Walk the Talk (I John 2:6)
I John 2:6, He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
A June 21, 1974 article that appeared in Christianity Today was about Christians in the Soviet Union. A former criminal, Kozlov, who later became a church leader, wrote of life in a Soviet prison. Here is what he stated: Among the general despair, while prisoners like myself were cursing ourselves, the camp, and the authorities; while we opened up our veins, our stomachs, or hanged ourselves; the Christians (often with sentences of 20 to 25 years) did not despair. One could see Christ reflected in their faces. Their pure, upright lives, deep faith, and devotion to God, their gentleness and their wonderful manliness became a shining example of real-life for thousands. These Christian prisoners imitated the life of Jesus Christ. They walked or lived as the Lord did. John speaks again of the lifestyle of the Christian, dealing now with the walk of the believer. He states that if you say you abide in the Lord, then you need to behave like Him.
This word “abideth” means “to dwell, to reside, to remain, to continue to exist or to live, to persist.” The word "walk" means “to keep on walking; to continuously walk”. If a person says that he abides in Christ, he ought to walk as Jesus walked. The word “ought” means “debt, constraint, obligation”. The person who professes Jesus is obligated to walk as Jesus walked. He is in debt to walk as Christ walked. If a person claims to have a relationship with the Lord, then that person’s talk should match their walk. He or she needs to walk or live as Jesus lived. This is an important aspect of reaching people for Jesus Christ. We are the lights in the world (Matthew 5:14-16), now that He has ascended into Heaven. The Christian life is a walk (Ephesians 2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:1, 8, 15; Colossians 1:10; I Thessalonians 2:12).
The priority of the Christian's life is to walk as Jesus walked. Being a Christian is not a part-time deal. It is a consistent way of life. We need to be realistic and admit that no Christian will ever be perfect on this side of the grave. However, we do have a priority to walk as Christ walked. The priority of Christ's life was to obey the perfect will of God. What a testimony we would have if we would simply set our hearts to love and do the will of God. When we walk as Christ walked, in obedience to the Word and will of God, we please Him.
How did Christ walk upon earth?
• He walked believing and trusting God.
• He walked fellowshipping and communing with God.
• He walked giving and sacrificing all He was and had to God.
• He walked loving and caring for others just as God said to do.
• He walked obeying and keeping all of God's commandments.
• He walked seeking and following after God.
• He walked teaching and telling others about God.
• He walked worshipping and praying to God.
Jesus showed us how we should live in total dependence on the Father and in complete submission to His will, no matter how difficult. Following Jesus’ example is not meant to be optional for Christians; it is to be a way of life (Acts 11:26) that boldly identifies with Christ (Mark 8:34) and reflects His character. This is not possible without spending time in God’s Word because that is the one place where we actually see what Jesus would do. By studying God’s Word for ourselves and praying that God would help us apply it to our lives, we invite the Holy Spirit to guide us in Jesus’ steps and develop His character in us (John 14:25-26; 17:12-15). To walk as Jesus walked means that our lives should be characterized by daily dependence on God, submission to Him, and obedience to His will.
Everyone who claims to abide in Christ should have the same focus and direction, not to act in independence from God, but in total dependence on Him. John is saying, ‘if we say we know Jesus we need to show that we know Jesus.’ John gives the requirement for abiding in Jesus. We are to live as He lived. Our walk and our talk ought to coincide; what we say with our lips ought to be consistent with the way we live our life. We cannot live like Jesus if we do not know Jesus. God’s not interested in how high we can jump, but how straight we can walk when we hit the ground. We should not live to please ourselves apart from God, but to do the things that are pleasing to Him. Our hearts desire should be, wherever He is I want to be, whatever He’s doing I want to do, whatever He’s saying I want to say, wherever He’s going I want to go! Are you abiding in Jesus? Do you remain in Jesus? Are you continuing with Him? How do you measure up? Are you walking as Jesus walked? Additional Verses to Study: Matthew 16:24; John 13:15; Romans 6:4; II Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:1-2, 8, 15; Philippians 2:5; Colossians 1:10; 3:13; I Thessalonians 2:12; Hebrews 3:1-2; I Peter 2:21; I John 1:7; 2:6.
Points to Ponder:
In our Christian life we daily face the decision of, will we live for Jesus and follow Him or will we live for self?
God wants us to show that we know Him to this world.
We need to let the world know that our walk lines up with our talk.
We will seek to please Him by our thoughts, words, and deeds.
While we will never perfectly walk as Jesus walked, it should be our constant aim and effort to do so.
Questions to Consider:
Are you giving evidence that you know God by the way you are living?
Do you have the assurance from the Lord?
Is the love of God being perfected in you?
If you have never accepted Jesus as your Saviour, would you trust Jesus today?
Would you begin to walk daily as He did?
PRAYER: Father, You have reminded me that our relationship goes two ways—You abide in me and I abide in You. Continue, Lord, to develop the fruit in my life that demonstrates Your indwelling power. Deepen my reliance on You by leading me into increased expressions of Your Word applied in and to my life. Thank You for abiding in me, Lord Jesus. In Your strong name I pray, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.