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Next Steps – Day 4

Next Steps

A 30-DAY GUIDE FOR NEW BELIEVERS
by JOHN D. BECKETT
DAY 4 THE BIBLE: A WORD FOR ALL AGES
How am I doing on Day 4? Well… I am feeling more confident and closer to God now than I have ever felt in my journey with Him! Doing these lessons now even though I am not new to this… is a wonderful learning experience, I wish I would have received back when I first became a Christian. I’m glad this is available for people now!

Can you confidently make the following statements?

  • I am certain that by faith I have been born again — I’ve come out of darkness into light. (Remember, our assurance is based on the fact of God’s promise, not on how we feel.) YES
  • My focus is on the here and now, not where I’ve been, and not on what the future holds. This is hard, even now for me… but I’m getting better at it.
  • I have entered into a new and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He loves me and He is changing me from the inside out. YES

We’ll be coming back to these themes from time to time. Now, I want to introduce you to a book — the Bible. It must become your friend and lifelong companion.

Words are important in any culture. They are how we communicate facts, ideas, instruction, encouragement and correction. It shouldn’t surprise you that God will communicate with you by words. He even referred to Jesus, His Son, as “the Word” (See John 1).

The Bible consists of 66 books — a collection of history, poetry, letters and the accounts of those from whom we can learn valuable lessons. It is the number one means by which you can learn who God is, how He wants you to live and how He will help you.

I didn’t always view the Bible as this kind of companion. Before I committed my life to Jesus, I found it confusing, even mysterious. Part of the problem was that I tried to read it like any other book, from page 1. Soon, I got bogged down and put it aside.

After I became a believer, the Bible began to come alive. I started reading one of the four gospels in the New Testament on the advice of a friend and discovered a wonderful account of the life of Jesus. I found it very real, very transparent. I became aware that what I was reading was producing hope in me. I discovered lessons that applied to where I was right then. In fact, often what I would read each morning would apply directly to events happening that very day. More than once I recall saying, “That’s amazing!”

If you have a Bible, great! If not, you can access one online at www.biblegateway.com. Try starting with Luke’s gospel. Read a little each day. As you read, let the words speak to you, bringing some fresh insight, some new truth. Savor what God tells you through His word — turning it over in your mind, allowing it to be a vital source of life. (Even though something is confusing, remember everything in the Bible is there for a purpose.)

Another good practice would be to look up the Bible references I mention in this study. This will help you become familiar with “navigating” through the Bible and to see the specific context for a particular verse or verses. (In this 30-day study, I’ve generally used the New King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted — such as “NIV” for the New International Version — but feel free to find a version that is appropriate for you.)

As you know, in any kind of building project, the foundation is critical. For example, in the construction of a new high-rise building, the “unglamorous” work below ground must be done carefully. The foundation is no place to cut corners, even though this phase of construction can seem to take forever. Eventually, activity begins above ground and the building takes shape with remarkable speed. In the same way, your new life in Christ must be built on a solid foundation. The very best foundation is the Bible. Situations change, and friends come and go. But the Bible is “rock solid.” Decide today to build your foundation on God’s word, making it your lifelong companion.

Key Scripture Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Colossians 3:16).
Key Thought The Bible is more than a container for the word of God — it is God speaking directly to me through the words I read.
 
Copyright © 2006 by John D. Beckett

I would recommend starting to write down each Key Scripture on index cards, or printing them on business cards and keeping them with you at all times. You could also do the same with the Key Thoughts; or at least, copy each Key Thought down, maybe in a journal on one single page to refer back to later. One thing I would like to do is to journal my thoughts on each Key Thought… but that will come later; I’m not going to commit to that just yet.

Amen – the foundation is such a key and I pray this study is the foundation we all need, that God so desires for us! Thank you again, Mr. Beckett for putting this information together.

With His Love, HL

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