Let’s Go For A Walk

Medical experts tell us one the best physical exercise is walking. It has many benefits without damaging your body. Many married couples find walking together is a great way to pray together, talk over situations that need their attention, and a way to take a break from the hectic pace of life.

Marriage is a great metaphor for our walk with Christ. Amos 3:3 asks us, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” When we invite Jesus to walk with us in this life, we become filled with His Holy Spirit and our journey together begins. He’s taking us somewhere and there will always be obstacles to overcome. We experience joy and pain, bondage and freedom, wounds and healing—but we’re on a course to victory. 

 

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In the Bible, God uses the language of walking to describe people in relationship with Him. Moses “walked” with God, Enoch “walked” with God, Adam and Eve “walked” with God in the garden, and Jesus’ disciples literally “walked” with Him throughout His earthly ministry. They walked with Jesus through the ups and downs, knowing eternal paradise awaited them in the end.

Walking with my wife is sometimes a challenge. Either she is a fast walker or I am a slow walker! Either, often she has to turn around to see if I have fallen too far behind. But God is always right there beside us.

Anyone up for a walk?

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A Pleasing Fragrance

The human body possesses five senses: Sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. I wasfive-senses-of-human-beings-sight-touch-hearing-taste-and-smell-3KjD4j-clipart thinking about how much we take our senses for granted. Rarely do we stop during our hustle and bustle of life to think how blessed we are to have these abilities.

I think we would place the sense of smell last on the list but many of our memories are associated with the sense of smell. I grew up next to a neighbor who was a SUPREME baker! She made delicious cakes, pies, and cookies. But like a bee is drawn to honey, I followed the wonderful aroma of her freshly baked bread. Of course, I had to remark how wonderful the bread smelled. (Hint, Hint) She would always be gracious and give me a slice of the bread right from the oven. As a child, there was nothing better tasting than her bread with butter and homemade jelly.

In the Old Testament, animals were offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The priest would take the sacrifice, put it on an altar and burn it as an act of worship and commitment. What was God’s response? “… It is a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord.”  Exodus 29:18

Of course today we no longer offer animal sacrifice but we offer God our prayers as an act of our worship and commitment. “Let my prayer be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence….” Psalm 14:12 GWT

But not only our prayers but our lives should be a pleasing fragrance to God. Many times when you are walking in the mall, someone walks past you and you catch an essence of the perfume/cologne they are wearing. Often you think how pleasant that fragrance is. Our lives should be so Christ-like that it is a ‘sweet savor’ to all we interact with.  “For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them, that perish;” 2 Corinthians 2:15

Walking In The Light

I love how technology has made our lives easier and better. Take for example the motion sensing light. You park your car in the driveway, you begin to walk towards your home and Voila, a light comes on to illuminate your steps. I have them in my garage. When I enter at night, I don’t have to search for the light switch, the lights come on automatically. When I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, a small motion light keeps me from stubbing my toe on the furniture.

But as convenient as they are, there is a Greater Motion Light. Jesus said He was the Light of the world and promises us if we follow Him we will not experience darkness. John 8:12 Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place. (Profound huh?)

The purpose of light is a revelation. You shine a light to reveal the next step on your path. Light helps you find items in a dark room. Light reveals there is nothing to fear from that unexplained sound you heard in the dark.

The Bible calls Satan the Prince of darkness.  Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going… John 12:35 Satan will attempt to shield people from the Light lest they see the truth and are converted. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ2 Corinthians 4:4

But unlike the motion sensing light you can buy at Lowes, Jesus our Light is not fixed to a physical location. He goes with us everywhere we go and gives you light.

 

 

God With You

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Somewhere the Church has wrongfully presented the Gospel as the answer to all your problems. If you repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior; God will protect you and you will never face any difficulty. As they say down South, “Sorry but it ain’t so!” Country western singer Charlie Pride was right when he sang, “I never promised you a rose garden.” 

Many Christians {especially new convert} begin taking their spiritual pulse when things go wrong. Why is this happening to me? Is God punishing me for some wrongdoing in my life? Is God displeased with me? Nowhere is this fallacy seen more clearly than in the life of Joesph as recorded in the Book of Genesis. Space does not allow me to unpack this truth completely; so read the complete story for yourself. 

One phrase stood out to me as I read this story: 

  • Because of Joesph’s brother’s jealousy, he was sold into slavery but The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered… Genesis 39:2   Acts 7:9
  • Joesph became a slave in an Egyptian household but The Lord was with Joseph and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Genesis 39:3 
  • He was falsely accused of rape and put in prison but The Lord was with Joseph Genesis 39:21

If you read the biographies of great Christian leaders you will discover that many (if not all) faced great difficulties. The next time something goes “wrong”, remember you are in good company! 2 Timothy 3:12

Are You Offended?

There is a new phenomenon that has occurred is changing our world. It is the big O word = Offense. Every evening the news reports another lawsuit because of a business, a person, a teacher has offended someone. Just this week the New York Times reported that the terms “fireman” and “policeman” will be changed to “firefighter” and “police officer.” The bill was passed to make the terms ‘gender-neutral’  to demonstrate our respect and appreciation for all of our first responders, regardless of gender.” 

The list goes on and on. We have to walk on eggshells so we do not offend this one or that one. While I grew up, part of life was being offended, either intentional or unintentional but I got over it! Proverbs 19:11 You should not purposely offend or be obnoxious but if you live a consistent, God-honoring life you will offend someone. 2 Timothy 3:12 The Bible speaks of the offense of the Gospel. “…In that case, the offense of the cross has been abolished….” Galatians 5:11

You cannot avoid ‘offending’ people, so the secret to living is to live a life pleasing to God and not people. When you please the Lord, you can make your enemies into friends. Proverbs 16:7 GNT

 

 

If You ask Me…

In my last blog, I spoke of two different views on life: a worldview and a Biblical view. Whichever view you choose it will dictate the decisions you make and how you live your life. In today’s culture, most people view truth as relative.  That is what is true for me is not necessarily true for you. But the truth is NOT relative. Take, for example, Jesus said that He was the only way to the Father [Heaven.] John 14:5-7 Many people do not accept that. They feel there are many ways to heaven and their way is just as viable as yours. 

So often we look to “experts” to determine what is true or false. I once had a person ask me a question concerning a relational issue they were facing. They asked what I thought about the issue and I said,“Well, the Bible says...” They cut me short with, “There you go again always bringing up what the Bible has to say!” I asked for your opinion!”  If you ask me my opinion on what color to paint your living; no problem, I will give you my opinion. But if you ask me a question that Bible addresses; I’ll tell what Scripture says!

The Bible was given to us, not as a law book, but more as a manual for living. When we violate a Biblical Principle (knowingly or unknowingly) there are consequences. So it pays us to study God’s Word. Jesus says both knowing and applying the Word creates the foundation for our lives: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock” Matthew 7:24

God’s Plan

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I am sure that most parents wonder what the future holds for their new child. As a Christ-follower, I believe God has a wonderful plan for every person born. That plan was established before we are born. “Before I shaped you in the womb, I [God] knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you:…” Jeremiah 1:5

In 1969 my wife and I stood at the church altar to dedicate our infant son to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For those who maybe unfamiliar with this ceremony; allow me to explain. A baby dedication is a ceremony in which believing parents make a commitment before the Lord to submit a child to God’s will and to raise that child according to God’s Word and God’s ways. (See Luke 2:22)

We watched as God took our  son and called him to be a pastor. This past Sunday I had the privilege to stand at the church altar and pray for my son as he prepares to go to Guatemala on a Work and Witness missions trip. We never imagined God giving our son the honor of taking the Gospel message to people in another part of the world!

My wife and I would appreciate you praying for our son and the team as they depart tomorrow. Below is a picture of our son [on the right] with a team member from his church.

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