Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I taught you to walk...

Hebrews 21:1  -"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

Acts 20:24 - "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace."

Colossians 1:10 - "Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."

The above verses were selected from numerous references in Scripture which indicate our Christian lives are described with illustrative references to walking, or running a race. The Hebrew writer encourages us to get rid of anything that slows us down, and run the race with determination.  Then Paul, in the verse from Acts says his life is worthless and the really worthwhile life is one that runs the race given by the Lord.  Again Paul writing to the Colossians encourages us to walk worthy of the Lord while pleasing him and bearing fruit and increasing in knowledge.

Three verses where the language is used, but each of the three containing important lessons we should learn and practice.  There is one more such verse which I had overlooked, and it gives us tremendous insight into the "walk" of our lives in Christ. Look to the poetic verses from Hosea 11:3-4:

It was I who taught Ephraim(Israel) to walk,
    taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
    it was I who healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with ties of love;
I lifted the yoke from their neck
    and bent down to feed them.

Remember, the prophet Hosea was called  to teach the children of Israel how much God loved them.  Just as a loving parent will instruct, help, and guide a child in learning to walk, God says he is the one who taught Israel to walk. He took them by the arms even when they didn't realize it was God who was helping them.  Now notice that next verse. God "led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love," and God "lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them." 

For the children of Israel it was God, Abba Father, who showed them love, even though they sinned and sought after other gods. The relentless love of the God of heaven became their helper, their leader, their healer, and in fact the provider for their every need. He helps us, too, in our walk, and running the race, and when we stumble, he is there with his ties of love to lift us up. 


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