Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 2 December 20:
Hosea 11:3 — “Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk.”
How positively excited do loving parents get when their babies take their first steps? Conversely, how upset do parents get when their young children run into a busy street or wander away and get lost? Similarly, our Loving God, who teaches us to walk, desires us to walk with Him and not wander off. However, our proud hearts continually tempt us to go our own way, to stray from the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Jesus.
The Bible says that both Noah and Enoch “walked with God.” (Gen 5:22; Gen 6:9) God commands us to do the same — “To fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” (Deut 10:12, 13) “For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.'” (2 Corinthians 6:16) Jesus said, “Follow me…. I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Luke 5:27; John 8:12) Nothing gives the Father greater joy than seeing His children walking with Him by following Jesus –
- Colossians 1:9-10 -- …we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; - 1 Thessalonians 2:12 -- …we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. - 2 John 1:4 -- I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father. - 2 John 1:6 -- And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. - 3 John 1:3 -- For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. - 3 John 1:4 -- I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Out of love, God warns His children not to wander off, and He disciplines those who do for their sake.
- Jeremiah 14:10 -- Thus says the Lord concerning this people: “They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the Lord does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.” - Psalm 119:21 -- You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. - Ephesians 4:17 -- Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. - Ephesians 5:15 -- Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, - Philippians 3:18 -- For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. - 1 John 1:6 -- If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. - Mark 13:5 -- And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray."
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him…. (Colossians 2:6) “Walk as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8) Your goal today is to walk with God and to not go your own way or the be led astray. You will walk today one step at a time, one decision at a time. Instead of worrying about what God is going to do with the sum of your life, focus on being faithful to Him right now. If your steps are grounded in loving obedience, you need not worry about where God is taking you.
Your goal today also should be to lead others to follow Jesus – ” My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20) “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” (Proverbs 24:11-12) “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14) When you are walking with Jesus, your goal will be His goal about which He prayed to the Father before going to the Cross for our sake — “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:20-23)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 2 December 20: Today, walk with the Lord one step at a time, one decision at a time, and don’t wander off. As you walk, lead others to Jesus. Care about others the way God does, and don’t let them go astray.