Pastoral Perspectives

Are You Walking with Jesus?

Last year 2017, how was your walk with Jesus the Lord? If you have not reflected on how your walk with Jesus was in the year 2017, then it would be good to carve out some time to deliberately do some personal reflections. Beginning this year 2018, have you thought of setting aside time to consider how your walk with Jesus the Lord would be like this year? Whatever we plan to do this year, we really need to rely upon the grace of God to guide and help us. We need the wisdom and the strength of the Lord. We need the prayers of the people of God to uphold us through.

Walking with Jesus? What do I mean by “walking with Jesus”? I am referring to your relationship with Jesus. How do you treat Jesus and His precious Word? Do you follow Jesus daily in your life? In Luke 9:23 ESV, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Let me explain in details in this Bible verse what it meant to walk with Jesus.

Firstly, “to walk with Jesus” requires us to deny ourselves. We need to forsake our rights to our own life. We need to give up what used to get a hold on our life. We need to give up our ownership to our life and surrender it to Jesus. We need to stop doing things which we used to do that are displeasing to Jesus. We need to confess our sins and acknowledge the power of Jesus’ forgiveness. In Romans 12:1-2 ESV, these biblical truths are clearly spelt out here. We need to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. We need to be transformed by the renewal of our mind. We cannot continue to follow our old, stubborn ways and still follow the ways of Christ. We cannot serve God and mammon (see Matthew 6:24 ESV). To walk with Jesus is to love Jesus and His precious Word. We cannot continue to love the world and at the same time love Jesus. We have to choose one against the other in order to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.

Secondly, “to walk with Jesus” requires us to take up our cross daily. To take up our cross daily simply means the willingness to be afflicted or suffer as a result of following Jesus. Each of us has our own cross to bear for the sake of following Christ Jesus the Lord. People may forsake or reject you because you hold a different value or principle or conviction from them. As a follower of Christ Jesus, you are to live differently from the world. Your values are guarded and guided by the Word of God. You choose a different path from the people of the world. You are now the people of God, no longer the people of the world. You cannot live like the people of the world. You are special, unique and different in the sight of God. In Psalm 34:19 ESV, I have learnt that “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Let us endure all hardships for the sake of Christ Jesus the Lord. So, “to walk with Jesus” requires us to take up our cross daily.

Finally, “to walk with Jesus” requires us to truly and completely follow Jesus. There is no second thought here. There is no turning back here. In this song, “I have decided to follow Jesus”, there is a stanza which strongly reminds me that “The world behind me, the cross before me”. This stanza validates what I am trying to convey regarding the authenticity of following Jesus. When I forsake the things of this world and embrace the things of God, this is what it meant to truly follow Jesus. To follow Jesus is to obey Jesus and His clear instructions. Since the day I have followed Jesus, there is no regret and there is no turning back. Instead, there is joy and peace in my life in following Jesus. To walk with Jesus requires us to discipline ourselves in setting aside time to spend with Him alone and to sit at His feet, listening attentively to His Word and leaning on His guidance and wisdom to carry out what He has spoken to us and instructed us in His Word.

So, let us deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and truly and completely follow Jesus our King and our Lord. Amen.

Pr George Ang

January 7, 2018