Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Walking By Faith Means...

"We walk by faith, not by sight" II Corinthians 5:7

This is a very simple sentence and it sounds relatively easy doesn’t it?

Walking by faith implies trust on something known but unseen.

It brings to mind a time Barbara and I were driving the Blue Ridge Parkway in the late afternoon just before dusk. As the sun dropped lower and the air cooled, fog began developing. We were near Boone, NC and were trying to get to US 421 and get down the mountain before the fog became too thick. It was a nice plan but it didn’t happen. So heavy was the fog that I could not see more than ten feet ahead on the roadway. I didn’t know it I had room to pull off to the right side. Sometimes there is room on the shoulder and sometimes there is a several hundred-foot drop off so I did not want to risk that. All I was able to make out the center line so I slowed down and focused on hugging the center line. Literally, I was driving by faith in the center line rather than by sight. To this day I do not know how far we drove before we got out of the fog but it seemed like one hundred miles. Pavement never looked so good!

What does it mean to “walk by faith and not by sight”?

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Walking by faith means pleasing God!

God is pleased by our obedience and He is pleased by our dependence upon His Word. When you live to please yourself or you choose to do what you want rather than do what pleases God you are not walking in faith.

Walking by faith means proving God!

God is pleased when we believe what the Word says about Him and live for Him. He wants to be known and He delights in us actively seeking to know Him. Pursuing Him is evidence that we believe He exists. Three ways to believe He exists are: 1) His Creation, 2) His Christ and 3) Changed lives! Allowing Him to change our life is the greatest proof!

Walking by faith means pursuing God!

Like the line on the Parkway in the fog, faith fixes a focus on God and follows Him. Faith earnestly seeks God to know Him, to be known by Him and to make Him known. Faith keeps pursuing God even when life is hard to figure and God is hard to find.

Are you walking by faith?

Are you living to please God?

Are you living proof of God’s existence?

Are you pursuing God passionately?

October 16, 2018

..........and to godliness, mutual affection......" II Peter 1:7

"Mutual affection" or "brotherly love" is the soil in which seeds of fellowship and discipleship sprout and grow. It should not be a surprise that this great virtue should be included in this description of spiritual maturity.

This love is a frequent theme of the New Testament writers in their admonitions for spiritual maturity. I have listed several of them in this post.

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35

Not only is loving one another a command. Not only is it a sign that we are a Christian. It is also a sign that we are saved.

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." I John 3:14-16

The love Jesus is talking about here is an act of the will. It represents not so much an involuntary response to conditions, as it does a deliberate choice, a calculated set of the mind. Love is not an emotion. It’s a policy.

Aristotle said, "a man cannot expect to be loved unless he is deserving of love." But the kind of love that Jesus teaches us to have says: "I love you -- with no strings attached." It is a love that is the result of being devoted to one another.

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Rom 12:10  (NIV)

This kind of love should be nurtured so that it will grow.

"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you." 1Thes 3:12  (NIV)

Paul’s admonition to the church is that brotherly love is a given. It is a part of Christian living.  It is a lesson that God himself teaches us.

"But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." 1 Thes. 4:9

Paul’s description of love in I Corinthians is not just for marriages. It is the Bible description for real love.
When we truly love others, No laws will need to govern our behavior or conduct, for love goes above and beyond any law.

"The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Gal 5:14-15 (NIV)"

 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:" 1 Pet 1:22

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." John 15:12-14

"These things I command you, that ye love one another." John 15:17

"In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." I Jn 3:10-12
You've got to love it!