Scripture Meditations for Next Steps of South Carolina (NSSC)

(This is a work in Progress.  We will add more meditations as time goes on. Last Updated 7 September 2016)

Scripture Meditation
Micah 6:3-8 Instead of choosing our own self-improvement goals, a better approach might be to ask ourselves “What does the Lord desire of me?”  Through the prophet Micah, God revealed that He wants us to do what is right, to be merciful, and to walk humbly with Him (Mic 6:8). All these things relate to soul-improvement rather than self-improvement. Through Next Steps, we learn to follow Jesus and, walking with God, transform the lives of our Participants emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Christ-followers will experience trials and tribulations in this life.  Christian ministry, like Next Steps, like any other activity, carries with it the wear and tear of opposition, resistance, and disappointment. Paul acknowledges this reality but finds more than enough power and encouragement from his inner spiritual transformation to carry on.  In Next Steps, our goal is not only to save lives, but to save souls.  All our trials dim when we remember this goal.  Our Participants and Volunteers are on a journey together, step by step, prayer by prayer, to a better place where we will see the face of Christ Jesus.
Mark 10:35-45 Mark reveals the ugliness of self-promotion among Jesus’ own disciples!  This spiritual cancer has plagued the human race since the fall. The remedy to pride is in following Jesus’ model of servanthood. He is the embodiment of a leader who served and a servant who led.  Our desire should be to do the same. In Next Steps, we are frequently doing tasks that may be unnoticed. If we are willing to be a servant, our lives will point to the One who is truly great. In Next Steps, all Volunteer positions are essential to transforming lives through Jesus Christ, one conversation at a time.
Matthew 6:25-34 In this passage, we read our Lord’s admonition to trust in God’s provision instead of worrying.  Managing our troubles by faith one day at a time is wise counsel indeed: “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (v.34)  In Next Steps, we have faith that God will provide for our Participants.  Our job is to walk beside them, day by day, as they take their next steps.
Philippians 1:3-14 In his letter to the church at Philippi, Paul addressed a congregation he had helped establish.  He had been thrown into prison for preaching the gospel.  Nonetheless, he had an unusually upbeat attitude.  To the church in Philippi he wrote, “I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (Phil 1:12).  Paul saw his prison situation as a s new platform from which to evangelize the Roman palace guard.  God can bring our trials to work good in spite of the pain they bring (Rom 8:28).  Next Steps, through the grace of God, turns life’s trials into trails that lead us, Participants and Volunteers alike, to transformed lives.
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:7 Paul reminds the Thessalonian believers about the great opposition to the gospel that accompanied his ministry to them.  This young congregation has experienced its share of persecution, yet had grown in faith and numbers!  Paul never claimed credit for any numerical increase in his ministry of spreading the gospel to the gentiles.  Nor did he attribute to anyone else.  Rather he gave credit to God.  He wrote, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Cor 3:6).  God is growing Next Step Program Affiliates in our communities.  Thanks be to God!