This week we welcome Elder August Luymes as he brings the message from Luke 24:15, Walking with Jesus. Walking with Jesus is not always easy but he does walk with us, he does not forsake us and he carries us when we are too weak to walk. We are blessed to have so much loving care that we can live in joy and peace knowing the love of our Father in Heaven.
Walking with Jesus
Luke 24: 15
After delivering the message on the road to Emmaus and encouraging everyone to read the scriptures, someone remarked that walking with Jesus is not always easy. I pondered on this and yes they were right but “why,” became the question. Since I like to do Sudokus to exercise my brain I thought I could approach this question in a solving way. Then in the book I was using there was a logistics problem which gives all sorts of clues and if you use the clues correctly the problem is solved.
Let me give you an example. There are four elderly people coming to church. One person walks, two have walkers, one red and another blue and one uses a walking stick. They all arrive at different times, the earliest at 10:10 and the others 2 minutes apart. The one with the red walker sits closest to the front and the one with the walking stick sits the furthest from the pulpit. They all have different snacks to keep them from falling asleep. Now I am not giving you all the clues but you will have to figure out who comes first, where they sit which mode of transport and what snack each one uses.
You may wonder why this huge introduction and this is how I approached the question of why the walk with Jesus is not easy. I did not open an encyclopedia or ask Google but opened the Bible as the Bible speaks. Often times, questions in our lives can be answered within the word of God.
There was a time in my life that my expenses exceeded my income and I went to the Bible for help. Then I read Matthew 6:25-34 about worrying. Many of you know these verses and the last verse, ”But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its’ own.” Now we go to the clues for why walking with Jesus is not always easy.
Clue number one comes from Genesis 3:16-17. To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you. To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat of it,” “cursed is the ground because of you through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.” We will have pain and weeds will be a problem all our lives because of sin. We will have to work hard to get rid of the weeds in order to enjoy the food the ground produces. Child bearing and nurturing will not be easy as we as parents all know.
Clue number 2: Job 1: 9-11. “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has and he will surely curse you to your face.” Satan does not like Christians who are wealthy and walk with God. As you read the book of Job you will discover at what length Satan goes to try and make Job sin. Satan does the same to us who walk with Jesus. He tries to make us forsake God by every means that God allows him to use. It is not easy to walk with Jesus when temptation creeps in.
Clue number 3: Philippians 1:29-30. “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.” Suffer for Jesus. Yes there are times when we have to forsake earthly pleasures to proclaim our allegiance to God. Are we suffering enough? Many of us have aches and pains that we readily share with others at coffee time. Yes we are born to suffer and we need to acknowledge that what we suffer for is what we believe. Belief that Jesus came to redeem us from this world and give us hope for eternal life comes with persecution.
Clue number 4: Luke 24:37-39. Doubts. “They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see. “When we are afflicted with a disease or trouble of some sort that comes upon us, do we doubt that Jesus cares? Satan uses doubt to make our walk with Jesus difficult. We need to pray with the father of the demon possessed boy, “I do believe help me overcome my unbelief!”
There are more clues in the Bible pointing towards giving up worldly ways in order to walk with Jesus so the scriptures acknowledge that our walk with Jesus is not always easy. Jeremiah was dropped into a muddy well to die. Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den, Joseph was put into prison and John the Baptist was beheaded, all, while serving God.
There are clues towards this amazing grace. Genesis 3: 15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” A promise made by God to win the victory over Satan.
The clue in Job 36:15, “But those who suffer, he delivers in their suffering. He speaks to them in their affliction.” After Satan was done causing all the trouble for Job, God blessed him with more than he had before. When you stay steadfast in your faith and walk with Jesus, you will be blessed.
Philippians 1: 27- 28 encourages us to, “Stand firm in our faith. Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.” This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved-and that by God! The enemy will be destroyed by God and you will be saved. What an assurance that God is with us through all our suffering.
In Luke 24, Jesus takes all our doubts away. He reaffirms the reason for his birth and death and resurrection in vs 46. He told them, “This is what is written; The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance of sins will be preached in his name to all nations!”
Yes, walking with Jesus is not always easy but he does walk with us, he does not forsake us and he carries us when we are too weak to walk. We are blessed to have so much loving care that we can live in joy and peace knowing the love of our Father in Heaven. And all God’s suffering but joyful people say, Amen. Amen!
Song suggestions: In Doubt and Temptation, Trust and Obey