STEP FORWARD – 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Mark 3:3 NKJV
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
Stepping forward in what we do opens doors to God’s work beyond what we could ask or think. In Mark 3:3, Jesus tells a man with a withered hand to “step forward.” The NIV translation says, “Stand up in front of everyone.” When the man obeyed, Jesus healed him! The same is true of a woman who had been crippled for 18 years. The Bible says, “12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity’” (Luke 13:12 NIV).
Despite their weakness, despite what they may have been self-conscious of, despite the fact that they were different from everyone else in the crowd, they heeded Jesus’ call to step forward.
In both of these situations, people were watching. Crowds had gathered, intently observing. We don’t know whether these two felt a moment of panic when Jesus called their names. We don’t know if their stomachs got knotty or their faces turned red. But, we know that they obeyed. Despite their weakness, despite what they may have been self-conscious of, despite the fact that they were different from everyone else in the crowd, they heeded Jesus’ call to step forward. They publicly obeyed Him and Jesus did a miracle.
Our verse for today reminds us that we aren’t called to hide out. As Christians, we are the light of the world. Light is meant to stand out, especially in darkness. Jesus tells us to let our light shine before others so that they may see Him. We are called to do good things before others for His glory.
Is there something Jesus is calling you to do? Take that first step. There is no telling what He will do through one step of obedience!
– Ask the Lord to give you courage to obey, even publicly, what He has called you to do. Ask Him to use you in ways you can’t imagine. Pray that you would be a light in darkness.
– Pray about the role God wants you to play and about how He may want you to step forward here at Liberty. Discover Liberty is this Sunday and we would love to have you join us!
– God has called Liberty to be a light in Hampton Roads. In addition to Connect Groups, we believe God has called us to enhance our online presence for the sake of changing lives, communities, and the world for Jesus Christ. People will often visit us online before ever coming to a building. Pray now for our church as we step forward through our Liberty Anywhere online experience. Pray that many people would have a positive first encounter with our church and the Gospel through this endeavor. Pray that many would come to one of our locations after visiting us online. Pray for those who will be watching while they are away at college, deployed with the military, and for those physically unable to make it to one of our locations.
– Pray that through all we do here at Liberty, those in Hampton Roads would see and glorify our Father in heaven. May our motives be pure and not self-seeking. Pray that people would see us and praise Him.