THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 2-3-13

LESSON TITLE: “WALKING IN MY WAYS.”

WELCOME

Thank you for joining us today for The Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week. And I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.

As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible’s handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let’s begin by talking to our Father in prayer!

(Prayer)

We want to begin our songs of praise this morning by singing a hymn which reminds us of the majesty of God and the path which He has provided us unto eternal life. So, at this time won’t you join in with the congregation as we together sing, “The Glory Land Way.”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

We just sang a song which reminds us of how wondrous our God is and about what He has provided for each of us. Oh, how encouraging it is to sing about such magnificent things of God.

I also love many of the songs our young people sing today, as they strive to teach and edify one another as God commands. One song which they sing that comes to my mind at this time says, “Heaven is a wonderful place, filled with glory and grace, I want to see my Savior’s face, Heaven is a wonderful place!” Then they boldly exclaim - “I want to go there!”

How comforting and true these words are, because we all are looking for a place in that eternal home at the end of time. We often read of a Celestial city, with golden streets and gates of precious stones. We also hear that a mansion has been made ready for us in that wonderful city of God. To top it all off we are told that there will be no more sickness or sorrow. The trials of this life will all be behind us. In fact, another song we often sing says, “no tears in heaven will be known.” What a wonderful sounding paradise heaven is. Who wouldn’t want to go there?

Another exciting part about heaven is that we will be there eternally. In 1 John 2:25, we read, “and this is the promise that he has promised us; eternal life.” Imagine a place like heaven without any ending. Furthermore, imagine a place with no death! In the book of Revelation, John said it this way, “and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” So we have seen that heaven is truly going to be a magnificent place, with no more suffering or death. Nothing to cause us to shed a tear.

One more notable characteristic about Heaven is that God will be there. Think for a moment about meeting God for the first time, “face to face.” In heaven we will be with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Again this existence will be forever and one of pure perfection. We will live eternally with an all powerful, all knowing God who created each and every one of us and all that we know and see on this earth.

A final song we sometimes sing says, “This world is not my home I’m just a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from Heavens open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore!” How many of us are ready and eager to go there and to be with our God? I know I am, because this is the greatest promise that God has given me - if I prove myself worthy of His grace!

This morning we will continue our study on the “Christians Walk.” Our specific lesson today is, “Walking In My Ways?” This is the next discussion in our series entitled, “That You May Walk Worthy Of The Lord!” So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together I will return with this study from God’s Word. Are you ready to join in the second hymn of the morning? Its name is, “Stepping In The Light!”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

Thank you so much for continuing with us today as we now go to God’s word and look at another lesson dealing with walking worthy of the things of God. We are getting closer to the end of our series but we have had a great series together. In relationship to really finding out the many different ways that the Bible discusses the walk of a Christian and really how they pertain not only to this life but ultimately to eternal life and our salvation.

This morning we want to specifically look at a concept that is introduced to us in 1Kings 3. You might remember well the story that is being dealt with in 1Kings 3. This is when Solomon has finally been called King, he has been anointed by the people, and now as we find these things accomplished God actually comes to him in a dream and a vision wanting to ask him what he might do for His servant. It is a beautiful and very touching story because here God comes and asks Solomon what it is that He might do in order to make his Kingdom a better Kingdom or his work as a King better for the people of God. What was it that Solomon asked for? He asked for knowledge, he asked for the knowledge and actually the application of wisdom to be able to rule God’s people as good as possible. Now what more could you ask for? He didn’t ask for wealth and that is exactly what God said. God said you didn’t ask for the life of your enemies and you didn’t ask for worldly things, what you asked for was something that would give you the ability to rule my people in the way that I want you to. Because of that, we also know there in chapter 3 of 1Kings, He goes on to say that He would also give him not only wisdom and that understanding and knowledge that was essential making him the wisest man that ever was or ever would be but He also would give him great wealth. Certainly that seems to be indicated in the text as well. If you will notice with me there thought about the middle part of that text right after he has mentioned there in such an exciting way the faith of Solomon and actually how Solomon now has proven himself to his God.

I want you now to notice what he says in verse 14, he says, “So if you walk in my ways to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” Did you hear what is said there? He specifically mentions the concept of walking in my ways but then if you will notice there he puts a bit of a clause on the beginning of that. And really He has a proposition that asks a question, ‘If you do something.’ Really it is more of a rhetorical idea because He is saying certainly you must if you want the blessings but if you walk in My ways. There are several things there not only is He challenging him to be one who walked in God’s ways but notice He specifically says not just anyway but My way. Solomon was asked by God in this beautiful, “If you will walk in my ways…” he is told by God, the statement is strongly given that if you will do these things then you will have a longer or lengthened life. It makes me also think of the promise there in Ephesians 6 that is kind of mirroring what we find back in the Old Testament and even the Ten Commandments, the Law of Moses, about children that obey their parents how they will live long lives or have longer lives. You see there seems to be something the Bible says directly connected to the one who is a faithful servant of God actually having extended days or blessed by God with a longer and a greater life. So certainly Solomon is promised that by God.

What does it really mean then to walk in His ways? What was He saying to Solomon? Well I believe the same verse begins to answer the question when He says “If you will walk in My ways…” then he says, “…to keep my statutes…” To do what? To keep those things that I have laid down. The next thing He says, “…and my commandments…” He says in the same way that your father did. You see He set up a standard for Solomon, He says you know that your father was faithful as Solomon earlier in this text indicates that he wanted to be able to rule faithfully as His father had. So He sets David, righteous David, as the standard and He says, “If you will walk in My ways, to keep my statuses and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” He’s saying I will bless you, I will make you a great kingdom, and as we find throughout the story as it continues God does every bit of it because Solomon starts out on the right path. He was keeping the statues of God, those laws that have been laid down, as well as those specific commands by God through His word to one that would be faithful.

Now what I would like to do for just a few moments is to look at this idea of the ways of God. What would be inclusive of really an individual being faithful and walking in the ways of God? Wouldn’t you say the ways of God are again His statutes and commandments as He said to Solomon? Certainly, I think you would agree with that. So we can go all the way back to the book of Genesis, and I find it interesting that we have many examples to look at but to me Noah stands out most of all. Chapter 6 we certainly many times have looked at the idea of Noah being perfect in His generation but there is something else at the end of chapter 6 that is said about this man Noah who is perfect in His generation and who walked with God. What do you think Noah was doing? He was walking in the ways of God; He was keeping the commandments, and the statutes of God. How do we know that? After He commanded him to build the ark notice what it says there in Genesis 6 and verse 22, it says, “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” What did Noah do to walk in the ways of God? He did all that God commanded. Not some of it, not the parts he liked as so many in our world do and as so many even frankly in the religious world picking and choosing what we like about religious things or about the word of God. Noah did all as God commanded. In chapter 7 it says it again. There in Chapter 7:5, “And Noah did according to all the Lord commanded him.” Do you see the connection again? Walking with God, walking in the ways of God, being perfect before God, following the statutes of God, the commandments of God. Noah did all according to the commandment of God. You see brethren that is the same challenge that we have as well. That we might do all according to the things of God and thus be considered those who are walking in the ways of God. There is another idea that I want you to look at with me as well in relationship to walking in the ways of God or as He said to again Solomon to walk in My ways.

You might notice with me there in the book of Deuteronomy how that not only we have just seen what it was that Noah and some others did in order to walk in the ways of God by doing all that God commanded but specifically as we continue on there in chapter 5:33. Notice what is said here and by the way this is right after Moses has given the Ten Commandments or received them from God and as we know has now recorded them in this book that they might have been received by the people. But now if you will notice there in verse 33 it says this, “You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you…” Now there you have it again that who, the Israelites. Who were the Ten Commandments given too? The original recipients were again the Children of Israel. What were they told to do? To walk in all the ways. There is that word again, not some of them but all the ways of the Lord. And ultimately as He goes on here He says, “That you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days…” There is the same idea that we found to Solomon, that we find in relationship to the concept that Children that honor and obey their parents the idea that being those who are willing to be faithful walking in all of the ways of God. What does that mean again? Following the statutes, following the commandments, how many? All of the commandments and statutes and therefore being found as faithful because we walk in all the ways of God almighty. We can see the same idea throughout the Pentateuch and frankly throughout many places in the Old Testament as we again consider the idea of walking in the ways of God.

Now there is another way to look at the same terminology that really is used. I find it interesting that David certainly a man who had some beautiful poetical skills and the ability to really word things in a glorious way especially with the help of God. Certainly in Psalm 91 indicates to us maybe the other side of the coin. God is desirous of us to walk in His ways and as we have seen thus meaning to keep His statutes and judgments. Now notice what He says to kind of turn the situation around on behalf of what we must do as those who are following God. There in that text verse 11, Psalm 91:11, “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.” Now what I want you to think about just for a few moments is that there is another concept of not only you and me walking in the ways of God but also being kept in the ways that we walk. But also the warning throughout the Psalms as well as the Old Testament that we must be cautious about where our ways is going or the ways that we walk in our life. So you see on one hand what I am trying to say is that you have the way of God that we might walk in the way, the commandments, the statutes. And then the application is are we really doing that? As God blesses us, as he helps us, as he gives us the abilities and the talents we have, are we really watching our own ways? Are we really making sure that what we are doing is according to the walk in God’s way? You see there really to me might be many roads. One is the road of God the ways of God and we can walk directly in that. The other might be our own road that we walk on that is our own ways. There might even be other roads such as the ways of others, or the ways of man, or the ways of denominations. Certainly the only path to righteousness and eternal life is the way of God. So we must ask the question, are we walking in that way? Are we following that plan?

Now as we have looked at many of these concepts from the Old Testament and seeing again the challenge to walk in the way of God specifically again the wording to walk in my ways as God challenged Solomon to do. I want you also to notice with me now as we move to the New Testament what is said in John 14. A very familiar text here right after early in that chapter it talks about the mansions that have been prepared for the faithful in heaven. Jesus then identifies Himself as something and notice what He says verse 6, “Jesus said to Him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life…” Notice there, “…the way.” You see another thought that we might think about as we consider walking in my ways the ways of God. I think it is a beautiful play on words that Jesus was called the way. If you think about the direction or the way we think about a path or the guidance that we need to know which way to go. Jesus is that way, He is that path, He is that guide. So when we read there that there is only one way to get to the Father. He says the only way you can get to the Father is through me for I am the way. So you might ask the question if I today as a Christian are to walk in the ways of God how do I need to find those ways? Jesus Christ, He is the only way. He is the way, the truth, and the life. But then I want you to notice with me something else that Jesus was called. If Jesus was the way He was also described earlier in the same book as the word. Do you remember that there in John 1? Jesus has actually identified to us in verse 1 as being the word in the beginning who was with God and was God. He also is identified as the creator of all things. He also is said to be the word that came and dwelt among man. Don’t you find that interesting that Jesus is not only described as the way of God but also He is the word of God? So doesn’t that make perfect sense that as we know God’s word it is only found in Jesus Christ through His authority? Then He obviously there prayed that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to guide them in all things that which we also have today from the Holy Spirit to guide us that we might know the word of God. Through who? The way, who is Jesus Christ God in the Flesh and ultimately the one that we must walk in the way, the ways, in order to be saved eternally. So to me it’s just a beautiful thought, it’s just a beautiful concept.

Really if you will go back with me again in John 14 we see something else. Not only does Jesus describe Himself as the way here but guess what He goes on to clarify in a very familiar verse. John 14:15, He says, “If you love Me,” love who; Jesus the way, the word, knowing God the will of God. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Do you remember where we began with Solomon? Do you remember when God said if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes, keeping My commandments? How was Solomon known to be one walking in the ways of God, His faithfulness to the commandments of God. And Jesus says hey if you love Me as the way to God, and knowing the will of God, the word of God keep My commandments.

Our challenge today then is clear from the lesson. That challenge is will you do it God’s way? Will you give up your own thoughts and ideas, maybe the ways of man, the ways of the world, and the ways of denominationalism and simply turn to God? Will you follow Him? Will you give Him the glory? Will you allow Him through His word revealed in the son, and through the way which was Jesus Christ to not only be your savior and God eternally but to be able to bless you now and forever more? Aren’t we blessed eternally when we do what God says? Aren’t we promised the mansions of heaven? Do we have a place awaiting us as the faithful? Live today and everyday in such a way that you might walk in the ways of God almighty.

(SONG # 3 - “The Gospel Is For All!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

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Have you submitted to God in everything and are you walking in His Ways and His Ways alone? Why not give God all that He deserves and always put Him first in all areas of life!

(Program closing)