Kingdom Principle: You cannot walk on the Path of Life alone
The Path of Life is marked by maturity.
|Acts 2:14a, 36-41||Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19||1 Peter 1:17-23||Luke 24:13-35|
When I have traveled inter-nationally every time I enter the US border I am asked if I have anything to declare. I often wonder what are they really asking me to share with them… then there are all sort so rules about I have to declare and that which they don’t care about. Once when driving home from Mexico, we stated we had nothing to declare, because we had not bought anything while in Mexico, the guard asked “are you sure…” I said yes… wondering why he was pressing the topic…. then he said that the three apples that were sitting near the front seat were a violation and needed to be declared. (even though they had been bought in the US prior to the trip) Our vehicle was searched and they “slapped us on the wrist” and said be more careful about what you are required to declare…. What are you required to declare as you journey along the Path of Life? And if you don’t know what to declare, beware because you will be held responsible.
On the Path of Life we receive– Forgiveness, Faith, Grace & Mercy which are gifts from God. God is continually calling us into a deeper relationship of intimacy with Him. Relationships require two parties to give of themselves and communication is the foundation of that relationship. Some relationships are dependent where one person does all the work, others are independent where both people co-exist but interaction is self-serving. Interdependent relationships result from working together for mutual benefit. As we mature on the path of life, we move into a state of interdependence with God. While it is always God who initiates and sustains, God invites us to be his ambassadors and agents of reconciliation in the world. While it is God who delivers, it is his children who declare.
Again, our Deliverance is in Forgiveness, Faith, Grace, Mercy which we are receiving from God – that is his gift and call to us. We declare our Confession, Obedience, Submission, & Celebration in response to acts of God. Do you know how to declare such things unto the LORD? In the same way we looked at it last week – it is not as if, Mercy is not available to you until you reach that “stage”. However the depth to which Mercy is given is not fully comprehended or understood until we have progressed down the path further. As children we have no idea the sacrifices our parents make for us as at the time, but as we age and even become parents ourselves our depth and understand become complete. That does not mean we did not receive their love at the time, it was just truly greater and beyond us… but in the fullness of the relationship the understanding and connection becomes deeper.
On the journey of Cleopas and his companion in the gospel of Luke we can see the movement of the entire Path of Life being declared. We first declare a Confession – the declaration of the power of Christ’s power and our hope and conviction in Him for salvation. This confession is always one of our dependence on God who delivers. Obedience is found in our walk with the Lord, not that we always understand every step, but that it is like a fire that moves and burns with us to continue to press on. It is often in these steps that believers can get lost in independence from God simply going about the motions and doing the work. Submission moves us beyond Obedience, and while the actions of obedience may not be different from those of submission, it is the motivation which has matured. In Submission the doors of our heart are open fully and our eyes are opened to see as Christ sees. When our eyes are opened, we move in Celebration and interdependence. After a long 7 mile trek, the two walkers joyfully return in the darkness of night, as they become the light of life and illuminate the truth.
Psalm 116 paints the picture through the words that follow the declaration of “I love the LORD” therefore I will call on him as long as I live…. I will lift up the cup of salvation, I will serve & sacrifice, I will fulfill my vows.. 1 Peter gives us the work of God and the reasons as to why we are able at all to mature on the path of life, rather than to follow an empty or useless way of life;
1. We have a Father who judges us impartially. This is the Father declaring over us – I have set you apart, you are mine.
2. We have been covered by the Blood of Christ. Redemption is complete in our Savior’s Righteousness, it is not only that God has set you apart; Jesus has declared a way for you to be united with God.
3. We have been born again (from above) by the power of the Spirit. This work declares that we are purified by the Truth. And Love is the fruit of such movement.
Therefore you are never alone on the Path of Life. The call as voice by Peter is to ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation” but clearly this is not something you can do alone.
- Confess and declare forgiveness of sin – this is our witness of words
- Obey and declare your faith – this is our witness of works
- Submit and declare the mystery of grace – this is our call of surrender & supplication
- Celebrate and declare the power of mercy – this is our call of adoration & acceptance
Path of Life Declaration: