Walking with Jesus

I Jn 2:3-6

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (NKJ)

Preached at FBC Toulon, IL on September 9, 2001 by Albert Harmon; see it at toulonbaptist.com

Do you like to walk? They tell us that walking is very healthy for us. It helps our heart health and it helps our pulmonary system as well.

Well this morning I want to speak to you about a different kind of walk. It is a spiritual walk. Now just because it is not spiritual does not mean there is no relation to the physical. Jesus taught that out of the heart, (spiritual) comes some very physical things.

Matt 15:19 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. (NKJ)

Luke 6:45-46 "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? (NKJ)

We often work at it from the other direction. We think that the physical affects the spiritual but it is the spiritual that affects the physical.

If we are going to walk as Jesus walked we must first be connected to Him in the new birth, the spiritual. Then we will have the desire and the ability to appreciate the spiritual.

Now Jesus is not the norm for Christian behavior but He is the goal. Let us consider a few things that I think John might have had in mind when he told us to walk as Jesus walked

  1. Love
    1. He loved those who did not love Him.
      1. He did not love all persons the same.
        1. God always draws close to those who draw close to Him.
        2. But God's love is never biased by race, color, or nationality.
        3. God looks on the heart and not on the outward appearance.
      2. Now some people might disagree that among His children that God has favorites.
        1. But no one that has studied the gospels would say Jesus loved everyone the same.
        2. He loved Peter James and John more that the rest.
        3. And among those Jesus loved John more than the other two.
          1. Four times John refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved.
          2. John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. (NKJ)
          3. John 20:2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." (NKJ)
          4. John 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. (NKJ)
          5. John 21:20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, "Lord, who is the one who betrays You?" (NKJ)
        4. But Jesus even loved those that did not love Him.
        5. As a matter of fact Jesus love us while we were yet sinners.
        6. Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJ)
    2. He loved us before we loved Him
      1. I Jn 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us. (NKJ)
      2. We can talk about loving everyone but that is somewhat empty.
      3. We can talk about love but in all honesty lets stick with people we know.
      4. It is easy to love those we do not know.
    3. He loved us to the point of laying down His life for us.
      1. I Jn 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (NKJ)
  2. Prayer
    1. Jesus prayed often.
    2. Jesus prayed long periods of time.
    3. Jesus prayed alone.
  3. Purity
    1. Of mind
      1. The world floods impurity into our lives from every direction.
      2. All with the purpose to change us and make us like them.
      3. Phil 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (NKJ)
    2. Of life
      1. What creeps into our minds and hearts will eventually find expression in our lives.
      2. If we are going to profess to abide in Jesus then we will have to clean up our lives.
      3. If you are ever in doubt, just ask yourself if you would be pleased to tell Jesus how we have spent our time.
      4. To sit down in prayer and tell Him where we have been and what we have done.
  4. Priority
    1. He valued heaven above earth
      1. Every thing around us is only temporary.
      2. Even our great buildings and cities.
      3. For Jesus, eternal things were the prime importance.
    2. He valued people more than things
      1. Jesus told some people one day, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head." Matt 8:20 (NLT)
      2. You can build the World Trade Center but you cannot replace the lives of the mothers and fathers lost on Tuesday.
      3. But you know we think it is perfectly alright to abort a child because they might be a financial burden.
      4. I would not be surprised to arrive in heaven someday and find that the man who would have found the cure for cancer was aborted in the second trimester.
      5. I would not be surprised to arrive and find that the man who would have discovered the plot to destroy the world trade center was aborted back in the the 70's
      6. Jesus always valued people more than things, unlike America.
      7. If you were present Tuesday afternoon you know that I had a hard time retaining my composer.
      8. After that service someone asked if I had someone out there because I seemed to be taking it pretty hard.
      9. In America it is acceptable if it is someone else, other than ourselves.
      10. Years ago I was a Rod Sterling fan. He wrote a lot of demented stuff. But one certain thing I remember was a show where a young couple was given the opportunity of a life time. A man showed up at their door with a special wooden box. This box had a leaver on the side. They were told that if they pulled the lever they would receive a large amount of money. But they were also told that if they pulled the lever a number of people, who they did not know would die. The next 10 minutes of the show were filled with the decision they would make, but alas, money won out. They reasoned that they had nothing to worry about because it would be some one they did not know who would die. Soon after they pulled the lever the man once again came with the money. As he left them with the money in their hands and the box at his side, he told them that now he was going to give the box to someone they did not know.
      11. We justify our greed because most of the time, it is someone we do not know.
    3. He valued service above leisure
      1. He went about doing good and healing all manner of diseases.
      2. He was so pressed that they could not be alone even to eat.
      3. We are a leisure loving crowd.
      4. There is nothing wrong with leisure as long as we do not worship it and put it in God's place.
      5. This past week great debate over playing ball this weekend.
        1. One man I heard said we need to get things back to normal as soon as possible
        2. I say I hope we never get back to normal.
        3. I hope I never get back to normal.
        4. I want the events of this last week to weigh heavy on me for years to come.
  5. Compassion
    1. On the sick Mt 14:14; 20:34
    2. On the lost Mt 9:36; 18:23-33
    3. For daily physical needs Mt 15:33
  6. Forgiveness

Eph 4:1-3 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (NKJ)

This morning we are only beginning to recover from the horrendous events of this past week. Each of us is still numb as our senses have been bombarded by the continual news coverage.

But God is able to even bring good from what was so evil and destructive. This past week the congress broke into song with "God Bless America." Billy Graham spoke to millions over every network to proclaim that the message of God's love was Jesus Christ dying on a cross for our sins.

What about you? How will this event change your life? Will you be forever different?

Last Sunday I made the statement that this year thousands of Americans would leave their homes as they normally do but they would never return. I could have never thought that it would happen in that very week.

Hundreds of people went out into eternity in an instant of time. Others had the time to call their families and to say their final farewell. Others escaped, thousands escaped. As Billy Graham stated those who had a personal relationship with Jesus went instantly to heaven and they would not want to come back even if they could.

Life is fragile. We do not know our days or hours. Are you walking with Jesus. Those who say they abide in Him, should be walking as Jesus Himself walked. The only way you can be positive that you are abiding in Him is when you are walking with Him.

Enoch was a man of God and the Scripture tells us very little except that he walked with God and he was not for God took him. I heard one preacher say that one day as Enoch and God walked together God said that they were closer to His home than Enoch's so why didn't Enoch just come to stay with Him.

Do you have the type of relationship with Jesus. That one day you will simply go home to be with Him.

 

This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com