THE LIVING WORD PROGRAM
Program Air Date - 12-16-12
LESSON TITLE: “WALKING WITH GOD.”
Happy holidays to you and yours, and welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord’s Day morning! Can you believe it, another year has flown by and it’s time again for that special time of the year when we are able to get together with family and friends and show fellowship and love toward one another. What a special time of the year this truly is!
I am so happy that you have chosen to join us this day and to give this time of worship to God. For without God none of us would even be here, have what we have, or enjoy special time like these. So this morning let’s commit this time of offering completely to Him and thus prove our true love for Him and obedience to His precious will. Now with these things in mind, may we all bow our heads and approach His throne of grace in prayer!
Our first song this morning focuses on the wondrous God we serve. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “We Praise Thee O God!”
(SONG # 1)
As I said a moment ago, isn’t it a wonderful and joyful time of the year? I just love to go around and see the joy, excitement and enthusiasm of the season. We all hear laughter, songs and continuous chatter about all the activities and special plans for the holiday. And so, we as well buckle up, push forward and dive in head first. If you’re like me, all of this is a lot of fun and really exciting, but at the end of the day I am almost completely wiped out.
I know my kids are about to bounce off the ceiling thinking about all the food, candy, presents and especially Santa Clause. Although I know they have it all figured out by now, this doesn’t damper the excitement in their big smiles or the glitter in their sparkling eyes. Oh, how wondrous their joy and excitement is to me as a parent - who quickly remembers the similar joy and excitement of younger years.
Brethren and friends, nothing comes to my mind more at this time of the year, than just how good we’ve all got it. We have our health, our ability to provide for our own, and our time to be together and show our love and care for each other in this life. Yes, our God has truly blessed us with so many things in this life - both spiritual and physical. In this country, I just don’t think we realize how great things are or how blessed we truly are with the things of this life.
But consider why this is all possible? Why do we have so must in this life? There is only one answer to this important question - GOD! How truly blessed we are to have a God who not only created us, but has placed us in a country and culture that is so well blessed and provided for. If you don’t think this is true, you need to have a look around the world, you need to travel abroad at least one time - and then you will truly know the hardship and plight of most of the “real” world.
Again, I mention all of this to just remind us that in the hustle and bustle of the season may we never forget God! It is only because of Him that we are who we are, that we have what we have, and that we are able to do what we want to do. Oh, how great and wonderful our God is and oh how blessed we are to be His children.
Today we will be continuing our new series together entitled, “That You May Walk Worthy Of The Lord.” Our specific lesson this morning will deal with, “Walking With God.” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, our guest speaker will lead us in our thoughts from God’s Word.
As far as our guest speaker, we are again happy to again have Brother Brent Green with us. Brother Brent is a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri here in Springfield. We thank him for being with us today to teach us from God’s Word. So, for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
What a great privilege it is again to study God’s word, to open those pages, and see indeed how we should walk before Him. As this new series continues the idea is that we walk worthy before the Lord. In our English Bibles there are a couple phrases that stand out in relationship to this idea of walking, and that is walking in relationship to God. And one of them is the idea of walking before God so let’s begin in 1Kings 8, one place we see this idea of walking before God. Here 1Kings 8:23, it is actually dealing with Solomon but it says that, he said or Solomon said, “Lord God of Israel , there is no God in heaven above or on earth below like You., who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts. You have kept what You promised Your servant David my father; You have both spoken with Your mouth and fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is this day. Therefore Lord God of Israel, now keep what You promised Your servant David my father saying, ‘You shall not fail to have a man sit before Me on the throne of Israel, only if your sons take heed to their way, that they walk before Me as you have walked before Me.’” It’s kind of interesting there the words of Solomon as he references what God had told his father David about sitting on the throne before God and as David walked before God and so of his sons if Solomon being one of them would continue to walk before God, God would continue to carry on that line as those men would sit on the throne of Israel. Well think about the idea there walking before God. It’s required of God’s servant to do such as we see there in verse 23. Also there as you think about walking before God, what is used in relationship to that is the idea that there is no other God like the God, the God of Israel and now the God that we still serve today because there has been no change in who God is. So as we walk before God we recognize who He is and all that He is and likewise we think about our conduct as we stand before Him. That is really what Solomon was bringing up here even in relationship to the words that God said to David there that they as his sons, those future kings that would follow through the line of David, should continue to walk before God. That they should think about their ways and they should consider the way that they walk in the sight of God, that they also should be those who continue to walk just as David walked so we have this idea of walking worthy before the Lord and now specifically what it means here to walk before God.
I’ll tell you also what this entails or what it means further to walk before God. To understand what it means to walk before God we like Solomon and David have to realize that as we stand before God and as we live in this life He sees our lives. Including our hearts, including our actions, including all that we do, our speech and our minds God knows all things. Even the Hebrew writer there in Hebrews 4:13 it says all things are naked and open before the eyes to whom we must give account that being the eyes of God so as we stand before God and as we therefore walk before Him we have to realize that God sees our lives and likewise our conduct should be dictated to the fact that God does see us as we walk before Him. So we should consider our actions and our words accordingly. Even furthermore if we consider what it means to walk before God let’s look and think about David here and his life as he would walk before God understanding that all things are open in the sight of God, that God saw his life as a king of Israel. Think about the way that David walked and the scripture mentions several things about the walk of David as he walked before God. In 1Kings 3:6, it mentions that David walked before God in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness. A few chapters later 1Kings 9:4, mentions that David walked before God in integrity, and in uprightness, and in obedience. Later on in 1Kings 11:4, it talks about David having a loyal heart as he walked before God. Even 1Kings 14:8, another attribute here this idea of walking before God is that David walked before God with all of his heart meaning the totality of David’s life his integrity, his uprightness, his loyalty, in every way that you could think of David walked before God. Again he realized that God saw his life, he realized that he had to walk in a particular way, and so he walked before God in all of his ways. Even the New Testament there in Acts 13:22, mentions again that David walked before God and he did so by doing all of God’s Will. If we think about really what it means to walk before God that is the summation of all these things, all of those characteristics we mentioned even about David, the integrity, the loyalty, and all of those traits as we stand and walk before God. David did all of those things but the most important was he did all of the Will of God. So as we think about that servant David can we walk before God today? Well, if we are going to walk worthy before the Lord we have to walk before God in the same way that David walked, in the same way that Solomon his son was suppose to walk before God. So we think about that we need to walk before God knowing that indeed God does see our hearts, God does know our life whether we walk in truth and righteousness, whether we walk before Him in uprightness and in integrity, whether we walk before Him in obedience with that loyal heart just like David did. Today we must indeed walk before God by doing all that God commands. And if we do all that God commands and He looks down and sees us, He will see that we are indeed walking before Him just as His servant David walked, obeying all of those commands of God. So, walking worthy of the Lord entails as walking before the Lord.
There is another phrase though in our English Bibles that stands out with this idea of walking. Not only walking before God but also walking with God and so we changed the preposition in our English language and our English Bibles but I think there is also another meaning or a greater meaning gained here as we look for some of these verses now that deal with this idea of walking with God. Really you will see the similarity between all of these points but there are some differences as we think now about this idea here of walking with God. To illustrate this point we can think about Enoch, going back to Genesis 5 there are two verses mentioned about Enoch concerning his walk. Genesis 5, we really don’t have a lot of details about the life of Enoch but we do read these two things here in the list of the genealogies given here in Genesis 5. Genesis 5:22, it says, “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters.” And when you move down to verse 24 of the same chapter there it says, “Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him.” In the age in which men were living to be eight to nine hundred years old Enoch only lived three hundred and sixty five years because he was taken by God, he ceased to exist on this earth anymore. But why did God take him, why didn’t he allow him to continue his life? Well, it was because of the type of man that Enoch was, a man of faith. And here it describes him as a man who walked with God. If you think about the life of Enoch here Hebrews 11:5, mentions Enoch there in that great faith chapter. Hebrews 11:5, mentions the good testimony that Enoch had. Why did he have such a testimony? Because as we read there in Genesis 5 he walked with God. He was a man who was a man of Faith but a man who pleased God and that is another one of those characteristics we understand about Enoch there in Hebrews 11:5. He pleased God by the way he lived walking with God during his life was pleasing to God. So you think about this man also a man of faith, he wasn’t a man who merely believed God but didn’t do anything with that belief of course James 2:18 would clarify that our faith is seen in our works so therefore what type of man was Enoch? If he found in Hebrews 11 that great faith chapter, what made him pleasing to God? What gave him a good testimony? Well, he walked with God. He was also a good preacher of God’s word, Jude 14-15.
So what does it mean to walk with God even more than what we have discussed here with Enoch so far. Those walking with God are those who have fellowship with God. 1John 1:7, “To walk in the light as He is in the light,” that is God. Well, that is what Enoch did he walked in fellowship with God and so as you might walk down the sidewalk side by side with someone or hand in hand as we might say, the idea is that you are in agreement. Enoch was in agreement with God, he was walking with God because he was ultimately following what God said to follow. Walking with God is to walk in alignment with him or to walk in line with Him as He would walk the steps. So as Enoch walked with God, how did he walk? Well he walked aligning Himself according to the precepts of God, he walked aligning Himself according to the plan or the Will of God, and he also walked with God according to the purpose of God. He understood that he needed to keep God’s commandments; he needed to live with that attitude of if the Lord wills, and he needed to understand as he did understand that the purpose of this life is about following God and keeping His commandments. Enoch lived that way and of course what did He do? Enoch walked with God and so can we walk with God today? Well, most certainly we can if Enoch can do it and set that example well so can we. So to walk with God by having that good testimony, by pleasing God, by demonstrating our faith and maintaining our fellowship with God by walking in the light. If we do those things we ourselves, as we align ourselves with God’s precepts, plan, and purpose we also can walk worthy of the Lord by walking with God.
So walking before God, walking with God, and one last phrase as we look again in the Bible is that Idea of walking after God. Think about his in relationship to the illustration used there in Deuteronomy 13. Deuteronomy 13, mentions the idea of walking after God, it is actually one of the speeches here of Moses as he would stand and deliver some of the sermons before the people of Israel. The first three verses of Deuteronomy 13 mention the idea that God’s people Israel was not to follow after the dreamers or false prophets, they weren’t to follow something other than God. After that he mentions there in verse 4 and 5 that Israel was to walk after the Lord, the Lord God of Israel. So they weren’t to follow the other things but if you think about the idea that Israel was to follow after the Lord and walk after Him who was it that led Israel out of Egypt? It was God. Who was it that continued to guide Egypt by that pillar of cloud and pillar of fire? It was God. So who was Israel to follow? They were to follow the very one who was leading them in their journey, they were to follow and walk after their God. Think about this in relationship to what it means to walk after God as you would think about a shepherd and the sheep. You are very familiar most likely with Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd. Well, what does the shepherd do? He leads his sheep, he feeds his sheep, he guides his sheep, and he even protects his sheep. Well, take that idea that you find there of the shepherd in Psalm 23 and then apply it to this idea of walking after God. Who is our shepherd? Who is the one who is to lead us, and feed us, and guide us, and protect us in our spiritual lives? It is God. And as we follow our shepherd God we are walking after Him following in His footsteps, following the path that He would have us to follow.
So there in Deuteronomy 13 as we think about his idea of walking after God I want you to think about that as we consider the pieces here of this verse very quickly. Deuteronomy 13:4, says you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or of that dreamer and then there in verse 4 it says, “You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.” That is what you do if you are going to follow that good shepherd, that is God Himself, and walk after Him. You do those things, you fear, you obey, you listen to the voice of the shepherd. It is interesting there in John 10, who is our good shepherd today? Jesus Christ, the Lord is still our shepherd, he still leads, he still feeds, he still guides, he still protects. And therefore as our shepherd leads us we walk after Him and we follow the steps that He has set before us.
So if we think about walking worthy of the Lord we do it in this way. We walk before God, we indeed are those who walk with God, and we also walk after God as our good shepherd. So make sure your walk is one that is worthy before God that you walk in these ways and always walk according to the principles that He has given to us.
(SONG # 3 - “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder!”)
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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May we all realize the importance of truly Walking with God; just as the faithful of God did, as recorded for us throughout His Word. So let me ask you this morning, “Are you Walking with God,” and if so, “are you walking fully according to His Will?”