What Makes The Difference? Part 1 How can I have that great walk with God that others seem to have but is missing in my life?

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Ephesians 3:16-19 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

 

In the last couple of years I have noticed in many conversations with believers, a desire to have a deeper walk with the Lord. What a great day it is when we identify our greatest need. We have a moment of realization that our biggest problems are not our marriages or our wayward children or our sortied addictions, but our foundational relationship with our God. In a culture where we think we can read our way to righteousness, or work our way to God’s will, we can easily be discouraged with our personal joy in Christ (or lack thereof).

The Problem: Identification of the foundational needs in lives

Too often we find ourselves reacting to problems or trials in our lives. Each of us has varied circumstances that we face that we would deem difficult. These circumstances are what the scripture refers to as the trials of life. (1Peter 4:12) So profound is old hymn that states, “every joy or trial falleth from above, traced upon our dial by the Sun of love”. We can become so taken by these circumstances that we confuse them for what the main focus of our life should be. For example, it’s easy for the couple that is struggling in their marriage to begin to think that “If my marriage was what it was supposed to be, THEN I could have fulfillment in my Christian life.” Maybe it would be something like “If I could just get victory over this stubborn habit” or “my children need more of my attention, I need to focus on them” so I can finally be where I have joy in my Christian life. Each one of these arguments have been used to accuse or excuse the christian in their quest to find the peace of God in their life.

At the root of every one of these statements is a presumption that we master the circumstance we are in before a relationship is possible with the Lord that would provide the fulfillment we are looking for. In this assumption we forget that we are accepted already in the beloved. (Rom. 5:8 / Eph. 1:6) The problem is not that our circumstances are keeping us from a relationship with our God, it is our prioritization of those circumstances (above Christ) that is destroying our relationship. So often the blessing and trials of life become the reason we live the christian life, instead of the God of those blessings or trials.

Let me illustrate with this thought.

God has blessed me with a beautiful wife and four wonderful children. In the process of time I become consumed with my children’s education or sports activities and am wondering how I can rekindle the fire in my marriage. I love my wife and kids very much, so I get involved in church, because I know that church will help my marriage and it is a good environment to raise my kids. I may even take on a ministry and look like, to an outside observer, that I have a wonderful Christian family. While I drive home from church, I take a comment from my wife wrong and begin to yell at her and I am short with my kids, there is strife that lasts till the morning. I feel guilty for how I’ve treated my family which makes me even more irritable and I long for peace and harmony in my home. My solution? I must not be working hard enough, it must be because I’m not… you fill in the blank. Sound familiar?

An Observation: Matthew 6:25-33 “…Is not the life more than…?”

What if you were not married or had the perfect marriage, could you walk with God? What if you didn’t have children or had model kids that you were immensely proud of, would you walk with God? What if today you no longer had to deal with your stubborn habit, or if you had 100k in the bank, would you be walking with God?

I will answer that for you. NO you wouldn’t. If you are not now, you wouldn’t be if your circumstances were different.

Your answer lies not with what is going on around you, but rather, what is going on within you.

The Solution: So much of the Christian life is getting back to the basics.

David taught his son Solomon, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” What is the Key to a good home? Simple. The Lord Jesus Christ. What is the Answer to security for my life and family? Simple. The Lord Jesus Christ. Cultivating a walk with God is not different than if you wanted a relationship with a friend or relative. My next post will deal with the workings of that relationship.

Our Church Anniversary

imageIn 1833 a group of Christians began meeting together for Bible study and worship.  This body of believers was called the Clarkson Baptist Society, and they would soon become Walker Baptist Church.  The congregation at Walker has been through many things in it ‘s 178 year history; fire, thefts, damaging storms, relocation, joining with and parting from the American Baptist Convention.  Our Church has seen many pastors in that time, some for as short as 6 months, and some faithful for close to 30 years.

This month will mark the completion of my second year as pastor of the congregation at Walker.  God has greatly blessed our ministry in the last year.  Many souls were saved, and the baptistry waters were stirred and many followed the Lord in believers baptism.  This year we continue our efforts to see Souls Saved, Lives Changed, and the Saviour Served.  Our theme for the year is Abounding in Hope from Romans 15:13.  We have no greater Hope than Jesus Christ!  If our Lord tarries his return, my prayer is 178 years from now, those who come behind us will find us faithful in serving Jesus Christ.

The AV1611 Bible is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  I am very excited about the Bible Study Fellowships that we are doing on Wednesday Evenings to strenghen our position in the word of God.  I would dare say that much has changed in 178 years.  One thing has not changed, God’s word, the Holy Bible.  It is our continued desire to magnify the Lord and proclaim his word to a lost and dying world.  Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

Throughout the course of history there have been difficult and challenging times, and there lies, no doubt, more of those times ahead of us.  As someone once said, “What lies behind us, and what lies before us, pales in comparison to what lies within us.”

I am glad I serve a risen Saviour, and am honored to serve him with the good people of Walker Bible Baptist Church.  Let us count the cost and serve the Lord with our whole heart!  Happy Anniversary, Walker Bible Baptist Church!

Something to be Learned from Civil Servants

imageI’ve been there and maybe you have, too.  For me it was February 16,1993 when a drunk driver crossed the center line and we met head on one snowy afternoon on Ridge Road in Clarkson.  I was laying under the guard rail in the snow, beginning to go into shock when the ambulance arrived.  They began to cut my clothes and put me on a wooden stretcher then we headed for the hospital.  Lakeside Memorial diverted us to Strong and three weeks later I was home recovering from, what was for me, one of the scariest moments of my life.

I am thankful for the people that gave their time, who used their talents and abilities to help me when I was in a place where I could not help myself.  If not for the ambulance crew that picked me up and got me on an IV drip and delivered me to a specialty medical center in remarkable time, I would have slipped into eternity that bitter winter day.

Civil servants are people like you and me, who have dedicated their life to a cause bigger than themselves, others.  Each one has their own reasons perhaps of why they do what they do, or why they chose their particular field of service.  I for one am thankful for each and every one of them.

When I think of how Jesus Christ gave his life for me I am also humbled and deeply grateful.  The Scriptures tell us that “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

What if Christians were to follow the example of Jesus?  What if we were to give our lives for others?  We would differ only slightly from the firefighter, or policeman, or EMS responder.  These labor to save the lives of those around them.  So also we should labor to save the lives of those around us… for eternity is at steak.

Thank you for your service.

Phillip J Huber

Pastor

Walker Bible Baptist Church | 1425 Walker Lake Ontario Road | Hilton - New York - 14468 | 585.964.3470