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All posts in Next Right Thing

What’s NEXT?

In last week’s message I said, “God didn’t shout His love from heaven, He showed His love on earth when His Son became flesh and blood.” What Jesus did on the cross was the ultimate act of true connectedness. The thing that blows me away is what He asked in return:

“FOLLOW ME.” – Matt 4:19, Mark 1:17

How does a person “follow Jesus”? I think that’s an awesome question that doesn’t get asked enough. I think the most important thing in following God with your life is always moving forward. We never follow by taking backward steps. If you find yourself moving backward, you aren’t following, you’re falling. The best thing you can do to follow is take some great next steps and you can begin that today:

Here are some great NEXT steps:

  1. Begin reading your bible EVERY day. I would begin by reading at least 5 mins, your time there will grow. Use a translation you can actually understand (I vary between NIV, NLT, ESV with a little bit of “the Message” thrown in). You can begin a reading plan HERE. We have 21 day and 100 day reading plans at the NEXT table at both Vertical locations.
  2. Get involved at your local church. Don’t just attend, be a part. The people whose lives are being changed the most are those involved in changing others lives on a weekly basis. If you attend Vertical you need to join a VTeam today and you can begin that process HERE.
  3. Forgive someone whom you have issues with. The greatest hinderance that I see to growth in people’s lives is in the area of unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will stunt your growth like a teenager smoking cigarettes! Seek forgiveness and pray for reconciliation – stop focusing on what’s wrong with others and focus on what’s wrong with you.
  4. Confess secret sin for purpose of breaking its hold on you. Some people can’t move forward because they are carrying something spiritually heavy and rather than confess and repent so they can move on, they choose to hide and conceal. Our care and prayer team (orange tent after the service) is always there to listen and pray with you. Secret sin will always keep you from what’s NEXT.
  5. Examine your habits and environments. Is there anything in your life that causes you to sin? What will it take to remove that temptation from you? Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from things or places that cause us to walk in our old lifestyle.

These 5 things aren’t a very exhaustive list but, for me, these are things that I believe will point us towards what’s NEXT. I do know this to be true: God’s plan for you is GREATER than your plan for you. So take a NEXT step and watch Him move in your life.

I can’t wait for Sunday!!! I hope that you will finally do what you know you need to do.

“I Attend Vertical But Don’t Know what’s next for Me”

In a church like Vertical having new people around is always a constant. One of the hardest things for new attenders to do is to figure out WHAT’S NEXT?? when it comes to their new church. There are also many people who attend VC but haven’t moved beyond Sunday morning and don’t know what to do ‘next’. I’m excited to share with you the answer to that question today – you know what’s next?

“next” is a one-session class developed to help you discover your next steps with us here at Vertical Church.  It will be this Sunday, May 13th from 9:20-10:10. We hope you’ll join us!

 

How Do I Know What I’m Supposed to Do?

I have found that the life of following Jesus is one of many important decisions strung together for the glory of God. It is so important that the decisions that we make are the ones that we truly feel God is leading us to make. We cannot haphazardly jump from one decision to the next because it seems to be the right one.

It is so important that we wait on God.

In the story of the Apostle Paul’s conversion God made him wait. If you know the story, he was a pretty bad guy towards God. Feeling like a crusader against Jesus and “the Way” (what they called Christianity in its inception) he literally was a leader in bringing all of these blasphemers against Judaism and God to justice. But Jesus intervened:

[3] Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. [4] And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” [5] And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [6] But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” [7] The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. [8] Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. [9] And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:3-9 ESV)

So he went into the city and waited for God to tell him what to do. The story goes on to tell us how he learned “what you are to do”:

[10] Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” [11] And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, (My note: NOTICE THAT WHILE PAUL/SAUL IS WAITING that HE IS PRAYING) [12] and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” (Acts 9:10-12 ESV)

So he did. Saul of Tarsus received his sight again (scales fell from his eyes – read it for yourself) and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. God told him what to do: 1st, he rose and was baptized then he ate some food. The next thing we see in scripture he is in the synagogue telling people about Jesus, his new calling in life.

This morning as I thought on the fact that it is Friday and Sunday is fast approaching I couldn’t help but think about how many of you who read my blog, whether you attend Vertical Church or not, NEED TO TAKE A NEXT STEP. What is that next step?

What is God telling you to do? I can’t tell you that, YOU need to ask Him. Stop what you are doing, pray right now, and continue that prayer. What is He telling you to do? For some of you your next step is:

  • You need to be saved. You need to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, given in His own blood through His purposeful sacrifice on the cross. What are you waiting on – receive Him into Your heart and life TODAY! (don’t know how, contact me and I will lead you there).
  • You need to be baptized by immersion. New Testament baptism ALWAYS takes place AFTER conversion. 1st you receive Jesus, THEN you are baptized. Many of you are under a continuous conviction because you know that you have this out of order. I would call you to remove this hinderance to growth from your  life. (if you need to be baptized you can sign up for that here - the next Vertical baptism is February 12)
  • You need to repent of sin in your life. Maybe there is something that you have buried that you don’t want to deal with – you try not to think about it but it’s always there. Stop what you’re doing, confess it to Jesus, ask for His forgiveness then TURN (that’s what it means to repent) and go in the other direction from that sin.
  • You need to forgive someone and/or be reconciled. Unforgiveness is poison to your soul – it eats away at you. You may say,”They don’t deserve my forgiveness!!!”, but YOU DESERVE to be free from allowing them to continuously hurt you. Unforgiveness is like you taking poison and expecting the other person to get sick from it. God can free you from this but you must give it to Him and allow Him to free you of all of this.

Maybe you need to join the church. Maybe you need to join a VGroup. Maybe you need to serve on a VTeam. I don’t know the answer for you but I do know that this Sunday at Vertical Church is a day in which we will celebrate Communion with Jesus through the Lord’s Supper. I would challenge you all to enter into prayer in preparation for this important day. Sunday may be the beginning of your new life with Jesus Christ.

So often we want to know God’s big plan for our life – He will not give you that answer until you have done the NEXT thing He is instructing you to do. First things first.

So I ask you, what IS God telling you to do?

New Attenders Class is this Weekend!

Wanted to give a big shout-out to all of you who have begun attending hyde park in the past few months!! We are SO committed to helping you to connect with us on the next level, to do the "Next Right Thing". This weekend is your opportunity to take your connection to the Next Level.

Take it from me: if you are just attending but haven't committed to the church it is easy to fall away. How often have I personally seen this played out in people's lives? All the time.

NACLogo This weeked we will host our next New Attenders Class – We call it FAITHTrac 101. FAITHTrac 101 is a one session class with Pastor Dennis that will help you to understand Why we do What we do the Way that we do. It begins at 9.51 and includes a wonderful lunch for the whole family.

When: This Sunday, February 22nd – 9.51am
Where: The ROC Gym
Who: YOU!

Interested? Let us know today!!! We want you to do the "Next Right Thing".

The Plunge AFTER I Believed

In honor of our next baptism coming up on February 1st I began thinking about my own:

I was baptized on April 20th, 1997, the day after my daughter Madison's 1st birthday (I gave my life to JESUS on the previous Sunday, April 13th). One difficult circumstance that happened with my baptism was sharing with my family (mom and dad) that I was being baptized. Why? Because being raised Catholic, I had already been "baptized" (sprinkled) in the eyes of my family.

I remember the tension of telling them I was being baptized – why did I tell them? I HAD TO! Why? Because they were already planning on coming to church that day because Madison was being dedicated. I had no choice. (which reminds me that God does have a sense of humor – I probably would've wussed out and told them later otherwise).

The reason you always hear me ask, "have you been baptized SINCE you believed?" is because I know that many times a person has been baptized prior to conversion because of the denomination that their parents raised them in.

Is post-conversion baptism important? IT'S HUGE!!! It's literally the 1st step as a new believer! It's saying to the world, "Yes!! I Believe that Jesus Christ has begun changing my heart!". I am one of those guys of the persuasion who believes that you will never live a productive life as a believer if you won't even take the first step of obedience through baptism.

Personally for me, once I got through the difficulty of sharing the news of my baptism with my parents, the day was AMAZING FOR ME! I knew that I had begun a new journey, a new life with a new leader – I could feel it as I was lowered into those waters of baptism - when I come up LIFE BEGINS

If you've not been baptized SINCE you believed and would like more information or would like to be scheduled for baptism on February 1st, let me know.

Let us learn more about you: Share with the WholeHearted readers the story of your baptism day.

(One more thing: Hope you caught yesterday's post about tension – it's short but it will challenge you!)