Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD...walking worthy

COLOSSIANS 1:10 "so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God."

Some people believe and teach that living a good life is the way a person can "earn" his or her way into heaven. The Bible does not teach us that, rather it leads us to the truth that "works" is not the basis of our salvation...

EPHESIANS 2:8,9 "For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift - not from works, so that no one can boast."

Paul challenges us in the book of Colossians to receive the calling to "walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing (to Him), bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God." Meaning that we do not do good works in order to earn God's favor or earn our salvation, but doing works is simply a way to say "thank you" to God for His free gift of Grace!

Unbelievers see what we do (or don't do) quicker than looking to see what we stake our beliefs in! The things that we "do" is a witness to the kind of God that we serve.

COLOSSIANS 1:13 "He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

This is the reason why we should walk worthy of the Lord. It is because of all that He has done for us. He has saved us and made it possible for us to take part in eternal fellowship of His kingdom. When we come to an understanding of this - we can do nothing but be thankful. Doing things ("works"), or how we live our lives is our "thank you note" to God for all that He has done.

Understanding why we should walk worthy does not necessarily mean that we can. We are all prone to sin and to failing. In our own strength we have great difficulty walking in a manner worthy of God. Paul writes to the Colossians encouragement for all of us today...

"We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord."

The "How" is found in Him. God will help us walk worthy of Him. On our own, we are prone to taking wrong turns or even losing our direction. God fills us with His wisdom and understanding and He will give us direction.

Having direction is not enough all by itself. We also need God's strength. To know God's direction without receiving His strength is like having a map for a trip without provisions. God will supply us with not only the map (direction) but also His provision (strength)!

COLOSSIANS 1:11 "May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience."

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the following question, "What reflects how you feel worthy of the good things that have happened to you?" The top 2 results were...

1. 90% of those polled voted that they don't know what they have done to deserve even one of the pleasures they have known.
2. 10% voted and said that they deserve much better than what they are getting.
Good things are happening all around us. Most of us feel unworthy of the joy, happiness and goodness that happens to us, but we are also at the same time thankful! Whether we are worthy of what happens to us or not - the bottom line is "how are your circumstances developing you?"

How do we change how the unbeliever sees what we "do" instead of what we "believe"? We can't change one without affecting the other! Our walk and our beliefs go hand in hand. These are two elements of walking worthy - first it is producing good works (in the outward man) and secondly, it is having spiritual growth (the inward man).

There are several ways we can grow spiritually. We can attend worship services, we can fellowship with like believers and we can pray. You can take one of the first two out and still grow spiritually, it will just be alittle bit harder. But the one element for spiritual growth that you cannot remove is prayer. Prayer makes the connection more personal. For a person to "grow in the knowledge of God" - prayer has to be more than something we do as an escape when we get into trouble. It has to be a regular discipline, just like physical exercise.

If living a life worthy of God is seeking His strength and direction - we need to pray for it. Praying for strength and direction acknowledges that we cannot thrive alone. God promised us if we will keep asking, IT WILL be given to us. If we keep looking, WE WILL find it. Just keep knocking and the door WILL BE opened. (Matthew 7:7)

What do others see you doing that is worthy?

I am studying the book of Colossians. It is my prayer that you will be challenged by the Word of God today. Like Paul, it is my prayer that you will receive the knowledge of God's will for your life and that you will receive Gods strength for the challenges that face you today! Thank you for joining with me for this midweek devotion.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL: Please take time to vote in this week's poll. It is located on the side bar of this blog. Your opinion matters!


Anonymous said...

thanks for always challenging!

Peggy said...

Thanks Laurie for the teaching from Colossians & challenging me to walk WORTHY in addition to my prayers! I wonder which % I voted in. My life back home is a little more difficult to walk worthy daily in front of someone who believes exactly what you opened with...his path to God is wide and for all others...that organized religion confines God in a box. I never thought of it but I would venture to say he believes the box is man-made rules & institutional; the box is the bible...and he personally thinks he has a personal relationship and understanding with God. He really needs prayer! I'm so thankful I always had my freedom to believe & go to church daily (if I could afford the gas)as well as bring the kids. But your words make me wonder why my walk did not draw him. How did I fail? Why did he not want to accept Jesus and His teachings? Too much damage by the C. church as a child, I guess. With all the reading he does, I wonder if he has ever picked up God's Word. Though without the Holy Spirit, perhaps the words would be a resounding cymbal. I so want to walk so that others will see how much Jesus is so worthy of my all everyday. I want to give Jesus the best "thank you" note ever and a few new souls in His Kingdom!
Thank you Laurie once more for stirring the Holy Spirit & borrowing AG computer time to visit

Cindy said...

Amen Laurie! Really enjoyed your post, so true.