Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Let's Walk the Walk
"That you may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that you may have lack of nothing" (I Thessalonians 4:12). True leadership involves walking the walk, seeing the fruit of walking the walk, and teaching other to walk the walk, and their seeing the fruit of their walk and their teaching others to do likewise. This is how discipleship works. This starts with the authenticity of our walk with the Lord as observed by men. We can be sure that the unbelieving world is watching our walk. We ought to be concerned how our living looks to those outside the body of Christ. They can't see our hearts, nor can they see the work of Calvary as its been applied to our account. What they can see and really want to see is authenticity, that is a walk that backs up our talk. Here God promises to provide our basic needs. Needs include food, clothing, shelter and the basic necessities of life. Part of an honest walk is honest work. Work is never a curse, but rather a real blessing. Work is one way we can use the gifts and talents the Lord has given us in a productive way. As the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, God is a worker (Isa. 40:28). Because we are created in the image of God we have been equipped with creativity and abilities. Work is part of how we experience true meaning in life. Work is certainly not the product of sin. Adam and Eve were given tasks to perform before the fall (Genesis 2:15). God uses our work as a way to serve others in many ways through providing goods and services that supply the needs of one another. The Lord promises to reward a good days work with a good nights sleep. Work is one way the Lord gives us to keep us out of trouble. He said "Let them that stole, steal no more, but rather work with their hands that they may have to give to those in need." God has provided a Model for our walk. We are to walk after the example of the Lord Jesus Christ (I John 2:6). We walk by abiding in Christ, Our walk includes walking in the Light, this means the confession of all known sin. We have a walk of rest in our union with Christ. We walk in the Spirit. We walk by faith, obedience and according to the truth of the Word. We are to walk in love. Love is illustrated in the story of the good Samaritan and commanded throughout the Bible. The standard for our love for one another is Christ's love for us. Love is a matter of having a purified inner being (I Peter 1:22). Agape love is the God given ability to love our enemies. Love means serving and doing, not just talking. It works itself out in mutual affection and respect, which places others above oneself. Love means we show sympathy to those who are suffering. Love leads us to pray for one another. Love is to be the motive behind everything we do as we minister to others in their need. Are you walking and living by the love standard? The world is watching. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.