Summary: The importance of a lifestyle that reflects Christlikeness of Kingdom people
THE PASTOR’S POINTS
sermon ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
September 21, 2003
11As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 (KJV)
Paul Hogan was ¡§Crocodile Dundee¡¨ in the movie by the same name. The ¡§Australian fad¡¨ spawned a new term for Americans; we had never heard of a walkabout. According to Dundee¡¦s explanation, a walkabout in the Australian outback wasteland is a sort of pilgrimage ¡V an experiential, self-actualizing kind of wandering about for an indiscriminate period; just walkabout!
A different Paul (the apostle) was the original ¡§walkabouter¡¨. This Paul¡¦s walkabout is not an aimless wandering; rather it has purpose. In our text the word ¡§walk¡¨ is peripatein, to walk all about. The word means your lifestyle. Paul says it should be a worthy walk, a lifestyle that honors God, and leads others to His Kingdom.
Paul worked diligently at convincing the people in Thessalonica to have this kind of godly lifestyle¡Khe exhorted, encouraged and testified like a father training his children. The questions come easily at this point¡K
„Ã What¡¦s YOUR walkabout? Is your walk godly?
„Ã Do you WANT this kind of godly walk?
„Ã If so, HOW does this kind of godly walk come about in my life?
„Ã What do I have to do?
Let¡¦s talkabout this walkabout¡K
THE IMPORTANCE OF A WORTHY WALK
The Purpose of a worthy walk
The purpose of a worthy walk is the Kingdom of God. You say, ¡§What does God¡¦s kingdom have to do with me? After all, it¡¦s His kingdom.¡¨ Well, very simply it is the one thing in which God is interested as far as you¡¦re concerned. The Kingdom of God can only exist in that place inside of you where your choices are made.
¡Kbehold, the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21b
So, the purpose of a worthy walk is that God might have rule over your heart. It takes a surrender to have that happen. God has given us free will, and, unless we turn that over to Him it remains ours. Until you turn your will, your choices over to Him you cannot be a child of His. I have known plenty of folks who claim Christian heritage, but when it comes to choices, it¡¦s still all about what they want, not bending to their will to God¡¦s.
The Need for a worthy walk
This points-out the need for a worthy walk, which is so great in the human population. The word which the King James Version translates as ¡§worthy¡¨ is one of those compound words, made from several. If you trace the root back, the origin of the word is in a verb ƒÑƒ×ƒßƒzƒnmeaning ¡§to lead¡¨.
We are all leaders to some degree. As long as people watch other people the actions we take will lead people¡Keither towards God or away. Joe Alexander sent me a story via email several weeks ago which illustrates the point:
I was sitting at a stop light this morning. The lady in front of me was going through papers on the seat of her car, and when the light changed to green she did not obey its command - a green light is a commandment - NOT a suggestion.
When the light turned red she still had not moved. With my windows rolled-up I began screaming at the woman and beating on my steering wheel. My expressions of distress were interrupted by a policeman, gun drawn, tapping on my window. Against my protestations of, "You can’t arrest me for hollering in my car," he ordered me into the back seat of his.
After about two hours in a holding cell, the arresting officer advised me I was free to go. I said, "I knew you couldn’t arrest me for what I was yelling in my own car. You haven’t heard the last of this." The officer replied, "I didn’t arrest you for shouting in your car. I was directly behind you at the light. I saw you screaming and beating your steering wheel, and I said to myself, "What a jerk. But there is nothing I can do to him for throwing a fit in his own car. Then I noticed the Cross hanging from your rear view mirror, the bright yellow Choose Life license plate, and the Jesus is Coming Soon bumper sticker, and I thought you must have stolen the car."
Paul held this need of a worthy walk as so important that he used three kinds of preaching on the Thessalonican brethren to drive the point home. He said he exhorted, comforted and charged; he warned, encouraged and testified.