Supernal Sunday – August 27, 2023 Edition: Walking The Walk (with alt-texts of verses)

Walking with Jesus. What does that really mean?

Today I choose to share, from my own experience, what leads me as I walk the walk with Jesus. While I obviously cherish and honor the entirety of Scripture as I apply it to my life, these portions are always foremost in my mind:

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12
Beloved, if God so loved us, we out also to love one another. 1John 4:11 KJV
If anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master of the house, ready for every good work. 2Timothy 2:21
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Romans 15:1-2
Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. Romans 15:7

Loving one another…being a vessel…helping the weak unselfishly…receiving others for God’s glory… All are noble ideals. What sets them apart from mere worldly kindness is the involvement of Jesus, through His Spirit, for God’s glory and not our own.

A combination of multiple verses, intertwined in different fonts to be more readable. The verses are "I was hungry and you gave Me food to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me." (Matthew 25:35-36) and "Most certainly I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40

Being a vessel is the calling of a Christian. It isn’t about US, everything is about HIM. Yes, everything. And that may look different for each of us; I can only speak of how it looks for me. It is about His leading: my thoughts and ideas are just a human brain coming up with stuff that may look good but aren’t part of His plan.

And now, the realities…

  • Sitting in a restaurant, and seeing a woman sitting alone, crying…being impelled to walk through the tables to her, to offer to pray with her
    (as a vessel: the Spirit uses my legs and mouth to take me to her and say what He knows she needs to hear. My thoughts of potential embarrassment or rejection are not part of the equation.)
  • Shopping in a clothing store, and unthinkingly picking up articles that have fallen and are being stepped on.
    (This is not me! It is a painful thing to do, and were I not a vessel, I certainly wouldn’t be doing it on my own!)
  • Someone who has done nothing for me calls, upset, when I’m in the middle of something important to me, and my heart is instantly full of the desire to be there for her, with God’s love and patience listen to her, my own “something important” immediately forgotten as I feel her pain.
    (It’s not about me; He replaces “me” with “Him” and my desires with His compassion.)
  • Using the gifts and talents He has given me, even when I’d rather be doing something else. Often He nudges, and I have to make a choice. “Yes, I am hungry and want to make something to eat” becomes simply “Use me.”
    (In the end I’m always blessed by obeying His voice – BONUS!)
  • I’m in public and catch the eye of someone – never a coincidence, by the way – and a smile appears on my face as a feeling of reaching out touches my heart. A worker seems harried and frustrated at her job, and God shows something lovely about him/her and I comment on it. A mom has a fussy toddler in her shopping cart as she’s trying to get through a checkout line and I suddenly feel delight and have to indulge in a game of Peek-a-boo. A struggling neighbor loses her last $20 bill to the wind and starts to cry; the Lord impresses upon me to hand her another.
    (Being where God put me, for His purposes, to accomplish His work, in His way, according to His plan…and sharing His love!)

THESE ARE NOT ME. Under my own steam I would stay in my own world, doing what I want to do, complaining about those who interrupt me. My dad always taught me to do whatever I could to brighten the day of anyone I come into contact with, wherever I went, and that has been part of my life forever, as it is for many “good people”. But only God working through us can put us where we wouldn’t have gone, doing things we wouldn’t have done, serving others with His compassion, giving us love for even the unlovable, and using His words to reach those He wants to reach, accomplishing His plan for us – and those around us. It is who we are, as Christians.

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. Galations 2:20


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