Summary: “We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal”. (2 Cor. 4:18)
Theme: Walk in the way of the Lord
Text: 1 Sam. 8:4-9; 2 Cor. 4:13-18; Mark 3:31-35
Before last Wednesday I thought I knew the road that leads to my home. When those roads turned into fast flowing rivers I found myself just following roads that could still be used. A journey that would normally take 15 minutes took over 4 hours. I only found my way home because I knew where my house was. This experience reminded me of the road of life. This road is filled with potholes and we are often forced to go to unfamiliar places. There are however intersections on the way where we can change direction by making right choices when we know where we are going. “There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death”. (Pr. 14:12) We can only know where we are going when we walk in the way of the Lord.
When we fail to walk in the way of the Lord we end up walking in the way of the wicked that have forsaken God. Adam and Eve’s choice to not walk in the way of the Lord not only affected their own lives but also affected ours for in Adam “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. The Israelites were so blessed with the presence of God yet they wanted to be in control of their own lives as the nations around them. The wicked ways of the sons of Samuel was only an excuse to reject the rule of God. The wicked are self-centred and only the rejection of God and His rule would make it possible for them to do what they wanted. They wanted to be like the others who were around them. They wanted to serve themselves and other gods. The Scriptures describe serving self as relying on the flesh. The flesh is a mind-set that acts contrary to the Word of God. Reliance on the flesh is to rely on our emotions or on our own selfish desires and pleases the devil as it ends up doing Satan’s will.
The walk in the way of the wicked often happens in such a way that one is not even aware of it. Reading the first Psalm describes how it happens. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers”. (Psalm 1:1) The walk of such a man begins with listening to what the wicked say. At first he only listens while walking away and thinks he can never become like them. The next time he stops to listen and before long he is sitting with them and joining in their activities. All this could have been avoided if he had “delight in the law of the LORD, and meditated on it day and night”. (Psalm 1:2) “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. (Rom 6:23). God loves you and “did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17).
A walk in the way of life is only possible in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to those who trust Christ for “By grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God”. (Eph. 2:8) At salvation our spirits are recreated for the Holy Spirit to live in. It does not depend on anything we have done but on what Christ has done through His death and resurrection. A walk in the way of the Lord requires a reliance on the Holy Spirit. If we believe that He who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us and bring us into His presence we will have no problem relying on Him and entrusting our life into His care. A walk in the way of the Lord requires a renewed mind. At salvation man becomes a new creation with a new Spirit. The mind must be renewed to align itself with the Spirit by acting in accordance with the Word of God.
The just walk in the way of the Lord and they shall live by faith. As believers we can never forget how much God loves us and that we are His beloved children. The just have been made the righteousness of Christ to enable them have an intimate walk with Him. This righteousness is God’s own righteousness and gives us access to His presence. All believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit and united in their righteousness. We cannot be righteous and have access to God’s abundant provisions and not live a life of blessing others. God blesses us to be a blessing and the greatest blessing is to share the good news of Christ.