Tag Archives: Walk

What I’ve Learned From the Book of Philippians #3

Last time, I told you I’d be writing about “Joy” in this post, but little did I realize how much there is to write about this uniquely Christian word.  I call it a Christian word, right or wrong, because it’s a word that I don’t find addressed much in any real way in the secular world, not by atheists, cultural elites, or all those people who seem to think it’s okay to tell me how to live and what to say, but can’t stand it when I have the nerve to smile at them, and simply say, “NO.”

To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot of people who live with a sense of joy, and, sad to say, this includes many people who call themselves Christians.  I can see and hear the protests right now, but don’t try to tell me that every Christian you know lives with joy because we all know at least one whose face would break into shards of glass were they to smile.  You know it’s true and so do I.  🙂

To me, there’s nothing sadder or more depressing than to be around someone who says they love Christ Jesus, and that He’s living in their heart, and yet, all you hear from the minute they start talking is all about their latest illness, ache, and pain.  Their discontent and unhappiness about this or that person, place, event, or idea.  Complaint about any and everything seems to be all they can talk about . . . even in church.

As an aside, I’ll tell you the easiest way to dissuade these people from trying to ruin your worship and the awesome experience of honoring and glorifying Jesus Christ is to wear them out, gently, by responding positively to every negative thing they say.  For example:

(I’ll call this woman, Gertrude, or if it’s a man, I’ll call him, Herman.  These are examples, folks, so please don’t take offense at my using a set of names that just came to me as I’m writing this.)

Gertrude: “I’ve been so sick this last week I just knew I was going to die (or something to that effect).”

You: “Praise the Lord He pulled you through.  Isn’t it wonderful how God can pull us through the worst of times, and look at how nice you look.  It truly is a time to be thankful to God, isn’t it?”

And so it goes . . .  The point being people who want to complain want someone who’s going to listen to their complaint, not someone who’s going to force them into thinking about how grateful they should be.   I’m not talking about the person who genuinely just needs to talk, but to those who are the habitual offenders.  The ones who constantly and consistently complain no matter what.  Call me mean, nasty, deceitful or a thousand other names, but when I go to church I want to worship God.  I want to honor and glorify Him, and isn’t that the reason why we’re going?

Now what has this to do with “Joy” you might be asking, and the answer is that “Joy” should be the expression of your heart to God for all that He is, and for all that He does in bestowing His many, many blessings upon us.  “Joy” is a far different thing than being happy because “Joy” is “in spite of” (Don’t ask me where I got that because I can’t remember, but I freely admit it’s not an original thought of mine.  I’ve read it somewhere before.)  It means that you choose “in spite of” rather than, “because of” and that’s a much greater thing, and I believe reveals something to the world and those around you that needs to be seen.

“Joy” is what the world needs to see, and what it should see when looking at the Christian life, and why shouldn’t they?  We have the most wonderful reason to be joyful, and to rejoice.  We have Jesus Christ.  We have the power of God living inside us, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life.  If that’s not enough to give us “Joy” on a daily basis, and the desire to share that “Joy” with everyone we meet, then I have to wonder what it is that’s going on in your life that you don’t feel and live with that sense of “Joy” in living your life in Christ.

Even in the midst of much sorrow, suffering, and tribulation, Paul never failed to live with “Joy” because he had what the Holy Spirit has given to each of us, but which we seldom acknowledge and seek to live out.  The inner-knowledge, and hope that springs eternally in being able to see beyond the moment we’re living in, and see and experience the glory we’ll share in living our lives forever with Him.

“The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once scornfully said of Christians of his day, “I would believe in their salvation if they looked a little more like people who have been saved.  (The Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy B. Zuck, P. 215.)”  There’s a lot of truth in that, I believe, and sad, as I am to say it, I think the reason there aren’t more Christians is simply because of Christians who don’t live out their lives in a tangible and experiential way.  I believe another quote by Philip Brooks addresses this when he says, “The religion that makes a man look sick certainly won’t cure the world. (The Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy B. Zuck, P. 216.)”  Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not knocking Christianity, but rather our display of it, and our living it in front of other people.  Too many Christians are exhibiting the symptoms of hopelessness and despair and this brings me back to the issue of “Joy.”

Do you have “Joy?”  Are you experiencing the healing that comes from living joyfully?  Are you finding the strength, feeling the peace, that comes from knowing that the Holy Spirit gives knowing that your life is in Christ?

Well, I’ve said enough for the time being, but I’ll leave you with this last quote, and it’s one I’d like you to give some thought to.

“Joy is not a luxury or mere accessory in the Christian life.  It is the sign that we are really living in God’s wonderful love, and that love satisfies us ((The Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy B. Zuck, P. 216.)”

My question to you is does it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From “Zion’s Wayfarer” by Philpot

“And Enoch walked with God.” _5:24

The chief way whereby we walk with God is by faith, and not by sight. Abraham walked in this way. Unbelief severs the soul from God. There is no communion between God and an infidel. An unbelieving heart has no fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ; but a believing heart has communion with him. It is by faith that we have fellowship with God and his dear Son; and you will find that just in proportion to the strength or weakness of your faith is your walking with God. If you have faith in blessed exercise, as you look to the atoning blood, you find that you can walk with God; you can pour out your heart before him, tell him all your concerns, spread before him the inmost movements of your mind, and look to him for peace and consolation.

But when your faith is weak, when it gives way under trial, and cannot take hold of the promises, then communion is interrupted; there is no longer a walking with God. But in proportion as faith is strong, so there is a walking with God in sweet agreement; for faith keeps eyeing the atonement; faith looks not so much to sin, as to salvation from sin; at the way whereby sin is pardoned, overcome, and subdued. So it is by faith, and in proportion to our faith, that we walk together with God.

 

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes,” by Horatius Bonar

The Apostolic Only.

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” – Php_1:27.

Only! Was this all? Yes, all, in the sense of its being one chief, main thing; pre-eminent above others. As he says for himself elsewhere, ‘This one thing I do;’ so here, he says to them, Only! Ah, what stress he lays upon a godly life, a consistent walk! Whatever be your earthly lot, be it joy or sorrow; whatever your gifts, your privileges, your enemies, or your friends-keep this in special remembrance, as if it were the one thing in life; be men of one idea, one desire, one purpose-live a holy life! How earnestly does the apostle inculcate this!

The word ‘conversation’ is a peculiar one. It does not mean speech or intercourse; it refers to our general deportment or manner of life as citizens-our citizen-life. We have a double citizenship; earthly and heavenly. We are still men in the flesh, citizens of earthly cities; and in the living of this citizen-life, we must not forget whose we are;-we must remember the gospel, and Him whose gospel it is. Our heavenly citizenship we must ever keep in mind, and walk worthy of it; for we are citizens of no mean city-of the joyous city. Let our whole life, with all its goings out and comings in, in every relationship, civil, social, domestic, be ‘as becometh the gospel.’

It is by the gospel that the apostle would have us test ourselves, and mould our life. It was with the belief of this gospel that our life began; thus let it go on. The gospel lifted us up to a higher level; let us remain there, or rather, let us ascend still higher. To bring out this, let us see what sort of gospel it is that we have come into the possession of.

I. It is a gospel of peace-Let us who have believed it walk at peace and in peace; possessors of peace, and makers of peace. Let peace be written on our forehead and speak out in every word, look, motion. Let us be witnesses for peace; living symbols of peace; seeking the things which make for peace, and which will commend, to all who see or hear us, the peace of God.

II. It is a gospel of liberty.-It has brought us into liberty, and broken our yoke. Let us walk as freemen; our whole lives a witness for true freedom. Let our citizen-life be the life of liberty. The Son has made us free; let us see that we be free indeed; that we commend to the bound world the liberty of Christ.

III. It is a gospel of gladness.-There is no gloom in it; and there ought to be none in those who believe it. It should make our faces shine,- shine all over, so that we may make all men see and feel what a happiness it contains. Walk worthy of this happy gospel. Let men see what a treasure you have within. Rejoice in the Lord. Let your joy be ever full, and overflowing. Let your whole life, your citizen-life, your whole deportment, be an exhibition of this happy gospel.

IV. It is a gospel of light-There is no darkness in it. It is all light; all like Him with whom the light dwelleth, who is light, and in whom is no darkness at all. Let us shine; let our life be a bright one. Let our whole demeanor be brightness, like that of the gospel which we profess. Let our ways and words be all brightness. Let us be children of the light and of the day. Our dwelling is in a dark world. Let not that darkness mar or absorb our light, but rather intensify and enhance it. Let each day’s darkness in the world be met with new brilliance in us. Let us bring out the contrast nobly; and so have our conversation as becometh the gospel of light.

V. It is the gospel of holiness.-A holy gospel; a gospel concerning deliverance from sin; a gospel meant to secure holiness; a gospel which embodies the holiness of a holy God. All in and about this gospel is holy. Let our conversation, our citizen-life, be as becometh this gospel. Let us exhibit it, adorn it by a holy life. An inconsistent life is a scandal, a reproach against the gospel. Let us be consistent, circumspect, watching our ways and words. Let it be seen that we are citizens of the holy city.

VI. It is the gospel of Christ.-He is its all; its sum and burden. The news which are so good are about His person and His propitiation; His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, His second coming. We are to walk as becometh such a gospel! We are to live as men who believe in such a Christ as this! If this thought were ever before us, should we not be more on our guard against all sin, more intent on advancing in holiness? Shall we not seek to honour the gospel of Christ? Shall we trifle with it, or treat it as a common thing?

VII. It is the gospel of the kingdom-It brings us the good news of the heavenly, the everlasting kingdom. It points us to the open gate into it. It makes us heirs of it. In that kingdom is the city of which we are heirs; the city which hath foundations, into which nothing that defileth shall enter; where all is perfect, glorious, divine; the New Jerusalem. Let us remember our heirship, our citizenship, and walk accordingly. With such a hope, let us be holy; let us set our affection on things above; let us hold fast; let us be faithful; let us live here as sons, kings, priests; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.

 

 

From “Music For The Soul” from Alexander Maclaren

 

     How would you define your relationship with Christ?  How would you answer this question, “Christ is my . . . .?” 

 

A COMPANIONSHIP THAT CHEERS

 

Shall two walk together , except they have agreed?- Amo_3:3

There are three phrases in the Old Testament very like each other and yet presenting different facets or aspects of the same great truth. Sometimes we read about “walking before God,” as Abraham was bid to do. That means ordering the daily life under the continual sense that we are ever in the great Taskmaster’s eye. Then there is “walking after God,” and that means conforming the will and active efforts to the rule that He has laid down; setting our steps firm on the paths that He has prepared, that we should walk in them; and accepting His providences. But also, then, high above both these conceptions of a devout life, is the one which was realized in the case of the patriarch Enoch – walking “with God.” For to walk before Him may have with it some tremor, and may be undertaken in the spirit of the slave, who would be glad to get away from the jealous eye that rebukes his slothfulness; and “walking after Him” may be a painful and partial effort to keep His distant figure in sight; but to “walk with Him ” implies a constant, quiet sense of His Divine presence which forbids that I should ever be lonely, which guides and defends, which floods my soul and fills my life, and in which, as the companions pace along side by side, words may be spoken by either, or blessed silence may be eloquent of perfect trust and rest.

But far above us as such experience seems to sound, such a life is a possibility for every one of us. We may be able to say, as truly as our Lord said it, “‘ I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” It is possible that the dreariest solitude of a soul, such as is not realized when the body is removed from men, but is felt most in the crowded city, where there is none that loves or fathoms and sympathies, may be turned into blessed fellowship with Him. Yes! but that solitude will not be so turned unless it is first painfully felt. As Daniel said, ” I was left alone, and I saw the great vision.” We need to feel in our deepest hearts that loneliness on earth before we walk with God.

If we are so walking, it is no piece of fanaticism to say that there will be mutual communications. As really as it was ever true that the Lord said unto Abraham, or Isaiah, or Paul, it is true that He now speaks to the man that walks with Him. Frank speech on both sides beguiles many a weary mile when lovers or friends foot it side by side. And this pair of friends, of whom I have spoken, have mutual intercourse. God speaks with His servant now, as of old, “as a man speaketh with his friend.” And we, on our parts, if we are truly walking with Him, shall feel it natural to speak frankly to God. As two friends on the road will interchange remarks about trifles, and, if they love each other, the remarks about the trifles will be weighted with love, so we can tell our smallest affairs to God; and, if we have Him for our Pilgrim-Companion, we do not need to lock up any troubles or concerns of any sort, big or little, in our hearts, but may speak them all to our Friend that goes with us.

 

 

Taken From “Morning and Evening” by C.H. Spurgeon-Nov. 9

     How often we forget that our life is our walk before others.  So often it’s not what we say, but what we do.    I’m often reminded of Roman’s chapter 7, and I readily admit that I’ve often felt what Paul describes.  The good I want to do, I don’t do, and the bad I don’t want to do is that which I do.  Is there some hypocrisy in my life?  Yes.  Do I always walk straight, and never fall down?    I fall quite often.  Am I a sinner?  You bet.  Am I christian?  Yes.  
     There was a time when I lived in fear of how God would view me.  How could He love someone like me who was so imperfect, who constantly failed to uphold His standard, who had done so many awful things?  I have to say that there was a time when I got very discouraged in my Christian walk.  It’s easy to get discouraged when you walk among those who act “holier than thou,” and pretend to be in front of others what they can’t be alone.  
     It has taken a while for me to realize and to learn that there is no such thing as the “perfect” christian in this world, and I’ve often thought that maybe the reason Christianity hasn’t gotten further is because too many of us are trying too hard to be  perfect rather than to be loving and forgiving.  We judge ourselves and others when none of us are in any position to judge anyone.  For so many of us, I think it’s easier to stand before the throne, than to kneel at the cross.   
    Lest we forget, the Bible, the word of God, is the love of God revealed to man through His son, Jesus Christ, and through Him to us.  Just like His disciples, I find myself dealing with issues of greed, selfishness, anger, arrogance, immaturity, and just a general failure all around to get it, but like them, as I spend time with the Lord, as I walk with Him, I’m learning, growing and becoming more like Him.  It is my hope and prayer that I’m becoming more like Jesus, not in His perfection, but in the way He walked in this world expressing His love, forgiveness, and service to others.

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him”

Col_2:6

If we have received Christ himself in our inmost hearts, our new life will manifest its intimate acquaintance with him by a walk of faith in him. Walking implies action. Our religion is not to be confined to our closet; we must carry out into practical effect that which we believe. If a man walks in Christ, then he so acts as Christ would act; for Christ being in him, his hope, his love, his joy, his life, he is the reflex of the image of Jesus; and men say of that man, “He is like his Master; he lives like Jesus Christ.” Walking signifies progress. “So walk ye in him”; proceed from grace to grace, run forward until you reach the uttermost degree of knowledge that a man can attain concerning our Beloved. Walking implies continuance. There must be a perpetual abiding in Christ. How many Christians think that in the morning and evening they ought to come into the company of Jesus, and may then give their hearts to the world all the day: but this is poor living; we should always be with him, treading in his steps and doing his will. Walking also implies habit. When we speak of a man’s walk and conversation, we mean his habits, the constant tenor of his life. Now, if we sometimes enjoy Christ, and then forget him; sometimes call him ours, and anon lose our hold, that is not a habit; we do not walk in him. We must keep to him, cling to him, never let him go, but live and have our being in him. “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him”; persevere in the same way in which ye have begun, and, as at the first Christ Jesus was the trust of your faith, the source of your life, the principle of your action, and the joy of your spirit, so let him be the same till life’s end; the same when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and enter into the joy and the rest which remain for the people of God. O Holy Spirit, enable us to obey this heavenly precept.