Summary: Walking with God means reflecting who God is..... This means forgiving as God has forgiven us.
What does walking with God mean for you?
Tim and Patricia had been married for 17 years.
They were faithful members of the church.
They went to church regularly, helped out where they could
and were committed in helping their children learn about God.
For most of the years they felt they walked with God.
Sometimes they sensed God was very close,
other times they felt God was a little distant from God.
But generally they walked closely with God.
Despite some difficult times both Tim and Patricia felt God blessed their life.
Tim and Patricia had a good life.
There had been times of struggles.
But during these times they hung onto the promise from God that he was always with them.
They knew the good things in their life were blessings from God.
They tried following what God as much as possible.
Everything looked good.
That was until the day,
their 15 year old daughter Felicity had come home late one night,
not just a few moments but around 6 hours late.
As she walked into the house
Tim asked her, “What had happened? Why were you late?”
And before he could say any more Felicity snapped back,
“None of your business.”
To which Tim raised his voice, “It is so my business. I am your father.
You need to respect me. And whilst you live under this roof you need to live by our rules. It is not right for a girl to be walking the streets late at night”
And before long a shouting match erupted
until Felicity stormed to her room and slammed the door.
When Tim went to talk to Patricia about had happened he was somewhat surprised and disappointed at her response.
To Tim’s surprise he didn’t expect Patricia to say what she did.
Patricia was quite upset with Tim.
And said to Tim, “You always jump to conclusions,
and even though Felicity had done the wrong thing, the way you handled it was not right either, remember two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“But what about the fourth commandment, You should honour your father and your mother.” Tim hollered
Yes but you are just like my father you always forget about the other part of that commandment.”
Grumpy gruff Tim replied, “What other part?”
To which Patricia snapped back, “the part in Ephesians chapter 6 verse 4 which says Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.“
By this stage Tim was not only angry but also frustrated and he said, “That’s what I am trying to do…I am trying to bring our children up knowing the Lord and what He wants. So they walk with Him throughout their life.”
“But Tim”, Patricia replied, “your intentions are right, but you are not listening fully to God.”
“What do you mean?” Tim snapped back
“Put it this way if I made your coffee without two sugars, would you say I had made you your coffee.”
“No, I would have said you made a coffee for yourself because that it is how you like it, but for me a coffee is milk and two sugars.” Tim replied.
“Well when it comes to God’s word don’t you think you interpret them how you like them. You often choose to skip over some important things. For instance when I mentioned the reading from Ephesians you were very quick to pick up that your job was to train and instruct children in the right way, as if the only important thing is that they learn what God wants them to do. But you seem to take little notice of the fact that God was saying it is also important that we do not to exasperate or stir up our children. So whilst Felicity did wrong, surely God is also highlighting that you also did wrong. That not only was Felicity straying in her walk with God, but you also were straying walking with God.“
Friends in Christ, does that story sound familiar in any way.
Have there been times in your life,
when someone has sinned against you and you then have responded in ways that are also not pleasing to God?
Walking with God involves not only doing the right things to avoid sin.
But when someone sins against us,
as Christians walking with God involves dealing with sin in the way Jesus calls us to deal with sin.
And Jesus not only informs us what to do, but also show us what to do.
I invite you to hear Jesus’ main focus for coming to earth.
From John 3:16-17
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.