Last Tuesday I bore the burden of our youngest son, Charles, while on a 2.3 mile hike. He was strapped to my back and having a great time while I was huffing and puffing along. The walk was fun and refreshing and energizing – but it was hard. You see, I’m an Associate Pastor and a seminary student all while being a dad to two very energetic young men and a husband to a very hard-working woman. The demands of life have taken their toll on me the past two months and I’m tired. But there is encouragement.
Paul begins a walk in Ephesians chapter 4. It’s a hard walk too, and comes with all the pressures of life. Except the expectation of his walk is not just to make it up the trail and back, but to walk in a manner that fits our calling as Christians.
God has chosen and called each one of us. In love and through His kind intentions, He has freely bestowed on us redemption, forgiveness, and inheritance. According to the riches of His grace, He lavished on us a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. There is a surpassing greatness of His power toward us that works in accordance with the strength of His might that is demonstrated in Jesus – who is over all things, being raised from the dead and having all things put under His feet, being the Lord of His church.
Before, we were dead in our sins and children of wrath, but God made us alive together with Christ. And so that He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us, he raised us up and seated us with Christ in the heavenly places. Now you can be sure you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for God’s own purposes. So we should remember that living with Christ is not a right given to all men, but that at one time we were seperated from Christ. We were strangers and excluded and had no hope. We were truly without God. But because of Jesus’ work, we have been brought near to God. Jesus is our peace – He abolished the enmity of the law by bringing it together in one man on the cross. And He has proclaimed it to us and made us fellow citizens, building us into the framework of His holy temple.
He is now making known this truth through the church. That is, He is extending his saving love through the whole world because that is His eternal purpose. Oh, that we may be strengthened with power through His Spirit so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. May we be able to understand the deepness and richness of Christ’s love for us. It is for His glory alone!
Now, walk in a way that will prove worthy of all that He has done for you. You former stranger – now at home in the courts of God. You former hater of the Lord – now made in the image of His very beloved. You former lust-filled narcissist – now selfless lover of righteousness. You former corpse – now life-filled, animated companion of Christ. WALK!
Walk in a way that looks different from the others in this world who are still dead and strangers and haters. Imitate God and walk in love. Walk in the light and not in the darkness. Walk with wisdom and be careful in it. The days are short and you must make the most of your walk.
Be encouraged brothers and sisters. God has done great things. Walk in a way that proves He has done great things in you. When you do, no matter the burden you bear, you will walk and not grow weary. You may even run and not faint. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Keep walking.