with Jesus in the lead.

I hope those who have joined me in studying Philippians have already found a blessing and some new insights. For those who would like to join us as we further our Bible studies through the Bible and those who have already started, we are going to read Philippians Chapter 2 today. As always I have provided a study you can follow along with or if you like, just take some time over the next couple days and read chapter 2 and let the Holy Spirit lead you.

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