Walk of Faith

I think sometimes we come to church and want to have a breakthrough moment. We think we need an emotional touch. No, we don’t. We just need to worship God whether we feel like it or not. We need to understand that the Christian life is a walk of faith.

People have a watch that gives them constant feedback, telling us how many steps I’ve taken and whether I’ve reached my fitness goal. Wouldn’t it be great to have a watch that tells us to read the Bible and pray, that keeps us on track in our spiritual lives?

I think one of the best definitions of being a Christian is, to borrow Nietzsche’s phrase, a “long obedience in the same direction.” It’s just putting one foot in front of the other and walking with the Lord every day. Some days you feel it. And some days you don’t.

That’s because our objective as Christians is to walk with God and live by faith. Are you walking with God today?

Are you to busy

Psalm 25:4–5

Show me the right path, O Lord;
    point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by Your truth and teach me,
    for You are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in You. 

Father, I may not finish my to-do list today but by Your grace, may I accomplish Your list. May I follow Your path and fulfill each task You assign. By the power of Your Spirit, teach me. Lead me. Help me listen as You lovingly call me back into Your sweet presence … where we can sit and talk or maybe for a few moments, just be still in each other’s presence. I love You, my hope, my Redeemer, my all. In Jesus name, Amen.

Praying you find peace in the busyness as you stop for a moment to just be still and listen.

Jesus

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The abundant life is not necessarily a long life, though it may be. We will live as long as God wants us to live. Nor is it necessarily a life free of sorrow, heartache, or tragedy. Even Christians experience all of that.

The abundant life is one in which we are content in the knowledge that God’s grace is more than sufficient for our needs. It’s the knowledge that nothing can suppress it and that God’s favor for us is unending. That is the abundant life as presented by Jesus.

God’s Will Or Yours

At some time in your Christian life you may have struggled with questions like: When a sinner is saved, who chooses whom, does God choose the sinner, or the sinner choose God? Did Christ die for the sins of everyone, or just the people He saves? The vast majority of those kinds of thorny, persistent, mind-boggling questions are directly related to the sovereignty of God, election, predestination, perseverance, and the issue of “free will.”

Those, of course, are doctrines associated with Calvinism. All are vital to a sound, biblical understanding of the gospel, but they are not without difficulty. The wisdom of God alters not only your general conduct, but also what you do specifically. Every act within a person’s life is consistent with how he conducts his entire life. If it’s a life based on the wisdom of God, each aspect of his life will reveal that. The general pattern of his life and the specific things he does will reflect the work, the way, and the will of God. Take time to examine your life and see whether your conduct proves that you possess the true wisdom of God.

Talent

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

Like 16

Maybe you’ve looked at someone and said, “Oh, I wish I had their talent. I can’t do that. I wish I had their ability.”

It is not a person’s talent that matters as much as how he or she uses it. God never demands from someone abilities they do not have. But He does demand that we use to the full the abilities we do possess.

We may not be equal in talent, but we should be equal in effort. That’s because God can do a lot with a little. If you don’t believe me, just ask the boy with the loaves and fishes. He probably was running an errand for his mother when he came upon the scene of the hungry multitude that was listening to Jesus.

Jesus asked one of His own disciples, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?

One of them said, There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?

Even so, that little boy gave everything that he had to Jesus. It didn’t seem like a lot. But Jesus can take a little and bless it and multiply it. He can use it beyond our wildest dreams.

So maybe you’re saying, “I don’t have a lot to offer.”

That’s all right. Bring what you have. God is not looking for ability as much as He is looking for availability. He is looking for someone like you to say, “Lord, here I am, send me. I will do whatever You want me to do.” It’s people like that whom God raises up to do more for His glory.

Take what God has given you and do the most that you can with it for His glory.

Black-White-Gray

There are certain things we all know that we aren’t supposed to do. They’re black and white. For instance, we know that we are not supposed to lie or steal. These are obvious things.

But then we come to those gray areas of life. We wonder, “Is this all right for me to do?” That’s when we need to ask ourselves four questions: Does it build me up spiritually? Does it bring me under its power? Do I have an uneasy conscience about it? Could it cause someone to stumble?

In 1 Corinthians 6:12 Paul says, All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Someone might say they have the freedom to do a certain thing as a Christian. The problem is that our consciences can lead us astray at times.

The real issue is whether it could drag you down spiritually. Could it cause another Christian to stumble? Some people are weaker than others in some areas. Why allow a potential area of compromise in your life? Why open yourself up to some other kind of influence?

I don’t want to be under the power of anyone or anything except Jesus Christ.

Are We Who We Say We Are

There’s nothing worse than a hypocrite, one of the things that we’re called to be if we believe in Jesus is ambassadors of Christ. But if how we live our lives – what we say, what we do – doesn’t measure up, then what sort of ambassador are you and I going to make? When people look at us, do they see an ambassador or a hypocrite? Let me ask you a question to illustrate the point. If you’re someone who believes in Jesus and who also drives a car, do you have some sort of Jesus bumper sticker – one of those fish stickers – on your bumper? Perhaps, perhaps not. (It’s okay even if you don’t, by the way. I don’t either.) But if you had to put one on your car, let me ask you, does your behaviour on the road as a driver match up to the message of the sticker? I mean, are you a courteous driver who obeys all the road rules or do you break the speed limit, honk your horn at other drivers and yell at them from the inside of your car?

I guess if you’re a courteous driver it’d be perfectly fine for you to have a fish sticker or a Jesus sticker on your car because your behavior would be a good advertisement for God in effect, because what you advertise on the sticker and how you behave match up, and so the message works. On the other hand, can you imagine a rude impatient driver who’s constantly breaking the road rules identifying themselves as a Christian by some sticker they put on their car? Not a very good ad for God, is it? And it turns out that who we say we are, whom we hold ourselves out to be, and who we actually are in what we say and what we do, need to match up. And if they don’t, then that mismatch is what we call hypocrisy.

Let me circle around and say it again. God wants us to live our lives as ambassadors of Christ. We are ambassadors for Christ since God is making His appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Principle

The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego.”

Daniel 1:7-15

After reading Daniel, I thought about this chapter for awhile.

The King could change their names, but he could not change their hearts. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego found themselves immersed in a system of false gods and idol worship. And they faced heavy-duty temptation

How many of us can say we could withstand the same thing.

They had the finest education at the most prestigious school. They had access to the most delicious foods and wines in the entire world. But the king did not consider this fact: they had character.

He thought they would cave in and do what everyone else did. But these were young men of principle, and they didn’t want to eat at the king’s table. The Bible says that “Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods” (Daniel 1:8).

We don’t know exactly why Daniel refused to eat from the king’s table. I’m sure the food would have been delicious and very rich. But I think Daniel was standing on principle because there was something spiritual happening. I’ll take an educated guess that probably these foods were offered to false gods.

Daniel didn’t want to do anything that would hinder his fellowship with God. And here was the real temptation. It wasn’t just the food. This was the way to climb the ladder in Babylon. It would be like saying no when the boss asks you out for lunch. For whatever reason, Daniel and his friends would not compromise.

It’s the gray areas that ultimately will lead us to the black-and-white areas. Maybe the Lord has shown you some area of your life in which you have compromised spiritually.

Often it’s the little things that bring us down, not the outright sins. It’s the little things that ultimately lead to the big things.

There are many lessons to learn from the Bible. This is only one of thousands.

Foundation

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”  Ephesians 5:15–16

A wise man once said: The most important steps are laying the foundation for our future.

The same is true today in our life. The most important time is at the beginning, when we’re laying the foundation in the time of our youth. It is there that we set our course. We develop our habits and form attitudes.

It is during our youth that we make decisions that will affect us for the rest of our lives, like career choices and marriage choices. We sow seeds that we’ll reap in the years ahead.

When you’re young, you’re willing to do crazy stuff. But as you get older, you become more set in your ways. You start liking routine. You have habits, and you live by those habits. Now, I’m not criticizing this. Rather, I’m offering an observation on aging. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have routines, to have habits.

For instance, let’s say that early in life you got into the habit of regular prayer and Bible study. You got into the habit of never neglecting worship on the Lord’s Day, faithfully giving to the Lord, and other spiritual disciplines. And you still practice them to this day.

I’m glad you have those habits. I’m glad that you’re set in your ways, then. Because every day you make hundreds, even thousands, of decisions as to whether you will sow to the flesh or sow to the Spirit.

You will make decisions in January that will be played out by next Christmas. You decide what principles you will live by and what road you will take.

The decisions we make today will dictate where we are five years from now.

Wisdom

What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:5). That’s quite an offer! The Lord visited Solomon in a dream and said that He would grant whatever the king requested. Solomon could have chosen any glittering prize his heart desired—wealth, fame, power, long life . . . anything! Instead, Solomon prayed for wisdom.

Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong.” (1 Kings 3:9)

Have you ever faced a large task like Solomon’s and prayed God would help you discern the right way from the wrong way? The good news is that wisdom is readily available in Jesus Christ, for “in him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). What a marvelous thought! All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are as near to us as our Savior.

A prayer in His name, a search for truth in His Word, and a willingness to walk in His footsteps are the keys to unlocking wisdom’s storehouse.

What can we expect to discover when we seek the Lord’s wisdom, which is far more valuable than wealth, power, or fame? In Proverbs 2:1–9, King Solomon described the treasures of wisdom that he discovered.

%d bloggers like this: