Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6 (NIV)
They are the "walkers." They are in every neighborhood. They beat the same path on the same streets at the same time every day. You can set your clock by their faithfulness.
We give them a quick glance because to give them more usually brings up those feeling of things we ought to be doing.
You can embrace their call or continue with life as usual. It doesn't really matter to them. They will still be walking by our houses tomorrow at the same time, on the same path, at the same pace.
I have noticed that there are some "walkers" who are not like the rest. These "walkers" send a message that appears to be a little more determined. They carry sticks, the offensive weapon of choice of all true "walkers." They are ready to send a painful reminder to any dog at any time.
The streets belong to the "walkers." They know that they might get attacked, but they refuse to be defenseless. They also refuse to quit walking.
It is very clear that we will risk to do what we want. We will defend what we feel is worth defending.
In Acts, Paul says this about a duty he was called by God to fulfill: "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me; the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:22-24 (NIV)
When was the last time any of us have been compelled to walk across the street for God and invest in a hurting neighbor? When was the last time we took a risk for our faith?
The best-case scenario would have been a life impacted. The worst-case scenario would have been that your heart of concern was revealed for someone else. Either way, you win and so does your fellow man.
Jesus had to go through Samaria in John 4:4 (NIV) He had an appointment with a certain woman at the well. Jesus also told his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Matthew 16:21 (NIV)
I cannot escape the call God has placed on my life. You cannot escape the call he has placed on your life. Our lives were meant to be productive on an eternal scale, not a pleasure scale. As a matter of fact, you will never begin to live until you begin to give of yourself.
If a "walker" can defend his turf and prove to be consistent on a day-to-day basis, so can we.
The ground we are called to defend is far more precious and the stakes are much higher. I hope today we will listen to the voice that compels us.
Step out and claim the same status Paul and Silas held in Acts 17, "These men, who have caused trouble all over the world, have now come here." Acts 17:6-7 (NIV)
It's time to be consistent with what we say we believe. It is time to get involved in the lives of others who need us. It's time to stand up and be God's hand in our community. This is still a new year and the new you is waiting to be discovered.
Gordon Mularski is senior pastor of Treasure Coast Community Church, which meets on Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Jensen Beach High School Performing Arts Center, located at 2875 N.W. Goldenrod Road, in Jensen Beach.
For information, visit the Web site, www.TC3.org, or call (772) 334-3999.