When King David testifies, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures,” it’s not the shepherd forcing a “lie-down” on the sheep (v.2). Sheep do not lie down to eat. Rather, because they’re already full and completely satisfied—the sheep can rest in the verdant pastures.
Imagine yourself sitting across the table from King David. He’s earnestly discussing his relationship with God. He’s not throwing around abstract theological concepts in monotone disconnect. He’s the king of Israel passionately speaking to you from personal experience. He’s relating his own personal journey of living the life of faith.
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.
Our calling is to be a visible demonstration of God’s grace. To walk worthy of our calling is important for every Christian, but especially as we relate to one another within the body of Christ. It isn’t a difficult concept. Summarized in three simple words, we need to “walk the talk.” Be real. Be authentic. Practice what you preach. Have integrity.
Because we love the hour of blue—that moment of intense twilight just between sunset and nightfall—my wife and I usually take our walk at this time of night and return home in the dark on most evenings. Walking in the dark can be lonely, even frightening. But, it’s much easier if you brought a flashlight! With the beam illuminating the path, you can identify obstacles and avoid stumbling.
We are reminded that the Christian life isn’t so much about working, striving and toiling, as much as it is about allowing God to work in our lives and through our lives to accomplish His predetermined purpose for our lives.
While there is no biblical foundation for celebrating the New Year as it falls on the Gregorian calendar, it provides a pause to rethink the way we live-out our daily routine. We can use the New Year to re-evaluate how we respond to the circumstances we face, the people we encounter and life itself.
Everyone has a unique style of walking that makes it possible to recognize them long before their features are visible. Authentic Christians also demonstrate an observable identifying walk that the apostle Paul described to the Galatian church.
Paul’s admonition is usually seen in negative terms—where we shouldn’t walk. In reality, the emphasis is to be aware of where we should walk.
God is eternal and omniscient. He isn’t bound by time and space; and, unlike man sees all of history like a colossal appointment calendar. Transcending the time space continuum, God has planned every date of the grand calendar of history and knows what He has purposed for each nanosecond. There is a “set time” for every detail of God’s plan and purpose to be fulfilled.
With centuries of visual depictions from which to draw, our imaginations are quick to conjure a romantic picture of the place where God entered time and space. We may envision a rustic though charming little stable smelling of fresh straw and knotty pine—a quaint secluded alcove removed from the noise and commotion of Bethlehem bulging at the seams with travelers.