Summary: Encouragement to walk with Jesus each day. He leads to "still waters" and "green pastures"

“A Walk With Jesus”

Amos 3:2; Luke 24:13-35 9/8/04

It was a beautiful early fall day as I walked along. The trees had not yet turned color and I was anticipating that soon, in a few weeks, I would be enjoying a hillside filled with colors of gold and scarlet. But today, the trees and the bushes were drooping with berries and nuts and fruit. I picked a few as I went along my way, and enjoyed a moist burst of flavor on my tongue. The sun was warm on my face as I strolled along in the peace and quiet of the early morning. Birds were singing me a happy song. Squirrels and chipmunks happily played among the leaves. A doe and her fawn timidly slipped to the stream to get a drink. As I meandered along this path I had never walked before, I trilled at the newness - the adventure of it. Other’s had gone before me, that was clear, but it was new and fresh and filled with questions for me. There was tremendous beauty, but there was also the clear threat of danger. I had heard that if I got off on the wrong trail - I could end up on a slippery talus sloop and end up dead at the bottom of a deep gorge. The story was that if the unwary took a few steps too far, the momentum of the slide couldn’t be stopped and you fell clawing and crawling to destruction. Not a pretty thought for such a pretty day.

I came to a fork in the trail and stopped. Which way should I go? Right or left? Up or down? I didn’t know which was the best way. So I reached in my pack and pulled out my map. Maybe I could get some direction.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever wondered which was the way to go? Probably happens, almost every day, for most of us. Life is filled with adventure and danger. It is filled with beauty and ugliness. It is filled with joy and pain. And there are always those forks to push us into making choices. God does that on purpose, I think. As He first reveals Himself among His people, he says,

"Look, today I have set before you life and death, depending on whether you obey or disobey. I have commanded you today to love the Lord your God and to follow his paths and to keep his laws, so that you will live …, and so that the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to possess. But if your hearts turn away and you won’t listen--if you are drawn away to worship other gods-- then I

declare to you this day that you shall surely perish; you will not have a long, good life in the land you are going in to possess. "I call heaven and earth to witness against you that today I have set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Oh, that you would choose life; that you and your children might live! Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey him and to cling to him, for he is your life and the length of your days. You will then be able to live safely in the land the Lord promised …” Deut 30:15-20 (Living)

God has set each one of us on a path, and in a sense, we walk it alone. I remember and old song illustrating that fact. “You gotta walk that lonesome valley. You gotta walk it by yourself. Nobody else can walk it for you. You gotta walk it by yourself.”

Frankly, I don’t like to walk alone - at least all the time. When I was little, I liked to walk with Dad. He was big and strong and I felt protected and safe in any situation when my hand was in his. When I got a little older, I liked to hike with my buddy. It was fun to share adventure with a friend. And together we conquered the highest and lowest spots on the continental United States. When I got a little older still, I found a special someone to walk with. And I still like to share the journey with her and start the day with a little exercise and quiet conversation. But in the path God set us on, our mom and dad can’t help. Our mate can’t help us. Our friends can’t walk it for us. We have to walk it by ourselves.

Have you ever felt alone, even though you’re in a room filled with people? Have you ever sensed that solitary feeling even though you know you are loved by family and friends? When it’s all said and done, we are on this adventure alone. And when it’s done - we will face the Master -alone- to give an account of our self. He has set us on a path that leads to life or death. And we have to make the right choice.

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