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Thursday, January 17, 2019
"The Pattern Of Walking Worthily"

Message summary:  We must submit our ways to God in our walk, in our behavior, in our productivity and in our godly knowledge. Let us be faithful so that we bring honor to our Father in heaven, as we practice a pattern of walking worthily. Let us never, never, never give up!

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"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9). "In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works" (Titus 2:7). "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).

Monday we mentioned that our 17 year old cat Dottie had died on Saturday. It seems many can identify with the loss of a pet and we are thankful for the "condolences". Among our three pets Dottie had the least exciting pet-ality (the pet equivalent of person-ality). Our older dog, Roxie, now 14 years old, is slowing down a lot, seemingly afflicted with arthritis, although she still has a pleasant disposition and pet-ality.

But Mollie, our eight year old border collie, is still very full of pet-ality and vim and vigor. According to the customary one human year equals seven dog year formula she is now some 56 years old but still acts like a teenager. Yesterday we tossed a frisbee on our snow-covered lawn and she still dashes across the lawn at full speed to catch the frisbee in the air.

From the time she was a pup Mollie has always wanted to catch a squirrel. She will spend hours and hours running around the lawn chasing them and then staring at them up in the trees. Every morning when I let her out, it's the first thing she does as she runs to the squirrel laden oak tree and tries to spot a squirrel.

But they never choose to come down and play! Although Mollie has never caught a squirrel she never gives up, and she doesn't even seem to be discouraged about it. Her relentless and enduring pursuit of squirrels provides an illustrative lesson for us in regard to our relentless and enduring pursuit in seeking to do good and walk worthily.

This week in our Daily Encouragement messages we are examining the concept of "pattern" as set forth in the Scriptures. We believe God has provided in the Scriptures a pattern for how we are to live our lives. Today let us examine the pattern of walking worthily. In this regard as Winston Churchill is often attributed to famously saying, "never, never, never give up" (Although the actual quote is slightly different. Listen here, 17 seconds).

The apostle Paul uses the theme of walking worthily several times in his writings: "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called" (Ephesians 4:1). "Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:12).

1 and 2 Timothy and Titus are in a category of epistles known as the Pastoral Epistles. Our second daily text is a word to Titus, a young pastor. "In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works" (Titus 2:7). These epistles are especially highlighted for those entering into ministry since they set a pattern for godly leaders. Yesterday we shared a portion from 2 Timothy read at my ordination service nearly 40 years ago.

Colossians 1:10

Let's spend a few moments examining today's final text which provides a pattern of good works and the nature of walking in a manner worthy of the Lord. This involves:

1) We walk in a manner worthy of the Lord when we seek to be "fully pleasing to Him." In Ephesians 5:10 we are told to "find out what pleases the Lord". As followers of Christ this is an ongoing pursuit and the main source of finding out what pleases Him is found in the Holy Scriptures. Increasingly the effort to walk with and please the Lord will run contrary to the world's way of thinking. It would be an extremely rare media interview where the "expert" directs us to dig into the Scriptures to find the Lord's answer for the problem at hand.

We walk in a manner worthy of the Lord when we seek to be "bearing fruit in every good work." Jesus Christ called His disciples to fruitfulness and good works. "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples" (John 15:8). "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). All over the world today our brothers and sisters are doing this, often unseen and normally unheralded. Their reward here on earth is seeing lives changed. Their greater eternal reward is yet to come. We are called to bear fruit in the tough prison setting, in the lonely nursing home, in the hospice setting where life's journey ends for so many, the pregnancy crisis center or any door you walk through where you can shine the light of Christ in an otherwise dark place.

We walk in a manner worthy of the Lord when we seek to be "increasing in the knowledge of God." To do so we must read, meditate and even pray the Scriptures. Avail yourself to Study Bibles so that you become familiar with the historical settings or benefit from seeing outlines of a Bible book. Character studies of familiar and not so familiar Bible personalities are commonly featured. Above all read the Scriptures but supplement your Bible readings with information that might help you better grasp and understand the Bible.

To summarize our text:
We must submit our ways to God in our walk, in our behavior, in our productivity and in our godly knowledge. Let us be faithful so that we bring honor to our Father in heaven, as we practice a pattern of walking worthily. Let us never, never, never give up!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I ask myself, "Am I living in a manner worthy of Your name? Do I seek to please You rather than myself? Does the fruit of my labor reflect the Spirit of Christ living within my heart? Do I have a zeal for the things of Christ and a desire to know Him better, to reflect His character every day in my life? Am I steady or do I sputter in my Christian influence?" Father, in all these things I want to be more like Christ, consistent in the ways that bring glory to Your name and growth in my spiritual nature. I want my spiritual walk to be the most important pursuit of my life as I journey here below so that I may influence as many as possible to live for Jesus. It is in His name that I pray. Amen.

Colossians 1:10-12 provides a list of items for our consideration. I will phrase them as personal questions:

    *     Am I living in a manner worthy of the Lord?
    *     Am I pleasing Him in all respects?
    *     Am I bearing fruit in every good work?
    *     Am I increasing in the knowledge of God?
    *     Am I being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might?
    *     Am I attaining steadfastness and patience?
    *     Am I joyously giving thanks to the Father?

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

Mollie playing frisbee in snow
Here's a photo of Mollie chasing after a frisbee in the snow.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Search Me, O God"  Video  Steve Green

"Lord, I Want To Be Like Jesus"
  Video  Fernando Ortega

What does it mean to not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9)? From the gotquestions.org teaching site.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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