Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Christian Journey

The series: "Improving your Christian Walk"
1. Your Walk With God
2. Your Daily Walk - Christian Behavior/Lifestyle
3. Your Spiritual Journey

Definition of Journey = the long walk/extended walk ..... your spiritual pilgrimage in this life.

The daily walk is segments of the journey. The journey starts at spiritual birth and ends at physical death.


#1. The journey begins before spiritual birth.
begins with awareness, encounters, *call of God.....
Note: it's more than you seeking Him. It's Him seeking you!! Luke 19:10 Rev. 3:20

When you feel Him calling, don't reject Him. He only wants the best for you.

#2. Whether you advance from here is your decision. (be born again)
He will call you, but not force you. John 3:1-7 - spiritual birth, not physical rebirth.
John 1:11-13

#3. The journey doesn't end until death.
It doesn't mean that you'll have the strength, vitality, clarity you did as a young person.
But it does mean that you'll have His presence. Phil. 1:4-6
There is no place for retirement from the Christian walk.

4. The goal is not heaven. The destination is heaven. The Christian journey is about life here on earth.
The goals are transformation, personal development, better representation (ambassador), more effective ministry, greater understanding...
Is Matt. 4:19 just about "follow me to heaven"??? It's fishing for men. We're to be salt and light and make a difference. Eph. 2:10

#5. You'll often feel alone.
A. that's the nature of the journey ... it's individual, personal, spiritual
B. nobody can get inside your head or heart. Nobody can experience what you experience so in that respect you are alone in your journey.

#6. You'll never be alone.
A. fellow travelers/we're all in the same boat .... 1 Cor. 10:13 (a)
Most importantly - B. the ever-present Christ "with you always..."
"never leave you or forsake you"...
God never abandons us.

#7. The way you travel matters at the destination
Question: In scripture, how much content describes where we're going??
In contrast, how much instructs us in how to travel until then??
Why?? Obviously, it is VERY important HOW we travel!!!

The majority of Biblical content is about life between our spiritual birth and physical death.

2 Tim. 4:6-8

Monday, January 18, 2010

Walking in the Way

Eph. 4: 1 - key verse

The series is "Improving Your Christian Walk"

Last week - Your Walk with God - your relationship with Him and developing that relationship.
This week - the Christian walk, behavior, lifestyle

Note: a companion word to "walk" is "way".
"Walk" is action, behavior, your part
"Way" is the direction, path, course

These two are often put together in scripture:
Deut 5:33/Deut. 10:12
Judges 2:22
Psalms 86:11 (a)
Prov. 2:20
Jer. 6:16 (a)

The image is so natural and so apparent that Christians adopted it. Acts 9:1-2 Acts 24:14
In the beginning, believers called themselves "followers of the Way"

So: regarding "walking in the Way"

A. where you should walk (path, road, corridor, lane, etc.
B. how you should walk (manner, method, appearance

#1. Both the walk and the Way are determined by God
Deut. 11:22/Deut. 30:16 "His Way" (therefore - walking in the Way is non-negotiable)
That doesn't mean that you don't have a choice. He gives us freedom of choice to choose if we want to follow the Way or not, but if we choose to walk in the Way, we must walk His Way.

#2. The rules are not arbitrarily chosen (randomly selected)
They are based on God's character, eternal truths, spiritual laws
Therefore, these rules are beneficial to all when followed.

#3. They are adequately described in His Word
This doesn't mean that every situation is addressed. BUT, have do's and don't's and descriptive phrases as to how we are to walk: faithfully, honestly, in integrity of heart, uprightly, in truth, in the light, in the way of understanding, humbly, stedfastly, by faith, in obedience, in the Spirit, after the Spirit, in love, as children of light, circumspectly (carefully), in wisdom, in Christ.

Also: in God's law, according to His Word, in the name of the LORD, in the fear of the Lord, in His paths, in His way(s)

#4. They have universal application - all people, all times
The specifics vary a little, but ... the list doesn't. Example: Luke 3:10-14 - the answers are always in the way and descriptions apply

#5. His Way is narrow and restrictive
On one hand: this is a relative term. However, there ARE boundaries.
Note: truth is always narrow. (ex. 2 + 2 = 4) Love is restrictive. (ex. prohibitions for your kids)

#6. His Way is not necessarily the easiest way.
Matt. 5:43-44 Matt. 18:21-22 James 1:2-3 Matt. 16:24-25

#7. His Way is the best way. Matt. 7:13-14

#8. You are not truly in the Way until you're in Christ. John 14:1-6

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Developing Your Walk With God

Last week we discussed "improving your Christian walk". However, this walk wasn't fully defined.
"Walk"(figuratively) - described in the Bible:
1. Your relationship with God. - getting to know Him.
2. Your Christian lifestyle - practical, hands on
3. Your spiritual journey - from the time He was first revealed to you until death

Today we'll focus on #1: Your relationship with God.

It's God's desire and intent that you walk with Him.
A. Original intent Gen. 3:8-9
B. The relationship was damaged, not destroyed. Gen. 5:22 (Enoch) Gen. 6:9 (Noah)
C. A relationship/walk continued to be His will and desire. Gen. 17:1 (Abram) Lev. 26:12 1 Kings 9:4 Mal. 2:6 (Levi and the priests)
D. Your opportunity for a relationship/walk is improved by Christ. We have greater opportunity to walk with God because of and through Christ.
Thru: 1. revelation (can know better because it's exegeted")
2. reconciliation 2 cor. 5:17-19 (a) it's all from God, none of our own doing

How to develop this relationship? (this walk?)
by Acquaintance - as a seeker - sincerely looking for/searching for
- as a receiver - your response

#2. Acquire knowledge - the Word is the description of who He is, what He desires, etc.

#3. Presence - A. Quality time - (time set aside, ie. Quiet Time. Your presence with Him.
B. Quantity time - can't develop a relationship on quality time alone.

#4. Conversation (prayer) - sharing of heart in important things and trivial things

#5. Continuity - "souls knit together" concept - the relationship gets deeper with time.

Meet Him in the Word - it's God-breathed
Sense Him in your heart
Walk with Him in Prayer (conversation)
Bond with Him in Time

How important is this???
John 17:3

This is not about experiences and sensations, but, do you know Him?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Improving Your Chrisitan Walk

Eph. 4:1 - What's worthy? - a life of Godliness. How to do it???

I. Consider - Prov. 14:8 (a) Prov. 14:15 Where Am I? Should be? Want to go? Headed?
Decide - which way to go?? ! Kings 18:20-21
Declare = take a stand. Joshua 24:14-15 Not making a choice is making a choice. If not standing with God, are standing with the world.

II. Educate (self) - Bible Study, Sunday School, etc.
Examine (self) - look in mirror. Heb. 4:12 listen to the prompter (Holy Spirit). Won't fix what don't think is broke.
Admit (say the same thing about that God says). This is about more than our sins. Also about gifts/talents/abilities - calling/opportunity/responsibility.

III. Develop (self) - especially Christian character - 1 Tim. 4:7-8
Impact (others) - On one hand, need to develop self so impact others. On the other hand, impact others which will help develop self. Philemon 6
Enjoy (life) Balance is needed here!!! We tend to spend too much time and energy on the enjoying part

IV. Continue - this is a process; therefore, be constant and consistent.

V. Re-Visit (often) - The word to the prophets was - "remind". to the people "remember"
Re-adjust (early) - if stray off course, which we all tend to do on occasion, readjust and get back on course.

The above 12 things are beneficial to any walk.
Below are 2 things essential to Christian walk:

VI. Accept - (Christ - as Savior)
Enthrone (Christ as Lord)

Application: Apply to your life where you are.