Watch Your Step!

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Exercise is very important. Walking is one of the best ways to exercise. We set goals as to how many steps we should take each day. Those steps are usually counted by a watch, a pedometer or even a cell phone. I just checked my phone, and yesterday I walked 7,279 steps.

There are some insurance companies who give reductions to participants who regularly record their steps and meet a specified goal. There are also groups of people who have contests to see who can walk the most steps in a week or a month. My great friend, Rev. David Bush, serves in Arkansas. I’ve been with him at his church in Stuttgart several times, and I will be with him in October in his new assignment in El Dorado.

I, along with a couple of friends, George Dunklin and Allen Homra, tried to encourage David to start walking more. Sometimes there is a fine line between encouraging and pestering. At any rate – the goal was to see him walk. We succeeded! He has become very disciplined in his walking. He has even won several contests in the last year for the most steps taken! He’s encouraging us now!

I had the privilege of going to the first meeting in Montgomery several years ago called by Judge Joe Phelps. He had a vision of a program called STEP (Strategies To Elevate People). Churches united and started taking some important steps to making a difference in people’s lives. STEP, under the leadership of Cedric Fluker, is still a strong ministry in the River Region. STEP ministry can occur in any region in the world!

While the quantity of our steps is important, we also need to look at the quality of our steps. Where do our steps lead us? Are we walking in the purpose that God has for us? We need to walk “In His steps.” (I Peter 2:21)

Just before Palm Sunday, Jesus was walking with His disciples and came to a fork in the road. He could either take steps towards Jerusalem where He knew those would be His final steps, or He could take the other road and avoid what would happen during Holy Week. The Bible says, “He set His face steadfast to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51) He knew which steps He needed to take.

On Good Friday He endured ridicule, physical abuse, and flogging. He then starting taking some steps toward Golgotha. Those are the most important steps in history! They took Him to the very place that fulfilled His purpose in dying for you and me. Those steps also made possible the resurrection on Easter.

Where are your steps taking you? Some people take wrong steps that get them in with the wrong crowd, and that gets them into trouble. Other people prayerfully ask God to direct their steps so that they lead to the right crowd and the right place. “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) Life takes on a new dimension when we make every step count to serve Him and fulfill His purpose for us.

STEP DOWN from a prideful attitude.
STEP UP to the challenge God puts before you.
STEP IN to God’s power and purpose.
STEP OUT to the high calling that God has for you.

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