January 3, 2017

To be like Enoch . . .

Enoch was the father of the oldest man who ever lived, Methuselah, but that was not his most distinguishing characteristic. The Old Testament says, “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)

The New Testament explains this about his life and that he did not die like ordinary people . . .

“By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:5–6).

The comments in today’s devotional reading explain that Enoch was not special in his conduct, personality, or anything else except his faith. He believed in the Lord and his faith gave God pleasure.

Walking with God is about faith, not about being sinless, yet faith does produce a changed life. For instance, Colossians 3:1-17 tells me that a person of faith will have an eternal mindset because I have died to this world and my life is now hidden in Christ. Because of that, I’m to put away all that is sinful and worldly, things like impurity, covetousness, anger, malice, lying and slander. Instead, I’m to be compassionate, kind, humble, patient, and forgiving. I’m to love others as the Lord has loved me, and let His peace rule my mind and be thankful. I’m to let His Word richly fill my heart so that I might bless others, doing all things in the name of the Lord Jesus.

It is not that this life is ‘my’ life, but it is the life of Christ — lived out in those who walk by faith, and this faith is the root of such a life. This is why God is pleased with faith.

Faith puts everyone on the same level because no matter who has it, all please God, from Enoch, to Noah, to the dying thief, to my mother, to me. Our lives may be distinctive in other ways, but by faith, those who believe in Jesus all please God the only way any fallen sinner can please God — by faith in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am sanctified by faith, justified by faith, and grow in grace as I grow in faith. My Christian life began in the Spirit and I am not made perfect by my own efforts, because no one can start by faith then finish by keeping the law. To walk with God is to continue as I started — by faith in Christ.

“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, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6–7)

Jesus, as You blessed me yesterday with the simple Gospel, You bless me again today with the truth about a simple faith. Trusting You is all that I need to walk with You. Faith roots my life in your life, builds me up and securely settles me — just as You have taught me. And because I am trusting You, I am also filled with joyful thanksgiving!

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