1-2-2021 Why Walk With the Lord?
When we look into the mirror, what do we see?
Back on 12-5-2020 we talked about standing with our Lord. “Why” was supposed to be the following entry but Father went with the ‘gifts’ instead. So now the question is ‘why’? Not ‘why the gifts’ but why ‘walk with the Lord’.
42 Nonetheless, many among the chief priests believed on Him (Jesus) but didn’t confess Him fearing that they might be put out of the synagogue.
43 They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
44 Then Jesus cried “He who believes on Me doesn’t believe on Me, but Him that sent me.
45 And he who sees Me sees Him that sent Me.
46 I came a light into the world that he who believes on Me should not abide in darkness.
47 If any man hears My words and doesn’t believe, I don’t judge him for I didn’t come to judge but to save the world.
48 He who rejects Me and doesn’t receive My word has one that judges Him. The Word I have spoken is what will judge him on that last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself but of the Father which sent Me. He gave Me a commandment as to what I should say and what I should speak.
50 And I know His commandment is life everlasting. Therefore whatever I speak, I speak what the Father has said to Me.
“Whatever the Father said, I say unto you.” Jesus says that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments and that the commandments He speaks are the Father’s commandments.
So, what commandments did Jesus give the people? Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and soul, this is the first commandment (Matt. 22:27-28). Mark adds ‘strength’ to this list (Mark 12:30). And Jesus went on to tell us that the second is like it which is love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39). But, Jesus didn’t stop there, He also told His followers why love is the top commandment – for the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments (Mat. 22:40). Everything the prophets said and did was an expression of God’s love toward us. God is love, the prophets did as God commanded so what the prophets said and did was out of love.
The prophets brought direction to Israel through the words of God’s love for them. And, if you go back and look at the law (Exod. 20:1-17), it speaks of how to live in God’s love. The first four commandments give God (our Father) praise, glory and honor. Our parents stand in God’s stead (place) in our lives (here in this world) so the fifth commandment tells us to honor our parents. The last five commandments teach us how to interrelate with our neighbors, those people we encounter. In short, they teach us what ‘not’ to do or how to ‘love our neighbor’.
Because God is love (1 John 4:7), ergo, His commandment, then, IS to LOVE.
We are made in the image of God, God is love, therefore we should be the image of God and reflect that love through our lives.
But I asked “Why walk with the Lord?”
Let’s look at our passage.
Jesus says that many of the priests believed on Him, but didn’t confess Him for fear of being kicked out of the church. Evidence of their presence was Nicodemus (John 3:1-2, John 7:50-51). Today’s second verse says that these Jews loved man’s praises more than God. Jesus also tells the disciples that if we deny Him before men, He will deny us before the Father (Matt. 10:33). After the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea (John 119:38) along with Nicodemus show up after the crucifixion to claim and body of and to bury Jesus (John 19:39-42). We know that Joseph was silent about His faith, this passage tells us so. Yet, he still believed. The point here, for us, when challenged, don’t deny our relationship with Jesus. But don’t forget Peter, who did deny our Lord three times (Luke 22:54-62). When the cock crowed, Peter went out and wept. As Peter, we too can be forgiven. We can be forgiven any sin save blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31). And what is blasphemy? Showing contempt or lack of reverence towards God, claiming His acts for ourselves or attributing them to something else other than Creator of all things and believe it in our heart. Need I remind you to go back and read Genesis chapter one. God said it and it came into being! There is nothing before or over Him. And there is nothing after God except Him and those who are His. But, don’t forget Peter.
Jesus declares that when we see Him and believe Him, we have seen and believed God the Father. (If we think back) Jesus declared His oneness with the Father, therefore validating who He is and what He says and does (John 1:1).
Jesus came to bring the light of God’s love to us and shares that love with us so we don’t have to live in the darkness of this world anymore but abide in His eternal light. The more we understand God’s love for us, the more we understand why things are like they are. It isn’t because of God’s love for us that it seems things, not so good, befall us but rather it is our refusal to receive and abide in His love! Think about it! Everything God does for us is for our own good, but like a good parent who reprimands his child, not everything is pleasant. What Father brings our way is to help us to be a better person. Now, understand that our lack of faith can open doors for the enemy to attack us but God can use any situation to strengthen us, our faith. Consider Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:22-24).
In His ministry, Jesus didn’t condemn people, the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42), nor the woman caught in adultery [John 8:1-11). Jesus didn’t berate these women but told them to go and sin no more. Neither does He condemn us for the time is coming when the books will be opened for judgment (Rev. 20:12-15). He says His Words will judge. Who is the Word? [Jesus] without the precious blood of Jesus, we shall be found guilty (Rev. 29:1-15).
In this passage, Jesus attests that what He has been speaking are not words which He dreamed up, but what the Father has given Him to speak. He knows the words bring life everlasting (remember John 1:1 & John 3:16 – Jesus IS the Word of God).
Jesus tells us several things that we should never forget. “I am the truth, the way and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me (John 14:6). Life is in the blood (Lev. 17:11-14). I shed my blood for you (Luke 22:20). And, furthermore, I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
Our eternal security is totally wrapped up in Jesus. But I’ve always been a good person!! People will do a lot of good things in the name of Jesus but would have never taken the time to get to know Him. Jesus’ response will be “… I never knew you, depart from Me … (Matt. 7:21-22)”
Now, understand, all this is predicated on that I accept God as creator of all things that are and Jesus is the Word of God, the Messiah. We also know that Jesus is called Emmanuel ‘God is with us’ (Matt. 1:23), therefore He is God, the Father, come into this world, Himself. I understand the “big bang” and reincarnation and if you choose to believe that’s how things are, that’s your business. Go ahead and reject God if you will. But then I ask what do you truly hope for after this life’?
Jesus prays the Father that we be with Him and to be one with Him as He is in the Father (John 17:23-26).
For any other reason to walk with Jesus, all we have to do is reflect on the many blessings Father has bestowed upon us, our family and our friends (Luke 11:28). Yes, people who reject God do have good things happen to them. God’s principles work (Isa. 55:11) and He does give gifts without repentance (Rom 12:29-32). But, He does so because He is always trying to get our attention – for our sake.
The Book of Revelation tells us that he who has accused us before God is cast down and they (all believers) overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their (our) testimony … (Rev. 12:10-11). So who is the ‘he’? Our enemy, Satan, Lucifer.
In case you missed it, all this is about entering into eternal fellowship with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Just a few things to “chew on” while you ponder -
Why should we walk with Jesus?
Do we recognize and share what God has done for us? Where are our testimonies?