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Walking a Disciple’s Walk Week 1 Day 3: Walk in a Worthy Manner- Our Conduct

Day 3: Walk in a Worthy Manner – Our Conduct

Part 1: The Lie vs. the Truth and Why the Battle Matters

The Lie: “I love Jesus, but what I do doesn’t really matter.” 

Ways we may show we believe the lie:

• We don’t think deeply about why we do what we do or look how we look in light of what God has to say about it and how it affects our relationship to God. 

• We don’t think deeply about how our behavior or appearance affects the spiritual lives of others.   

• When any standards of behavior or dress are encouraged, we are quick to react with claims of legalism instead of considering whether or not they are wise.

• We do not look back introspectively at our days, weeks, months, and years and see where we have fallen short of representing our Savior well. 

• We feel no continual need to confess our sins or repent, and even when we do, we push that feeling aside because it feels too uncomfortable or outdated. “God knows I’m not perfect so it’s no big deal. What’s most important is being authentic.”

• When we hear people talk about reverence for God and His law and holiness and justice, we think they are taking religion too seriously because, really, God is love. “We’re not subject to law, because we’re under grace! God doesn’t care what we do because Jesus loves us!” Perhaps we don’t say that, but deep inside, we think it…because we live like it’s true.

• We pattern our manner of life after what our social circles think is cool or normal, and never question whether it is objectively good or not. If our friends are wearing that outfit or listening to that music or watching that show or parenting that way or participating in that activity or going there or fighting for that cause, we are right beside them doing the same—never asking the question of whether Jesus would join in with us. 

• We use our social media presence or influence to flaunt ourselves—our wealth, our power, our appearances, our accomplishments, our opinions, our critiques, and/or our performance—instead of using it to truly connect with, bless, or encourage others for God’s glory.

• We fail to pray about the big and small decisions of our lives and fail to even see why God cares about them, as if our day-to-day choices do not have any relevance to Him.

The Truth: If we truly loved Him, our conduct would be vitally important.

What God’s Word says:

“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” 

Colossians 1:9-10

“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 

1 John 2:3-6

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  

2 Peter 1:3-8 

“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

Romans 6:13

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” 

Romans 12:1-2 

“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.”

James 3:13

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 

John 14:21

Why the Battle Matters:

The truth is that either God’s Word is the final authority in our choices, or it is not. Either Christ is the center of our lives, or He is not. Either He is Lord and Master at every moment and in every situation, or He is not. Either His is the single most important opinion, or it is not. Either He is the greatest desire of our hearts, or He is not. There is no true “loving Jesus” and then pleasing ourselves by choosing what He has called us out of. The Lord makes that clear in John 14:21. We should also note that when Jesus calls us to pick up our cross and follow Him, our hands will then be full. We simply can’t cling to anything else.

While our Savior loves the precious people He died for, He will not sit by quietly while we continue to bow to the idols in our lives. We have been bought with a price and His love is jealous. He will not be our smiling cheerleader as we try to straddle the border fence between love for God and for the world. He will crush those idols. He will tear down that fence. No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), and we prove ourselves fools when we believe otherwise.

In many cases over the past several decades, the western church has decided we want to talk about unconditional love, but not about true repentance. We want to offer a Jesus who gives up everything to save us, while we are asked to give up nothing to love and serve Him in return. We are afraid to clearly present everything the Bible says as true and authoritative, because we don’t want to appear narrow-minded. We have all been culturally trained—whether consciously or not—to be intensely concerned about how “relatable” we appear to the world around us. What well-meaning Christians have often failed to understand is that conformity and worldliness are exactly what our sinful nature bends us toward. We do not need to keep bowing more and more to culture to win it over, or we will end up bowing so low that it will win us. And, if we look around us right now, we see that very thing happening.

Tragically, we have opened our minds so widely to the influence of culture that we have often failed to saturate our minds with the truth of God’s Word. Even if we truly believe it is the inspired and inerrant Word of God, we often do not know it as well as we should. Then, even if we know it well, we struggle to believe and obey it practically. This weakness can leave us as easy prey for the world’s deceptions. Sadly, the world has many of our hearts in a death grip and yet we respond to it with a sort of spiritual Stockholm syndrome. We, somewhere in the deepest part of us, believe that the world has something to offer us that Christ and a life pleasing to Him cannot give. 

Let’s take a minute to consider our own lives in light of this. Review your recurring thoughts and your regular activities and examine them based on where they are moving you spiritually. Does what you are reading, listening to, or watching feed your soul with truth or does it feed your flesh with temptation or lies? Do you take time to evaluate the worldview and teaching of the people who most influence you? At work or at school, are you seeking to please God by working hard and using your gifts for His glory, or are you frantically pursuing acceptance and worldly success? At home, are you guiding your loved ones toward eternal or only temporary goals and priorities? Is your social media presence being used to further your own agenda and influence or to advance God’s kingdom? What does your stewardship of your time, your finances, and your energy reveal about where your heart truly is?

If this barrage of questions makes you feel uncomfortable, I assure you I am feeling their weight right beside you. Yet, it is supposed to be uncomfortable to put ourselves and our choices under the clear microscope of God’s Word. The walk of a disciple is a walk of submission and sacrifice, consistently dropping our sinful baggage by the side of the road and re-centering our gaze on the Lord we follow. Then, as we learn to walk in total dependence on Him, our character and our conduct will be shaped by what we see in His.

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