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Walking with Jesus
By Brian Pepper
There is no question but that we are living very close to the end
of time. The tragedy is that there seems to be an indifference to
this, not only in the world, but in the Church also. Many of our
churches no longer have a prayer meeting, that is rather sad. It is
good that the Sabbath meetings are well attended. But there are many
who are not having that vital connection with the LORD that is so
essential in these days of peril. God's people need all the
spiritual help they can get. That is why St Paul urges us to come
together as often as we can for the encouragement that fellowship
with Christians gives us.
Blinding the minds of Christians
Notice Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." That is good counsel, especially for the times in which we are living when the world that we live in seems to be falling apart. Disaster after disaster, tragedy after tragedy, the horrific things that are happening to our innocent children. Everything that is happening today is a solemn warning that the end of all things is close at hand. But the said thing is that Satan is behind the scenes. Not only is he causing the upheaval that we are witnessing but the Bible tells us that he is actually blinding the minds of some Christians so that they are unable to see the need of a more consecrated life and a closer walk with our LORD.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that those who will be translated from this earth at the coming of Jesus will be perfect people, they will be a sanctified people. Revelation 14:5 says, "And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without fault before the throne of God." That is the kind of people who will be walking on the streets of gold. Before they were translated, they kept close to the Saviour. Genesis 5:24 tells us about Enoch, "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
I was surprised to find that Enoch was a family man. Somehow or other I always had the idea that he was a hermit, or something like that, a lone man, a man with time on his hands, free from the cares and troubles of this world. Haven't you felt that if you were able to get away from the things of this life, that the solitude, the peace would bring you much closer to God. Yes, I was surprised that Enoch was a family man, that he had a number of children (Genesis 5:22). So if Enoch could walk with God surrounded by crying babies and domestic troubles, so can you and I.
People will often say "I find it so hard to keep up my
spiritual experience, troubles seem to crowd in to my life and I
lose out here and I lose out there."
I suppose that many of us have had this experience. However if we
are to maintain our walk with God, we must feed our minds on
Spiritual Food needed each day
A man attended a series of Revival meetings being conducted by a famous evangelist. One night a call was made for folk to give their testimony. The man got up and he said, "I have received great help from these meetings and I feel sure that what I have learned from these meetings will last all my life." I want to assure you that no matter how good these Revival or Evangelical meetings may be, they are not sufficient to last a lifetime. It is just like trying to eat enough breakfast at one sitting to keep you going for a lifetime. It is absolutely essential for you and for me to take in spiritual food each day and the more that you study the Bible the firmer your faith will be.
Here is a wonderful text, one that we can treasure, Proverbs 6:22, "When thou goest, it shall lead thee: when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee." The promise is that the Word of God will guide you. It will watch over you and it talks to you.
A lady was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, so she went to consult a very famous specialist. She told the doctor her symptoms and there was a long list of them. The doctor listened to her story. He asked a few questions, then arose from his chair, walked back and forth and said, "What you really need madam, is to read the Bible and especially the Gospels". The lady was quite indignant. She felt that the specialist should have prescribed bottles of medicine and pills. She went away very hurt and aggrieved. However after a few days she started to think the doctor's advice over. She was a church member but social duties and worldly cares had crowded out her study of the Bible. She decided to take the doctor's advice. A month later she came back to see the doctor. "Well", he said as he looked at her face, "I see that you have been following my prescription." Then turning to the desk he picked up a well worn Bible then he turned to the lady and said, "If I were to omit my daily reading of this Book, I would lose my greatest source of strength and skill." And how true that is.
There is a time coming when we will need to cling more and more to our Bibles. Jesus has warned us that the deceptions of the last days will be so strong and so real that many will leave the truth. Matthew 24:24 says, "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." With a warning like that we cannot afford to neglect the study of God's Word.
We need to constantly study the Bible. I assure you that there is nothing more important than Bible study. And there is a very good reason for this. For when I pray, I talk to God, but when I read the Bible, God is talking to me. So you can see how important that is. For we need to know what God has to say to us.
Prayer is important, but Bible study and prayer are more important. For then you have the perfect situation. You are talking to God and God is talking to you. Matthew 4:4 says, "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." I am sure that most folk prefer eating fresh bread for it tastes better than stale bread. Stale bread is only suitable for making toast. And so it is with the spiritual life. One needs to have a fresh intake of the Word of God. People are usually very concerned about their food and clothing. They do not want to go short of the good things of this life. But the sad thing is that they are starving their spiritual life. They are losing out with Bible study. They are not taking in the spiritual food that they so badly need. And as I have just mentioned, if we do not study God's Word then God cannot speak to us. For He speaks to your heart and to mine through this avenue.
Another thing that is very important, and that is unless we understand and know what is in the Word of God, we could be swept away by the delusions of the last days. What a tragedy it would be if through the neglect of studying the Bible we should lose our way and our hold on Jesus Christ. We need to read our Bibles selecting a passage of Scripture that meets our need. Something that is suitable for the occasion.
When my wife was to have a gall bladder operation, she found the promise given in Isaiah 41:10 a great comfort, "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (New King James Bible) It is wonderful to know that the LORD has promised to be with us as we face the trauma of an operation or some crisis in our lives, that He will strengthen us and put His hand in ours. For those who are finding the way hard financially, especially in the present grim economic climate, the LORD has a word of encouragement. Psalm 37:3 says, "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." Yes, if we put our trust in the LORD, He will feed us. We will not starve.
With wonderful promises in the Bible like that you would think that church folk would be anxious to claim them as their own. The sad thing is that there are those who do not even read those promises, let alone claim them. We need all the encouragement that we can get, and the promises are there to do just that. All we need to do is to read them and treasure them in our hearts. Revelation 3:11 says, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." We must hold on till the end. It is vital that we do this. "Let no man take thy crown", this is a very solemn warning. There is a danger that by looking to man we could lose our crowns. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, we must stay close to Him. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full into His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.