Lucia's Blog: WALKING IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE LORD
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, March 2, 2020

WALKING IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE LORD

“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.”  
Colossians 1:10


The reality of walking with Jesus is that when our Lord pardons our faults, He gives us the hope that tomorrow will be better and more fruitful.  And yet, maybe we don't aim high enough to soar to the heights of God.  All Christians must hold fast, walk worthy of their calling and of the Lord, that is, walking in righteousness, and obeying the Gospel of Christ faithfully (1 Cor. 15:1-2).

We Christians have been called to live in a manner that is godly and holy, for our purpose on this earth is to show God’s glory and wisdom.  Why?  Because we have been chosen, redeemed, predestined, adopted, and we are heirs, saved, and reconciled to God to show His wisdom and glory.  God is glorified through us, the church, and through Jesus throughout all generations.  Paul urges Christians to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called (Eph. 4:1).  We choose to walk worthy because of all that God has done for us. He has redeemed us.  We must refuse to walk as we please, for we have been bought for a very high price, the blood of our Lord and Savior.  

So we must walk in a manner worthy of Christ, reflecting our new identity!  We are not walking in a worthy manner of our calling when we walk the world’s unrighteous path, the way of Satan, the desires of our flesh, body, and mind.  We must not continue walking in our former way of life, the old man full of corruption!  We must choose to walk the path of righteousness.  We must choose to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.  But walking in a manner worthy is costly, for the world will reject us!  Walking in a manner worthy of our calling is counter-cultural! 


I.   WALKING IN A MANNER WORTHY OF GOD:  (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
"For you yourselves know, brothers,that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.  9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 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.

Paul’s central message in the book of Thessalonians is how to live godly and holy in view of eternity.  The Thessalonian brethren had an amazing faith despite their great affliction and hardship.  They had an amazing faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope, for they placed their eyes on eternity, waiting for Christ to return (1 Thess. 1:3, 10).  You see, when we fix our eyes on Christ and His kingdom of heaven, our lives change and are transformed into the likeness of our Lord.  It gives us hope, courage, and strength to face whatever difficulties we may have because we love our Lord and His kingdom.  In 1 Thessalonians 2:12, Paul is urging us to walk in a manner worthy of God who called us into His kingdom and glory, for this must be our purpose in life.  We must embrace this newness of life!  

So what does it mean to walk in a manner worthy of God?  We have the answers in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12.  To walk in a manner worthy of God, one must have boldness (2:1-2).  In Acts 16:19, 23, the crowd seized and dragged Paul and Silas before the rulers, attacked them and beat them with rods, throwing them in prison.  And though they had been severely and shamefully treated, they still had the boldness to declare the Gospel amid so much turmoil.  It got so bad that the Jews attacked Jason’s house since they wanted Paul and Silas

You see, walking in a manner worthy of God is to have boldness in the face of much opposition, affliction, and difficulties as did these Thessalonian brethren.  We have been warned by God that we will experience persecution and difficulties because of our faith (1 Peter 4:12-14).  We Christians must not be surprised when facing trials and afflictions that test our faith when we suffer because of Jesus.  Instead, we must rejoice that we were counted worthy to partake in Jesus’ sufferings.  Our eternal view helps us to rejoice in our sufferings and various trials.  But we must remain bold to continue proclaiming God’s Word, the Gospel even in the face of opposition and persecution (2 Tim. 2:12; Matt. 10:33; Lk. 12:9).  Isn’t it true that we are most likely to be tempted to deny Jesus when facing opposition and resistance?  Jesus commands us to remain bold and steadfast in God!

To walk in a manner worthy of God, one must be pure as he presents the Gospel (1 Thess. 2:3-6).  God stresses the concept of purity a lot throughout the Scriptures.  Walking in a manner worthy of God demands pure hearts and pure motives.  And this is precisely what Paul demonstrated to the Thessalonians as he walked with God proclaiming the Gospel.  Paul exhibited purity in his walk with the Lord, and we see this in chapter 4.  Paul and Silas walked in a manner worthy of God because they had pure hearts and pure motives.  They spoke boldly to please God rather than men, for God tests our hearts

Those who walk in purity of heart do not please men, for they’re concerned with pleasing God.  God will know when we are trying to please Him rather than other people, for He knows our hearts!  We are meant to live a life that pleases God, a life that is worthy of Him.  By doing this, we can rest assured that our motives will be pure, knowing that our God tests our hearts.  Moreover, we walk in a manner worthy of God when we love others.  In 1 Thessalonians 2:7, Paul speaks of his love for these brethren as a nursing mother taking care of her own children.  Indeed, this is true gentleness and compassion.  Walking in a manner worthy of God is caring genuinely for one another, for God cares a lot about our relationship with one another (1 Thess. 2:8).

Not only did Paul share the Gospel with them, but was willing to love them with all of his heart!  He gave himself entirely to his brethren.  Do you suppose that when we choose to be aloof from one another, refuse to open up to one another, set walls up, refusing to let anyone in, it is walking in a manner worthy of God?  Were Paul and Silas afraid to open up to the Thessalonians after what they had experienced in Philippi?  It is amazing to me to see Paul’s love and care for these brethren to the point of sharing the Gospel, and his life with them like a nursing mother would care for her own children after being only there for three weeks, not months or years! 

Paul’s motives were pure, holy, righteous, and blameless, for he was not there for their money, or to take advantage of them or to be a burden to them (2:10).  Paul taught them as a father would teach his children: without hostility or intimidation, but rather with gentleness and love.  And though teaching must be firm, it must be done with love and gentleness.


Paul lived his life with boldness as he proclaimed God’s Message.  He likewise showed a life of purity as he sought God’s approval.  He showed his love to the brethren as he shared his life with them.  Thus we must live our lives in a manner worthy of our calling, God’s kingdom, and glory (Romans 5:1-2; 8:18).  Our hope in God’s kingdom and glory is what must motivate us to live in purity, love one another, and be bold in persecution and suffering.


 II.   WALKING IN A MANNER WORTHY OF THE GOSPEL:  (Philippians 1:27-2:2)
 "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ."  (Phil. 1:27

Paul’s joy in suffering came from knowing that the Gospel was advancing and that his faith was strengthened to reach his goal, to serve Christ, and be with Him in eternity.  He knew very well what it means to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ as a citizen in God’s kingdom of righteousness.  Paul stresses the need to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel in Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12.  The Gospel teaches us a way of living that is worthy of God.  We must live in such a godly and holy way so that others may know what it is like to live for Christ and the Gospel!

Walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel is to stand firm in one Spirit, striving for the faith of the Gospel, that is, unity.  This is parallel with Ephesians 4, where the Lord demands that we walk in a manner worthy of the calling to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Hence, to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel is to stand firm side by side together with the same mind, for we are under Satan’s attack and under attack from the world, not from each other.  We are not walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel when we fight and devour one another.  We must learn to fight together for Christ, for the faith and His kingdom of righteousness!  We must be united in our thinking, perspective, goals, and hearts! 

Our lives must be centered on the Gospel of our Lord and Savior and the furthering of His Gospel.  But we must work together in harmony and fellowship for the faith of the Gospel.  A divided church stops focusing on the Gospel and our participation in it.  When we are working side by side for the faith of the Gospel in harmony, we’re willing to overlook our differences and personal conflicts.  We are eager to work together to share the Gospel within our community, build up one another in the faith, and strengthen each other during difficult times.  There is no room to focus on ourselves and our problems!  Why not use them for the furthering of the Gospel?  We must refuse to be self-centered, wasting our time away from the fight that is set before us!  We must stand firm together side by side with eyes fixed on Jesus and His Gospel! 

We must not be frightened or intimidated by our opponents (1:28).  There is no room for quitting!  We must continue holding on to Christ with fearless faith.  We must suffer for Christ (1:29-30)!  God is granting us a gift in suffering when we live in a manner worthy of the Gospel.  There is no better honor than to suffer for Christ and for the sake of the Gospel!  It is a sign of salvation!  God, in the end, will decree salvation to those who live in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.  So we must be united, of the same mind, of the same love, and walking in full accord (Philippians 2:1-2).   The same purpose, goal, love, and agreement toward one another.  We walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel when we stand together in the Spirit of Christ, making the Gospel glorious!


CONCLUSION:

Living in a world that is not accustomed to teaching and practicing a lifestyle worthy of what Christ expects of them, Christians look like aliens and strangers (1 Peter 2:11).  Someone might say, "Of course, I'm a Christian; I read my Bible; I go to church on Sundays... " Of course, but let me tell you, that those who profess our Lord Jesus and have put Him on, walk in a manner worthy of Christ. Being a Christian is much more than calling yourself a Christian, assembling, and reading the Bible whenever you think it is convenient in your life. Being a Christian is a matter of the heart, the mind, and the soul. To measure up to the stature of Christ is to show it in our faith, convictions, and beliefs. We must set aside everything else until we cannot help but to base everything that we do and say on the will of God! 

First, we must start examining our way of living, our decisions, and our way of thinkingWe have Christ as our example who by the sword of the Spirit breaks down all the walls of our thoughts, piercing our soul and spirit and discerning the intentions of our hearts. He builds new thoughts for us. He pours out light where there is darkness by showing us through His Word how to make those changes that are vital, that we may be transformed into His image. God wants us to shine His light in all areas of our lives: our homes, our work, our school, our minds, our hobbies, etc. They must be in harmony with our faith.  But sadly, our faith is often separated from all these things!

Let's never forget that our Lord is life.  So why do we want to separate Him from every area of our lives? So often, God is allowed into only certain parts of our lives. We allow Him only a little bit into our churches, into our hearts, into our everyday walk. We barely allow Him into our decisions, our beliefs, our speech, our homes, the why of our daily activities, goals, and everything that we engage in. As Christians who desire to live "godly," and in a manner worthy of God,  we must start examining our minds, our hearts, and our souls. We must start spending more time in prayer, asking our LORD to help us do His will in every area of our lives, and that includes our homes and families. We need to learn that He is not a cookie-cutter God, but holy!

We must allow God to shine His beauty in every compartment of our lives. His Grace and Light must be seen in every area of our lives. Our lives will look very different if we only allow Him, through faith, to make us live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Everyone will see God in us, and they will see the Light shining in a world full of darkness, a light that is so much different from the world's darkness.  Let us start behaving in a way that glorifies our Lord, living lives that are unblemished and are living sacrifices, well-pleasing to Him. And let us be renewed in our spirits and minds by putting on God in righteousness and in the holiness of the Truth. "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2).

Therefore, let us use our time well and not allow anything or anyone to distract us from serving our Lord, walking in a manner worthy in our homes, our calling, of God, and the Gospel. God demands that we put Him first and put self to death, take up our cross, and follow Him and His example.  We must strive to live for Christ and not self!  (Gal. 2:20)

May we as Christians live in a manner worthy of God, God’s kingdom of righteousness, and the Gospel.  May we examine our hearts so that we may bring honor to our Lord and glorify Him.  May our Lord help us to walk and live in a manner worthy of Him and His Gospel, walking in righteousness and living our lives as a sacrifice well-pleasing to Him.

Luci



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