THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
PROGRAM AIR DATE – 1-20-13
LESSON TITLE: “WALKING TOGETHER.”
WHAT A PRIVILEGE WE HAVE THIS MORNING TO JOIN TOGETHER IN THE STUDY OF GOD’S LIVING WORD. WE WELCOME YOU TO OUR PROGRAM AND WE THANK GOD THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO BE WITH US TODAY. WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE TOGETHER THIS MORNING TO GLORIFY OUR CREATOR. MAY WE EACH DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME ACCEPTABLE IN HIS SIGHT AND ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. NOW, LET’S APPROACH OUR FATHER’S THRONE IN PRAYER.
THIS MORNING WE WANT TO START OUR SONGS OF PRAISE WITH A HYMN THAT REMINDS US THAT WITH GOD WE ARE NEVER ALONE. SO, WONT YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE TOGETHER SING, “SUN OF MY SOUL!”
(SONG # 1)
WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU THOUGHT ABOUT HOW GREAT IT WOULD BE IF YOU WERE RICH? WE OFTEN THINK THAT IF WE WERE JUST RICH THEN EVERYTHING WOULD BE BETTER! MONEY WOULD ALLOW US TO BUY WHATEVER WE WANTED OF THIS WORLDS GOODS. MONEY WOULD ALSO ALLOW US TO GO WHERE EVER WE WANTED, AT ANY TIME! “OH, TO BE WEALTHY,” WE OFTEN THINK!
BECAUSE OF THIS GREAT DESIRE TO HAVE MONEY TO BUY MORE, WE OFTEN DO OR TRY MANY “GET RICH QUICK” SCHEMES. THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MOMENT, HOW MANY OF US HAVE FILLED OUT THOSE SWEEPSTAKES FORMS AND MAILED THEM IN? OR, HOW MANY OF US HAVE STOPPED TO FILL OUT THAT FORM TO WIN THAT FREE CAR OR TRIP? THE FACT IS WE ALL WOULD LOVE TO GET SOMETHING FOR NOTHING, BUT REALLY THE ODDS ARE WAY AGAINST US.
EVEN WHEN A CONTEST IS LEGITIMATE, WE ARE ONLY ONE IN MILLIONS TRYING TO BEAT THE ODDS. THE CHANCE OF US WINNING IS USUALLY SO SLIM THAT IT REALLY DOESN’T EVEN EXIST. WE WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING, ON A CLEAR DAY, WHEN THERE IS NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY - THAN IN WINNING MOST OF THESE CONTESTS.
I MENTION THESE THINGS THIS MORNING TO BRING US BACK INTO REALITY. HAPPINESS IS NOT REALLY FOUND IN MONEY OR IN THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD. PAUL TOLD TIMOTHY, “FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY IS A ROOT OF ALL KINDS OF EVIL, FOR WHICH SOME HAVE STRAYED FROM THE FAITH IN THEIR GREEDINESS, AND PIERCED THEMSELVES THROUGH WITH MANY SORROWS” (1 TIM. 6:10). HERE WE SEE THAT A LOVE FOR MONEY IS THE FOUNDATION TO BE INVOLVED IN EVIL, THUS CAUSING ONE TO STRAY FROM THEIR FAITH IN GOD. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE MONEY CAN BUY HAPPINESS?
ARE WE AS FOLLOWERS OF GOD SUPPOSED TO BE CAUGHT UP IN THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD? NOTICE WHAT JOHN SAID IN 1 JOHN 2:15, “DO NOT LOVE THE WORLD OR THE THINGS IN THE WORLD. IF ANYONE LOVES THE WORLD, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM.” HERE WE SEE THAT IF WE LOVE OF THE WORLD OR THE THINGS OF IT, MORE THAN GOD - WE DO NOT LOVE HIM.
THE FACT IS, MONEY AND THE THINGS OF THIS LIFE WILL NOT BRING US TRUE HAPPINESS OR CONTENTMENT. TRUE HAPPINESS CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST. WHEN WILL WE LEARN THAT WE WILL NOT REALLY GAIN ANYTHING FROM THIS WORLD OR THE THINGS OF IT, EXCEPT MAYBE PHYSICAL ENJOYMENT OR SELF GRATIFICATION? HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT WE WILL DIE SOME DAY AND THAT WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE ANY OF THESE THINGS WITH US?
WHY NOT FOCUS ON THE TRULY IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE? SUCH AS LIVING SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY IN THE PRESENT AGE, TITUS 2:12. I BELIEVE THIS IS ALSO WHAT SOLOMON WAS TRYING TO SAY IN PROVERBS 22:1, HIS WORDS WERE, “A GOOD NAME IS TO BE CHOSEN RATHER THAN GREAT RICHES, LOVING FAVOR RATHER THAN SILVER AND GOLD.”
TRULY, THE IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE ARE THOSE THINGS WHICH PERTAIN TO GOD AND HIS KINGDOM. LET’S CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD BUT NOT AT GOD’S EXPENSE. WE MUST ALWAYS PUT HIM FIRST AND RECOGNIZE THAT EVERY GOOD GIFT IS FROM HIM.
TODAY WE WILL AGAIN STUDY GOD’S WORD BY FOCUSING ON THINGS RELATED TO “THE CHRISTIAN WALK!” THIS MORNING OUR SPECIFIC TOPIC OF STUDY WILL BE “WALKING TOGETHER!” SO STAY WITH US AFTER OUR NEXT SONG AND IN A FEW MINUTES I WILL RETURN WITH THIS LESSON FROM GOD’S WORD. IT’S NOW TIME TO JOIN IN OUR SECOND HYMN OF THE MORNING, THE NAME OF THE SONG, “STAND UP FOR JESUS.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We thank you so much for continuing with us this morning as we now go to God’s word and consider yet another lesson concerning something that is considered as what would fully please God. In fact there from the book of Colossians 1 we have been looking together at the idea that we might be able to walk worthy before God or with God. So over the past month or so we have been looking at many ideas again that really would challenge us to have more worthy walk. In other words that we might be able to walk according to the things that God asks of us and therefore be found pleasing in his sight and ultimately receive not only blessing today but also blessings eternally. This morning we also want to then consider another topic in relationship to such concepts specifically looking at a few places in the Old Testament to get our idea of the morning.
We find there beginning in the book of Psalm 55 the idea of walking together with someone. You know the Bible speaks a lot about walking with or walking together with others. In fact the Bible also speaks of or at least infers the idea of walking with God. There are a lot of songs that we would sing about walking together with God in the Garden or here or there. In other words the idea that God is always with us and we are together with God as He is our God and the light of all things we being in the Light and striving to be light also walk together with him. But really our lesson this morning will focus more on our walk together with others.
Thinking about that we might begin really there in the book of 1 John 1 where we again have clarified that God is light and there is no darkness in God and we have fellowship with one another based on what, the light. So therefore if I have fellowship with God who is light because I am in the light and you have fellowship with God who is light because you are in the light. Our fellowship is not because of ourselves, our fellowship is found or there because we first have fellowship with God. So our fellowship is together with God but yet then because we have joint fellowship with God that is equal it’s in the light in both cases then you and I also walk together in the things of God. So that is what we find here that David was really dealing with in more of a negative sense because really what David was talking about was some problems that he was having with some who were acting like his friends. In fact you might notice in verse 13 of Psalm 55 He actually says, “But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.” If you will notice there the things that he is saying is that he seemed to count on this friend and it was someone who walked with him and who was sweet in the things that he would say. In other words he gave good counsel to David and he was an equal to David, and someone that he loves. But yet then if you look within the whole context notice verse 12 actually says, “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me…” but who? Verse 13, an equal or a friend, someone that he really had trust in. So as we think about walking together we have to determine who is it that I walk with because some might truly be my friend and my companion because God is the standard. Some might look like a friend or companion and they might claim to be but yet they are wolves in sheep’s clothing and then there are those who are altogether really rejecting the idea and have no desire to be our friends or our companions.
So when we are talking about walking together with, we are talking about walking together with equals in the sight of God. Who is equal in the sight of God? All men are equal but what makes us equal spiritually? That we have God as the same standard and that as He is in the light we first establish our unity with God and therefore we also share unity together. If you will look over several books with me to one of the Minor Prophets you might recall the prophet Amos. And there in chapter 3 of Amos notice what he begins to add in relationship to our discussion in verse 3, “Can two walk together…” and then the question is asked, “…unless they are agreed?” In other words can really two walk together unless they are unified, unless they have agreement? The answer is no you really can’t, you really are not unified and you really cannot walk together unless you are one or the same. So what does that say to us again? It says that we must be the same as God so again when I am the same as God striving to be in the light and you are the same as God striving to be in the light, we then also are walking together. Not because of our goodness, or not because I’m the standard, or you are the standard, but because God as light is the standard. He sets the stage for unity giving us the ability because of our likeness, not because of our differences, but because of our likeness in the light to be able to be one and together. I think that is exactly the idea that is being spoken when Paul addressed the Corinthian church in 1Corinthians 1. He pleaded with them that there be no divisions because he knew that if you are in God, if you are one in God, if you are in the one family, if you are in the one body then you must walk together. So what does he say in verse 10 of 1Corinthians 1, he says, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same things…” why, “…that there be no divisions among you.” You see he understood that there is a need for Christians to be unified. There is a need, as Jesus prayed in John 17, that Christians be unified. What is the standard? He said I the Father Am one in you, and you are one in me, and let them be one in us as we are in one another. God is one, Jesus and the Father are one, they are unified not because they differ or they agree to differ or be different but because they are the same. Our oneness and our ability to walk together is founded in the same concept as we are trying to achieve the standard that God sets, that is given through His word. He not only says speak the same thing in 1Corinthians 1, He goes on to say, “…that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” Did you notice that? Speaking the same things, perfectly joined together, same mind, and same judgment, what’s the standard? God. Let me tell you brethren when God is our standard and the word of God is what we look to not only to know God but to understand who he is and what he desires. When you do what the word says and I do what the word says we can walk together. How sweet it is as David says back in Psalm 55 of those even that might have been deceiving him. How sweet was their counsel, how sweet were their words as they walked together in the house of God or toward the house of God? So again we need to understand that a walk together is required.
Now why are some brethren really opposed to that? Well, because they want to serve their own ways, they want to do their own thing, and they are not interested in looking to the word of God. Let me ask you a question, have you ever had someone actually as you have been studying the Bible or maybe looking or reading some of the Bible with them have you ever had somebody say ‘Well I know that’s what is says but I just don’t agree with it, I just don’t believe it.’? You see that begins to show some of the problems of an individual who looks more to themselves, who looks more to a religion, or who looks more to the thoughts and ideas of man really rather or even over what God establishes through His perfect inspired inherent word. So what must we do? Look to the standard. We must walk together as we look to the standard which God has set. No wonder then that is what the wisest man that ever lived, that is Solomon, also addressed this topic for us back in Ecclesiastes 4. You might notice with me there within that text that he again begins to deal with maybe some further ideas or reasons if you will that we shouldn’t want to deal with one another, walk with one another, and be together in the things of Christ. What is maybe the benefit besides the fact God commands it, besides the fact that God will bless us? What are some maybe literal benefits that we will see immediately on this earth? If you will notice with me there what he begins to identify again in chapter 4:9 is this, he says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” Well the first thing this wise man says is two are better than one, have you ever heard the idea of strength in numbers? Well, certainly and why? Because there is truth in it. Why is their strength in numbers? He gives some reasons why verse 10 says, “For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” You mean if I stumble or if I fall when I have got a helper what can they do, they can help me, they can grab my hand, they can catch that fall, they can encourage me to repent, to correct things. You see why it is important to have those who walk together with us that we can have strength and encouragement from one another as we stand in the things of God. Another example verse 11, “Again, if two lie down together they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?” The very idea that two are able to produce more body heat in a sense by being together is another example of showing why it is better to have more than one. Then he gives a further example in verse 12, “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.” He says well if somebody was to come at you and you were alone you might be overtaken you might even be beat up or robbed but if there is two that thief might think twice. Why? Because there is strength, to and extent, in numbers.
So walking together in God, with God, knowing what He wants, and obeying Him. Therefore we are walking together accomplishing His will, finding courage, finding strength, finding guidance from His word, and finding the ability as we would have to be yoked as God desires for us to be yoked. That is the very idea that Paul also addressed again if you will go back with me in Corinthians but this time we want to look specifically at 2Corinthians. There in chapter 6 of 2Corinthians there is a passage here that actually talks about where there is disunity in certain situations but he is stating it to show how that we must be together rather than separate. You might notice with me some of the things that he says verse 14 for instance again 2Corinthians 6, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” So he is talking about the yoke. If you have two oxen and they are going to plow the field, or two mules, you don’t normally put an oxen with a mule you don’t normally put different types of animals together. If you are going to yoke two animals together you want two animals that are going to work together and accomplish the task together and have similar abilities in accomplishing that task. So when you yoke two oxen or two mules together you are able to do what, accomplish the task much better. So equally yoked, things that are equal in the yoke, what is the equality we are talking about today? Equality in God based on the fact that we are striving to be in the light as He is light. So therefore when we are yoked together what do we have, unity. But there he says do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers and then he says why, because there is no fellowship with righteousness and lawlessness, there is no communion with light and darkness, there is no accord with Christ or belie, there is no part that a believer has with an unbeliever, and on and on and on he goes. Then finally he uses as an example in verse 16 something from the Old Testament where God had promised to His children there what it was that He would do for them. You know what he said, God said, “I will dwell with them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” You see God said He would dwell with them and walk with them.
You see the same way we dwell and walk together with God is the same way that we must dwell together and walk together as His children today that we might be successful. Not only in the good things, not only in the good days, and not only in the sense of those things that are worshipful or praiseworthy before God but what about even when the trials and troubles come our way? Well I think of a verse that is probably familiar to us found in Galatians 6:2 where Paul there told the Church, or the Churches that is of Galatia, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” He talks ultimately in the text about how we will all be judged for our own actions and so therefore we need to make sure we are right but he also said that we need to help the week and we need to bear the burdens of those who have needs among us. How do we do that? Well we walk together, we are there for each other, we are there to help each other, we are there as we read earlier to pick someone up when they stumble and fall, we are there because we love each other in the body of Christ as Brothers and Sisters spiritually we have the same care that we have for those brothers and sisters of the flesh that we love and that we so dearly care about as well. You see the family of God, the spiritual family is a family that is connected, that works together, that plays together, that is brought together by every joint and ligament and every bone and every muscle that we might accomplish those good things that God desires.
Now think about this if we walk together in God what do we receive? Well the promise is today and as well as the eternal rewards tomorrow. But there is something else that we find in the text that is equally encouraging both in the book of Ephesians and the book of Romans. First of all in Ephesians 3:6 notice that it speaks there of the fellowship that we have together as fellow heirs in the same body. Through the Gospel of Christ it doesn’t matter whether we are Jew or Greek, male or female, we are all as it says here fellow heirs in the Gospel of Christ. What beautiful thought to know that we walk together as those fellow heirs and recipients of the promises of God. Finally in Romans 8:17, He refers to us again as heirs of God and of joint heirs together not only with one another but there he adds in verse 17 heirs together with Christ. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God loves us so much that He walks with us today, together with us. And if we walk together as Christians and children of God as the family of God on this earth with Him as our standard we will be blessed, we will be protected; we will be cared for by a loving Father who is always there for us. But ultimately what we have is the reward as heirs of God and ultimately that reward means not only the reward of Heaven but the reward of being with God forever an heir of Jesus Christ. Won’t you work towards the end of that reward? Won’t you give everyday to God that you might receive it in the end?
(SONG # 3 - “SWEETER THAN ALL!”)
LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY FOR THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM. I HOPE AND TRUST, THAT TOGETHER WE HAVE ALL BENEFITED FROM THIS SERVICE TO OUR LORD. LET ME ALSO INVITE YOU TO JOIN US EVERY LORD’S DAY MORNING AT 7:30 AS WE GIVE THIS TIME TO OUR CREATOR.
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WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE WE HAVE IN THE BIBLE OF WALKING WITH GOD AND OTHERS WHO ARE IN THE SAME PRECIOUS LIGHT! MAY WE ALWAYS STRIVE TOGETHER TO ACCOMPLISH SALVATION, THAT WE MIGHT ALL SHARE THE BLESSED JOYS OF ETERNAL LIFE TOGETHER SOME DAY.