Crossway Walking with God

ISBN 13: 9781682162453

Walking with God

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9781682162453: Walking with God

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught.
Colossians 2:6–7

You prayed and asked Jesus to forgive your sins. You invited Him to come and live in your heart. Congratulations! You are now a Christian—a disciple, or follower, of Jesus Christ. You have become a child of God. Now it’s time to really get to know God better and learn how to walk with Him.

It’s not unlike the process we all experience as human beings. We begin life as tiny little babies. We don’t know anything about the world around us. We can’t do anything for ourselves. We have to be taught. We have to learn how to talk . . . we have to learn how to walk. One step at a time.

The same thing happens with our faith in Jesus. In the beginning we are “baby” Christians. We have a lot to learn! But little by little, day by day, one step at a time, we discover what it truly means to be Christian and how to live a life that pleases God.

As we learn to walk with God, we grow in our faith. We grow in our capacity to know and understand who God is. We grow in our ability to receive what He has to give us. We grow in appreciation of all that He is and all that He has done for us. The more we learn, the richer and fuller and deeper our relationship with God becomes.

This booklet will tell you how to walk with God: the things you can do that will help you draw closer to Him. There are all kinds of ideas and suggestions inside—most of them come right from the Word of God itself, the Bible. Sometimes you’ll see Scriptures listed in parentheses like this: ( ). Look up the verses if you want to read them for yourself, or use the special sections called “To Find Out More.”

Now here is how you can learn to walk with God.

1. Walk in the Word

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105

The best way to get to know God is to read the Bible. Every word, every verse, every chapter was inspired by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16). Someone once said the Bible is God’s love letter to us. The Bible explains who God is and what He is like. It tells us how He created the world and why He created all of us. The Bible teaches us right from wrong and shows us how to live in a way that pleases God. It introduces us to Jesus—our Savior—God’s one and only Son.

Sixty-six books make up the Bible. They are divided into two sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some books tell us the stories of heroes of our faith: men and women who lived for God and did great things for Him. Others are filled with poetry, prayers, and proverbs—words of advice and instruction. Still others contain prophecies, special messages from God to His people. The stories about Jesus begin in the New Testament.

There are many ways to study the Bible. You can start at the beginning and read straight through, from Genesis to Revelation. If you were to read four chapters a day, you would finish in about a year or so.

Or you might choose to study one particular book at a time. Many new Christians begin by reading the Gospel of John. You can also look up verses throughout the Bible on a specific subject, such as “courage” or “friendship” or “peace.” Most Bibles have a concordance, or index, at the back that will help you find the verses you are looking for. You may also use a Bible study guide or workbook.

Whenever you finish a paragraph or chapter, review what you have read. See if you can answer the five W’s and an H: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. Ask God to help you understand these Scriptures and learn something from what you have read. You might want to write your thoughts down in a notebook or journal.

More Ways To Walk In The Word:

  • Listen to audio versions of the Bible on cassette or compact disc. Play them while you’re getting ready for work in the morning, put them on in the car, or set them to play softly—and continuously—while you sleep at night.
  • Memorize Bible verses that are meaningful to you, verses that encourage you or challenge you.
  • Copy verses onto sticky notes. Put them where you will see them often—on the refrigerator, by the computer, or on the bathroom mirror.
  • Make your own flashcards. Keep them in your wallet or purse and review them throughout the day. Practice saying each verse first thing in the morning, on the way to work, or before you go to bed at night.
  • Sing Scripture memory songs. You may have learned them at church, listened to them on Christian radio, or picked up a compact disc at your local Christian bookstore. You can also make up your own songs, from your heart to God.
  • Ask a friend or family member to test you. See if you can say the verse and the reference (title of the book, chapter, and verse) without any help.

To Find Out More: Read Psalm 119:9,11; Deuteronomy 6:6, and Hebrews 4:12.

2. Walk in an Attitude of Prayer

Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer is simply talking to God. The Bible tells us that God is the best friend we could ever have. We can share all of our thoughts and feelings with God, because He understands. He always has time to listen. He always cares (1 Peter 5:7). Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Some people prefer to pray silently, while others like to pray out loud. Some find it helpful to kneel or bow their heads and close their eyes—it keeps them focused and reduces distractions. But of course, you can pray any time, any place, any way that is comfortable for you. Sometimes you might repeat prayers you have learned at church or memorized from the Bible. At other times, you will want to pray in your own words.

It’s a good idea to set aside at least one special time to pray each day (maybe before or after you read your Bible). Praise God for who He is—how good and kind and loving He has been. Confess your sins to Him; admit your mistakes. Tell God that you are sorry and pray for His forgiveness. Ask God for what you need. Bring all of your problems to Him. Pray for your friends and family. Thank God for listening to your prayers—and answering them!

God answers prayers in all kinds of ways. It may not always be the way that we expect! Sometimes God performs miracles—and sometimes He works through “ordinary” circumstances. God may speak to us through our pastor, parents, or friends. He might lead us to a verse in the Bible that will help us. The Bible tells us God always answers prayer. Sometimes He says, “Yes.” Sometimes He says, “Wait.” And sometimes He says, “No.”

You see, God is not only our best friend, He is our Heavenly Father. Like any good parent, He provides for us and He protects us. He knows what is best for us. Often He sends us what we really need—even if it’s not what we think we want. No matter what His answer is, we can trust Him completely. He will always give us His very best (Matthew 7:11).

You may want to keep a prayer journal—a notebook in which you write out your prayers, like letters to God.

You could put together a prayer poster, with photos of your friends and family, neighbors, classmates and teachers, missionaries, and world leaders. Pray for each person as you look at his or her picture.

Or write his or her name on a file card, a strip of construction paper, or a piece of card stock. Use it as a bookmark and keep it in your Bible.

Sometimes it helps to make a list of specific things you are praying about (a sick friend, a troubled child, a problem at work). Leave some space next to each request. Later you can write down how and when God answered that prayer. Be sure to thank Him!

To Find Out More: Read Luke 11:9, Mark 11:24, and Philippians 4:6.

3. Tell Others the Good News!

But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. . . .
1 Peter 3:15–16

A witness is a person who tells others what he or she has seen or experienced. Jesus said that we are His “witnesses” (Acts 1:8). We have received the glorious good news of the gospel, and we need to pass it on. Someone shared it with us. Now we have the privilege of sharing it with others so that they can come to know God, too. Everyone needs to hear this message: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Some Christians become pastors, preachers, and evangelists. Others become missionaries, traveling to foreign countries and faraway places to tell people about Jesus. Truly, every one of us is a missionary. We all have the privilege and responsibility of spreading the gospel—sharing the good news with everyone we meet. We may find ourselves witnessing to a parent, child, or spouse. Perhaps a neighbor or coworker, a waitress or store clerk.

There are so many ways you can share your faith in Jesus Christ. Ask God to show you how and who He would like you to witness to. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Invite your friends and neighbors to come to church with you or attend a Christian play or concert.
  • Share your testimony. In other words, tell your story. Simply explain how you met Jesus and how it has changed your life—what it feels like to have Him living in your heart.
  • Give out Bibles, Christian books, and tracts—little pamphlets like this one that explain how to become a Christian.

One of the most important ways to witness to others is to show them that God loves them by loving them ourselves. We can’t force anyone to become a Christian—and we shouldn’t try! God doesn’t even do that. But if we set a good example and treat others with kindness and respect, they will see Jesus in us. His light will shine through us and help them to find the Truth.

To Find Out More: Read Matthew 5:14-16, Mark 5:19, and Psalm 71:14-18.

The Roman Road

When you’re trying to explain God’s plan of salvation to an unbeliever, you may find it helpful to lead the person through these Scriptures from the book of Romans in the New Testament:

  • Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Every one of us has sinned. We have all disobeyed God’s commands.
  • Romans 6:23a: “For the wages of sin is death. . . .” Our sin leads to death and hell, eternal separation from God.
  • Romans 6:23b: “. . . but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. This salvation is a free gift—there’s nothing we can do to earn it.
  • Romans 5:8: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin.
  • Romans 10:9: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” When we turn from our sins and put our faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the gift of eternal life.

4. Walk in Step with Other Believers

Encourage one another and build one another up.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

The Bible tells us that when we give our hearts to Jesus, we join the family of God. We become children of God (1 John 3:1). Spending time with our Christian “brothers” and “sisters” helps us to walk with God and grow in our faith.

The simplest way to get together with other believers is to go to church. At church, we worship God together, we pray together, we study the Bible together. We are reminded to put God first and make life choices that honor Him.

God has given each and every one of us our own unique gifts and talents—special skills and abilities (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). He wants us to use these gifts to encourage each other and help each other. Romans 12:10-16 says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony. . . .”

Ways You Can Walk With God And Other Believers:

  • Attend weekly services at a Bible-believing church.
  • Join a Sunday school class, small group Bible study, or Christian support group.
  • Get involved with Christian service organizations and community-wide groups (Youth for Christ, Habitat for Humanity, Christian Businessmen/Businesswomen’s Associations).
  • Sign up to participate in church-sponsored activities such as camping trips, missions trips, Christian concerts, seminars, or retreats.
  • Start your own Bible study or prayer group with a few friends, neighbors, or coworkers who share your heart for God. Try to meet on a weekly or monthly basis.

To Find Out More: Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, Proverbs 27:17, and Hebrews 10:25.

5. Walk in Gratitude

Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

When we think about how much God has done for us, and all that He has given us, our hearts overflow with gratitude to Him. We naturally want to give thanks—and give back. One way to give back to God is to give money to those who are doing His work. When we regularly set aside a portion of our income to give to our local church, it is called a “tithe” or “offering.” We may also choose to give to missionaries or other ministries—groups and organizations that reach out to the poor and needy. Jesus said that the size of our gift is not nearly as important as the attitude of our hearts (Luke 21:1-4). God can multiply even the smallest gift and use it to bless thousands of people (Luke 9:10-17).

More Ways To Walk In Gratitude:

  • Donate canned goods to food pantries; take hygiene items, clothes, blankets, toys, and other supplies to homeless shelters and crisis care groups.
  • Organize a community auction, bake sale, garage sale, or recycling drive to raise money for a special cause or in support of a particular Christian ministry.
  • Volunteer to help with special projects at your church or community center; serve at a soup kitchen; run errands for an elderly neighbor; baby-sit for a busy mom. Visit lonely people in the hospital or nursing home.

To Find Out More: Read Hebrews 13:16; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, 13; and Romans 12:13.

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13–14

Learning to walk with God takes time. It’s a process, a journey. One of the things that makes it so exciting is this: no matter how old we get or how long we walk with God, we will never know all there is to know. We will never get to the end of God. There is always something more to learn. Something new to discover. Our journey of faith is an adventure—the adv...

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