Walk with Me

As we have just come through again celebrating Christmas I want to reflect on the significance of walking with Jesus as we enter into a new year. Just prior to Christmas I heard someone commenting on the radio that Jesus birth was the most important event in history. I respectfully disagree. Jesus incarnation, God taking on flesh, was the means to an end. The end was Jesus death and resurrection. Without His sacrifice and resurrection on our behalf all of humanity would still be eternally lost (Rom. 4:25). This dual transaction was the most important thing in human history.

We see this connection more clearly in how one pastor habitually displayed the Nativity scene. He had a light shining from behind a cross and the shadow of the cross fell on the baby in the manger. There is a lot of truth and power in that image. Jesus was born and raised under the shadow of the cross.

We now live beyond Jesus birth, death and resurrection. As we head into this year in a season of change and uncertainty we need to apply that truth to our circumstances. There are interwoven political and economic challenges facing our nation and our province. In the midst of this it is easy to become anxious – yet we don’t need to be. I don’t want to offer well-worn clichés as a response. I do want to recommend that in this year ahead, and beyond that, we make walking with Jesus our focus. He says clearly in His word that if we draw near to Him He will draw near to us (2 Chron. 15:2, Jas. 4:8).

Further, Jesus desire is that our focus be on His heart and our relationship with Him. In fact He was clear that He wants to reveal His Father’s heart to us.

24  Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25  O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26  And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:24-26 (NKJV)

Earlier in John He told us how this would happen.

20  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21  He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:20-21 (NKJV)

26  “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. John 15:26 (NKJV)

So, no matter what is happening around us Jesus is an anchor in the storm, a place of rest in quiet times, and a beacon of light when we need to determine where to go. So let’s lean into His heart in this coming year and walk with Him.

To help with this look at the words to this song by Kim Walker-Smith (the link to the song is at the bottom). If you have not heard this song, find a quiet spot, sit back in reflection and let it minister to your heart.

Walk With Me

Author of the world walk with me
Ruler of the earth walk with me
Calmer of the storm walk with me
Healer of my heart walk with me

How I need You, how I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

Light for every step walk with me
Giver of each breath walk with me

How I need You, how I need You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

How I love You, how I love You
Oh Jesus, walk with me

In Your presence Lord, there is peace, there is rest
In Your presence Lord, there is light that never ends

In Your presence Lord, there is joy, there is joy
In Your presence Lord, there is light that never ends

Kim Walker-Smith/Jesus Culture – Walk With Me

NOTE – I recommend reading Rick Joyner’s recent Word for the Week. He focuses on the coming year and following. In the third paragraph he references Proverbs referring to unity and a threefold cord. The actual reference is Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


This Christmas

As we come to Christmas we have the now familiar slogans on seeking to retain the roots of the holiday. We are told to ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ and ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season.’ I agree with these things. Jesus is the reason for the season and even more importantly He was and is the true gift.

I do have a however. I think as the church we would be more effective if we put more effort into unwrapping this gift. When we receive a gift that we really appreciate we want to take some time and study it and acknowledge the giver. The more we pull back the layers of wrapping in our lives that obscure Jesus, the more this gift will begin to affect our lives and we will reflect more of Jesus. The more we look in appreciation to the one who gave the gift the more our lives and the lives of those around us will be affected.

So this Christmas, while it is good to reflect on the journey to Bethlehem, the Nativity scene and the other trappings of Christmas I have another suggestion. Let’s take some time to meditate on and live out the reality of a verse usually not associated with Christmas. Let’s unwrap this gift!

27  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)

Walking Uprightly

I think I am like many in the church in that I would like to have it ‘together’ and walk competently and confidently in my gifts as I walk with Jesus. I recognize and appreciate the gifts and skills He has built into me. Yet putting my trust in them is not what makes for a good leader in His kingdom. My trust needs to be in Him moving through me, not equipping me to work in my own strength.

The kingdom of God has been described as an ‘upside down kingdom’ based on the latter part of this verse in Acts. 6   “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” Acts 17:6 (NKJV)

Part of the upside down nature of His kingdom is that we rejoice in our weaknesses rather than our strengths.

7  And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9  And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NKJV)

A key factor in what Paul outlined in 2 Corinthians is that he was not seeking to be weak, he was recognizing his need for God’s grace to walk out his calling in spite of his weakness. We are no different. When we learn from our failures and mistakes and learn to lean into His grace and the lessons received we are more useful in His kingdom. Jacob wrestled with God and limped the rest of his life, Moses sought to deliver Israel in his own strength and failed before he became the leader and deliverer of a nation. David and Peter failed greatly. Paul was the persecutor who became the champion of grace and faith.

There is a pattern. Those who are greatly used in His kingdom are those who have learned that self-confidence is a stumbling block, not a virtue. Their trust lies not in their skills and abilities but in His ability to take burnt stones and make a new temple.

9  “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:9 (NKJV)

The new temple was built from the debris of the old one. In the same way when we see our weaknesses and failures as places as debris He uses to build His strength into us we learn to lean into Him to draw on His grace. Then we walk uprightly before Him because we are walking with Him.

So, while we may fail and fall at times in our walk with Him, let’s do it while seeking to walk out on the water with Jesus.

Oceans – Hillsong United



The Place of Honour Part 3 – The Witnesses

Hebrews is in some ways a rather enigmatic book. Understanding the role of the High Priest in the Old Testament (OT) is a very helpful aid to understanding this book. While Hebrews contrasts the OT role of the priest and Jesus role as the new eternal high priest, there is another area where I think the contrast needs to be recognized. That area is the reference to the great cloud of witnesses.

1  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)

In the OT the most important functions of the priest took place within the temple where only the high priest could go and the most important function happened once per year in the Holy of Holies under only the eyes of God. In the New Testament (NT) this ultimate sacrifice took place in public on a hill called Golgotha.

In Hebrews 11 the writer describes the hall of faith, the great honour roll of those who have gone before. There are a couple of ways of looking at this verse in context. While the focus on the whole book is on encouragement to walk uprightly before our Father, some view the reference to the cloud of witnesses as us being able to draw encouragement from those who have gone before and what they accomplished. While I think that is valid, I think there is something more to be discerned.

When we look at the NT Paul, John and others had the veil pulled back and they saw into the eternal heavenly realm. While I do not think we can simply do this at will I think the witnesses who have gone before can peer into our lives and what is happening. I think the image in 12:1 of being surrounded is that of running a marathon and the waiting crowd cheering as we enter the stadium for the final lap. In our culture a better image might be of a football or hockey game with a building full of fans cheering on their team, Jesus team really. Our great High Priest seeing the fruit of His sacrifice.

While I think the great heroes of the faith are in the stands, I think in addition to the heroes of the faith cheering us on to finish well, there are also the godly members of our families that have gone before. If we have a godly heritage behind us these people are cheering us on because we are part of their heritage and they have an investment in the outcome of our lives.

For me this is an encouragement, I want to honour investment of godly men and women into my life by living a godly life. So, who do you have in the stands cheering you on to finish well, encouraging you to draw on Jesus grace to live a life honouring their investment in you?