As I’m sitting in my office this afternoon, I’m thinking of different spiritual disciplines. I know that we don’t always think of things like this, but as I said in this morning’s message, “We live our theology everyday.” That means that whatever we believe is how we live. Unfortunately, the more that I study the Scriptures, the more I come to realize that there are things in my thinking–opinions, preferences, expectations–that really don’t fit in with what God desires for me. In fact, I find that this is true for all of us. But for what reason? The reason is that He is God and we are not! The Bible is pretty clear about who He is and who we are, don’t you think? Isaiah 55:8, 9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher thant he earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
“Yikes! You mean to tell me that I don’t always have the right thinking?”
Yep! That’s right! None of do compared to the Wisdom of the ages!
So how then shall we live? I quoted this morning John Frame who wrote in his book The Doctrine of the Word:
“Christians sometimes say that Scripture is sufficient for religion, or preaching, or theology, but not for such things as auto repairs, plumbing, animal husbandry, and dentistry. And of course, many argue that it is not sufficient for science, philosophy, or even ethics. That is to miss an important point. Certainly, Scripture contains more specific information relevant to theology than to dentistry. But sufficiency in the present context is not sufficiency of specific information but sufficiency of divine words. Scripture contains divine words sufficient for all of life. It has all the divine words that the plumber needs, and all the divine words that the theologian needs. So it is just as sufficient for plumbing as it is for theology. And in that sense it is sufficient for science and ethics as well.”
That’s pretty powerful if you ask me! Frame says that the “Scripture contains words sufficient for all of life.” That is, as we continue our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, He has given us everything that is suffient to walk in Him in this journey called life in love of HIm and in obedience to Him.
So you want to have success in life? You want to have prosperity in your life? Success and prosperity does not by necessity mean material wealth. Rather, success and prosperity in life means that we have a good walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is foundational to our spiritual success: keep close to Jesus Christ! This theme of being close to Jesus Christ is equivalent to “walking” or “lifestyle” and how we conduct ourselves as we go through life. Maintaining that relationship with Jesus Christ is essential.
So here are some basics for you to consider when walking with Jesus Christ:
- God’s words to us through the prophets are insightful for what is needed. Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (ESV)
- A major aspect of this walk experience is remaining close to Christ. John 15:7, 10 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. … If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (ESV)
- Depending on the Holy Spirit produces fruit of the Spirit rather than deeds of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say, walk by [means of] the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desirs of the flesh.” (ESV)
Here are some specifics for each of us to learn this week:
- Romans 6:4 – Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (NASB)
- 2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight. (NASB)
- Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (NASB)
- Ephesians 5:8-10 – Walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (NASB)
“So how do you do this, Pastor Denny?” Here are some practical steps to help you this week:
- Take time to review what you truly value (relationship with God, spouse, family, health, etc.). Examine your values very carefully to see if they line up with the Scripture. Write out Biblical goals to help support the values you have that are Biblical and goals to rid yourself of the values that don’t match what God says in His Word.
- Practice journaling. Writing the events of the day, good and bad, will help remind us of our constant need to walk closely with Jesus Christ. Review your thoughts from time to time to check your progress. Evaluate! Examine!
- Daily time spent in the sufficient Word of God, the Bible, and daily prayer is the key spiritual discipline for maintaining this close walk.
- Charles Ryrie writes that “walking is by its very nature a succession of dependent acts.” First, we need to make up our minds to do it. And then “progress can only be made by trusting.”
As we walk with Jesus Christ individually, we will find that collectively our Fellowship is growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:23-25, NASB).
(Adapted from Quick Scripture Reference Guide.)