Summary: A walk is a slow, steady, consistent movement from one place to another. A walk moves you from where you’ve been to where you’re going. At the end of Peter’s life, he looked back on his walk. As he looked back, what did he remember? What sustained him
All throughout the New Testament, the Christian life is compared to walking. Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 says that we walk by faith and not by sight. Galatians 5:16 commands us to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Ephesians 5:2 tells us to walk in love. 5:8 tells us to walk as children of light. 5:15 tells us to walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Colossians 1:10 tells us to walk worthy of the Lord and Colossians 2:6 tells us to walk in Him. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 tells us that our walk is to please God. Verse 12 says that we are to walk honestly. 1 John says that we are to walk in the light and we are to walk in the same way that Jesus walked. 2 John 6 says, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.” 3 John praises Christians who are walking in the truth. And those are just a few of the references. So, however you might describe the Christian life, the Bible describes it as a walk. The question is, why? Why does the Bible consistently describe the Christian life as a walk? Think about what a walk is. A walk is a slow, steady, consistent movement from one place to another. A walk moves you from the place where you once were, to the place where you’re going. A walk is constant. It is continual. It is consistent. It is a moment-by-moment, day-by-day, willful effort to place one foot in front of the other to get to your destination. It’s interesting that of all the times that the Christian life is described as a walk… it is never described as “having arrived.” That’s encouraging to me. All my life, I’ve looked around and seen people that I’ve thought had it all together. I think, “If I just knew the Bible the way that they do, I’d have arrived.” “If I had their prayer life, I’d have it all together.” “If I had their personality, or upbringing or education, I wouldn’t have all these daily struggles.” The fact is, we’ve all had people we’ve seen like that. But do you know what? Those people are in the middle of a walk just like you are. They might be just a little bit ahead—but they’re walking just like you are. The key is, just keep walking. As soon as Jesus saves you, start walking and don’t stop. Sometimes you’ll take a step or two backwards. Sometimes you might stumble. Sometimes you might trip and fall. But that doesn’t mean you need to quit walking. A stumble or trip or misstep along the way doesn’t stop your walk. Just get up and place one foot in front of the other. Just get up and start walking again. That’s what is so wonderful about the life of Peter. Even with all of the missteps and stumbles along the way, Peter never quit walking.
Peter wrote the passage we just read toward the end of his life. This was during the time of the Emperor Nero’s cruel persecution of Christians. He was probably in prison in Rome when he wrote it. He knew the death sentence was hanging over his head. He remembered Jesus words many years before that are recorded in John 21:18. Jesus prophesied about Peter’s death when He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” Peter knew that he was getting ready to be led to a place that he didn’t want to go. He was going to be led to a place where executioners would stretch forth his hands and nail them to a Roman cross. Peter’s walk was about to be complete. He was about to reach his destination. His journey on earth was almost complete and his prize was waiting. He was about to meet Jesus face to face once again. But this time, he was going to meet Him in all His glory. I’m sure that’s what brought to mind the event he wrote about in verses 16-18. As he thinks about seeing Jesus in His glory, he can’t help but remember the time when he caught a glimpse of that glory on the mount of transfiguration. I’m sure that wasn’t the only memory that came to mind. I’m sure that memories were flooding his mind as he was writing this last letter. That’s why he said what he did in verse 15. He said, “I don’t want to just remember these things for myself. After I’m gone, I want you to remember them.” “Remember my struggles.” “Remember my walk.” “And as you do, remember what it was that sustained me each step along the way.” That’s what we’re going to do this morning. We’re going to remember four things that sustained Peter along his walk. And as we do, we can see how those things will sustain us as well.