Walkin' n talkin' n...Talkin' n walkin'...

Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? Luke 24:32

Carter and I have this thing goin' -- walkin' n talkin'...n talkin' n walkin'...n walkin' n talkin' n....on and on and on.

It's pure delight for both of us, because Carter is 3-1/2...and I'm Carter's Babci (Polish for Grandma).  I know it won't last forever -- he'll grow up and become interested in many other things.  But for right now, we have each other and walkin' n talkin' n talkin' n walkin'!

Well, what is walkin' n talkin' n talkin' n walkin'?  It's simply this:  we just walk (or trot if you're Carter) and chat up a storm at a local, enclosed shopping area.

What do we talk about?  Anything and everything...from the mundane to the sublime -- like blue ugly dolls to how many frosties (snowmen) do we see...to which one we like best (mine's the one with the plaid scarf, his is the one with the sparkly colors)...or whether the train will be running in the children's department of the shoe store.

Carter & I talk about how we love each other, and how we are "best buds."  We also talk about how God wants him to obey mommy and daddy, and how Jesus living in him obeys through him (explained in 3 year old talk, of course!).

And of course, we eat burgers and play games in our booth at Buffalo Wild Wings.   What a glorious day!

My time with Carter reminds me of another pair of "Walkers & Talkers" -- Jesus and His disciples.  They "walked and talked" everywhere together --  through grain fields, through vineyards, from one town to another to another, and even out on the water...chatting up a storm.

Of course, Jesus being the Rabbi did the most significant talking.  But the disciples chatted too, sometimes putting their "foot in their mouths"...like asking who would be the greatest in the kingdom, etc.  But that was okay because Jesus loved them anyway...they were "best buds!"

Perhaps my favorite "walk" of theirs is the one on the road to Emmaus right after Jesus' resurrection (Luke 24).  Unlike my walks with Carter, the two disciples didn't even realize that it was their Lord Jesus Christ that was walking with them.

And He was sharing the Scriptures with them that spoke of Himself and His death, burial, and resurrection.  It wasn't until the intimate activity of eating together, that their eyes were opened to know HIM as their walking companion.

I think it's the same with us present-day disciples of Jesus.  We often "go our merry (or not so merry) way" feeling like the Lord is "up there somewhere" sending down a little help if we ask.  When in reality He is "God with Us" in close association with us at all times.  In fact, He is united to us in oneness.

A while ago, I was going through what felt like rejection in some areas of my life.

It all left me confused and disheartened...and LONELY!  I decided to go for a walk through a beautiful senior center near our home.

As I walked, I moaned and groaned to myself:  NOBODY really knows me...NOBODY really cares...NOBODY really gets who I am!

I sat down on the grass in a grove of trees, feeling all ALONE.

Then came the still small voice of my unseen Walking Partner:  Nobody really knew ME...nobody really cared for ME...nobody really got Who I AM! (Nobody except His heavenly Father, that is).

It was then that I realized that I hadn't been walking and moaning alone...

So the rest of the way, I walked hand-in-hand with the LONELY ONE.

What about you, my dear brother and sister in Christ?

Do you realize that you have a Life Walking Partner Who is your Almighty Loving Lord Christ? You are never alone, and you are always understood and cherished.  No matter what you're going through, walk through it hand-in-hand with HIM.

There's a song Wayne Watson put out a while ago, Walk in the Dark. (I've printed out the lyrics below.)  At first, I didn't understand it, because I naively thought Christians always walked in the "light."  After all, Jesus is the Light of the World, isn't He?   But after I went through some dark crises, then I got it!

If you are walking through darkness right now, may this be your heart cry...it's better to walk in the dark with JESUS, than to walk in the light on your own...Amen!

WALK IN THE DARK

where are you taking me-why are we turning here this road is strange to me-this path is not so clear must be the place where my doubt turns to faith where I close my eyes and take your hand

CHORUS: I'd rather walk in the dark with Jesus Than walk in the light on my own I'd rather go through the valley of the shadow with him Than to dance on the mountains alone I'd rather follow wherever he leads me Than to go where none before me have gone I'd rather walk in the dark with Jesus Than to walk in the light of my own

I've made some plans you know-mapped out a strategy Somebody tell me where did the seasons go-have you forgotten me I've heard the darkest hour is just before dawn And wherever you are the sun will shine

CHORUS

There will be shadows-but I won't be shaken 'Cause you've never forsaken a vow You've never failed me before this I know And, Jesus, you won't fail me now

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Bible Students: Perhaps you would like to  explore some of Jesus' other walks with His disciples.  Here are a few to get you started:Kaden studying

Through a grain field on the Sabbath -- Luke 6 Through Samaria, encountering the Samaritan woman -- John 4 On the water with Peter -- Matthew 14:22-33 Through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem before the Triumphal entry -- Luke 18:31-19:40 Through a vineyard on the way to Gethsemane -- John 15 On the road to Emmaus after the Resurrection -- Luke 24:13-35

Don't know Him? Or maybe you're just not sure?  Click here and read of one woman's spiritual journey.  Prayerfully reflect on the Scriptures.  May you come to put your faith in the One who loves you and died for you

Love's Abiding Harvest

jan at the harvest
jan at the harvest

As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love. John 15:9

When I returned home from California a couple weeks ago, I began meditating on John 15 from the "harvest" point of view.  Though my daytime thoughts were going in a different direction, my waking thought became a word from the Lord:  Abide in My love.

I visualized the Lord on His way to Gethsemane with his disciples.  He had just showed His love for them by washing their feet at supper and sharing His last loving instructions and encouragements before He went to the Cross.

Then Jesus and His beloved followers walked together through a vineyard:  I am the vine...you are the branches....whoever abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing...Just as the Father has loved me, so have I loved you, abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:5, 9-10

I couldn't get away from it...abide in My love! Then I realized, it's all about love.  It always is!

Deep in every human heart is the desire to love and be loved.  And it is also deep in the heart of God....because GOD IS LOVE!

ripe grapes
ripe grapes

So a harvest of fruitfulness is all about abiding in HIS LOVE!WHOSE LOVE?

The Father's love for the Son.

As the Father has loved me... John 15:9a

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. John 5:20a

The Son's love for the Father.

I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. John 14:31

I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:10

The Son's love for us.

...so have I loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9b

...when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. John 13:1

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

WHAT KIND OF LOVE?

The kind of love Jesus is talking about is agape...God's love, unconditional andsacrificial.  It's the kind that esteems another more highly than himself.  It's a love that can express a oneness of will and purpose, because it's not primarily "touchy-feely" but rather a choice of the will.  And it's hard to find on this earth.

It's the love that moved the Father to send the Son to the Cross on our behalf.  It's the love that motivated Jesus to always do as His Father commanded.  It's the love that moved the heart of the Son to sacrifice Himself for us.

And it's this very love in which we are to abide!

HOW DO WE ABIDE IN HIS LOVE?

Jesus gives us the answer:

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. John 15:10

So Jesus calls us to the same obedient life He lived...not by trying hard to live it, but by living with His obedient life.  Let me explain...

Because of the abiding life union of branch in the Vine, the obedient life of the Son of God courses through our spiritual veins.  Will we live from that from that Obedient Life?  That's always the question, isn't it?

WHAT ARE HIS COMMANDS?

They are those written in chapter and verse in the Scriptures...and on our hearts.

They are also the little Holy Spirit nudges that tell us to say a kind word or refrain from saying an unkind word....to pick up the phone and check on a friend...to stop and help someone in need instead of going our merry way.  Because in the context of John 13-17, the new command of the Lord is to love one another as He has loved us.

Or it may mean to stay away from a certain relationship or terminate one because it is ungodly and destructive.

His word may also come saying, "Put aside your own agenda and spend some time with Me, feeding on my Word and abiding in My love."

WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?

  • I can experience friendship with God. Jesus said that He has called us friends.  But friendships can't be just one-sided.  That's true in human relationships, and it's true in friendship with the Lord.  Jesus tells us that when we obey Him, we are His friends.You are my friends if you do what I command you.  John 15:14
  • I can use His name with confidence in prayer to the Father. I can be a "name dropper" in the throne room of heaven :)If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you....whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.John 15:7,16
  • I can be in on family secrets. This is the same perk the Son has in relationship with the Father!No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing;but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.    John 15:15
  • I can bear fruit that remains. What I do and who I am can have eternal results because of my life union with Christ, abiding in His love.By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples...I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide... John 15:8,16
  • I can experience exuberant joy :)These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Abide in His love, O beloved branch!

Because it's all about love...it always is!

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1John 5:3

We love because He first loved us! 1John 4:19

Here is a moving presentation of the Gospel of John.  About 8:50 minutes into this segment, you will see John 15.  Rest, enjoy, and abide in His love.


Kaden the student
Kaden the student

A project for Bible students:  Go through the epistle of 1 John and notice how the Elder Apostle John, years after writing his gospel, uses the same words and concepts...but with more depth.  Look for love, abide, keep His commandments...any others?