Walk the Talk

A cock flew over the compound wall to the neighbour’s house. The neighbour was a pastor who promptly ordered his wife to cook it for Sunday lunch. His powerful Sunday sermon was, “Do not covet what belongs to your neighbour.” His wife was cut to the heart and released the cock. The salivating pastor sat down for lunch only to stare at his plate with rice and sambar. His wife said that she freed the rooster on hearing his sermon. To that the angry pastor replied, “My sermon was for the congregation, not for you.” Such a culture of ‘talking’ and not ‘walking’ has invaded our lives. No wonder many of us are like boats on dry land not progressing forward in our Christian life. The talking group is big and growing. The walking group is small and dwindling.

More “blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey it” than the mother of Jesus (Lk 11:27,28).

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” states the Scripture explicitly (1 Jn 2:6). Many accept Christ but few enter heaven. Why? Because walkers are few. You can talk the walk but can you walk the talk? Talking is easy. Doing is hard. Rebekah’s promise to draw water for the camels were not empty words. She was ‘quick’ and ‘ran’ to quench the thirst of ten camels! That made the man to vote for Rebekah for his master’s son.

Our God is a God of action. He spoke with His mouth and fulfilled with His hand (1 Ki 8:15; Num 23:19). Jesus and Moses were dynamic in work and word (Lk 24:19; Acts 7:22). In the beginning was the Word (talk)  (Jn 1:1). It did not stop there. And the Word became flesh (walk) (Jn 1:14). An example of how the Word became flesh is Jesus. Not only gracious words proceeded out of His mouth (Lk 4:22); “He was full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). The devil gets between your talk and walk. Your words in tongue should come down to your heart and life. Billy Graham’s son testified, “My dad is the same in the pulpit and at home.” This is where many fail. The devil will fight tooth and nail to keep you from practicing your words. There are atleast seven areas in our life where we need to Walk the Talk to enjoy a victorious Christian life.

1. Faith Life

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Rom 10:9,10).

We have a wrong notion that we are saved by confessing a list of sins and the lordship of Christ. It is true that we have to repent of our sins and confess the Lord Jesus but salvation is not just that but by heart of hearts believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and God raised Him from the dead. It is not just head knowledge. Do you know that Judas did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God? (Jn 6:64).

Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for  righteousness. Thousands of years ago Abraham had such a committed trust in God. That’s why when God said, ‘Go,’ he did not ask God, “Where Lord? Which is the way?” He simply packed his things and got off his butt. He went, not knowing where he was going. Why? Because he knew who was going before him.

This is how we walk in this life. We simply go with God. The Bible says, blessed are those who walk by faith and not by sight. Many times we cannot see God. All will be darkness. The devil will touch our faith, then shake it, then try to uproot it. If you want to lead a victorious life, you must stand firm in your faith. The devil will ask you many questions like, “Are you saved? You don’t look so. You still commit sins. I doubt. How do you know you go to heaven?” If I rewind my life-tape 45 years I could see myself standing in confusion doubting my salvation. The devil drives you absolutely crazy by bombarding you with such arrows. Tell the devil that the Bible says the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sins.

Salvation is different from sanctification. Salvation is like birth, a one-day process. The moment you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you are saved. But sanctification is like growth; a life long process after salvation. A pig will run to the gutter even after a bath. That’s the unbeliever. They love to live in sin. But a lamb will not go near the gutter. Even by mistake if it falls in, it will try to remove the dirt. This is the believer who hates sin. That’s the difference between an unbeliever and believer. Jesus told Peter that satan wanted to sift him like wheat. But He prayed for Peter that his faith may not fail (Lk 22:31,32). Stay on your toes. Satan is sure to do the same for you. Failures, trials, and temptations will assault you. Satan will ask you where your God is. Many commit suicide unable to face failures. That’s satan’s ploy. One day Job faced a similar situation. He had decided to take God seriously and respond to him believingly but his faith was under trial. His wife told him to curse God and be done with it. Satan challenged God that Job would deny him. But Job said, “Even if He killed me, yet I’d keep on hoping” (13:15). Can we say the same? “The genuiness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:7).

Jesus asked, “What do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not’, but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of the father?” They said to Him, “The first.” The one who did, not the one who said. Jesus explained, “Assuredly, I say to you that the tax collectors and harlots enter the Kingdom of God before you ... tax collectors and harlots believe Him” (Mt 21:28-32). Here Jesus talks about faith to the chief priests and elders, exponents of the Word of God. They said they’d go but did not, but the scum of society repented and entered the Kingdom. If satan says you cannot enter heaven, tell him that the tax collectors and harlots enter heaven and you follow them. Never believe the lies of the devil. Put your faith talk into faith walk. Otherwise you are like demons who believe and tremble but do not enter heaven (Js 2:19). Till the end you must stand firm in your faith.

2. Word Life

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21).

Here we see mere talkers, the plague of modern Christianity. It is time to stop talking and start walking. They prophesied, cast out demons, did wonders. Luke 13:26 supplies additional information. They said, “We ate and drank in your presence, and You taught in our streets.” But He will reply, “I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.” A man is caught by a police and he says, “I know the IG.” The police immediately salutes him. He says, “But the IG doesn’t know me.” It may be a joke but what shame when we claim, “Lord, You are a familiar figure to us” and He says, “I don’t know who you are.” Today we may laugh at the joke but that day when the Lord denies us it is going to be terrible. We know God. But does God know us? God knows only those who practice what they say, only those who do His will. Therefore beware.

“He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him... He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 Jn 2:4,6). He who wants to enter the Kingdom of heaven should watch Jesus and walk like Him. Some people behave as if they can snap their fingers and be in heaven. Entering heaven is not child’s play; it is not building a globetrotting ministry. It is doing the will of the Father. It requires serious obedience. So the million dollar question is, “What is the will of the Father?” How do we know that? That’s why we say one who does not read the Bible, cannot know the will of God and therefore cannot lead a victorious life. One who does not have the Scriptures at the fingertips will make lot of mistakes in life.

Why has the Bible taken the back seat to your text books? That’s why these days there is no revelation of the Word of God. Everybody’s mind is full of doing M.Phil and Ph.D, find a job, earn, build a house, etc. The devil takes the lead. Very few think, “I must master the Bible, I must read atleast one hour, I must get a Bible Dictionary and the Study Bible, I must understand the difficult passages.” What did the boy Jesus do? He discussed with the elders. Is there anyone who wants to commit oneself to the study of the Scriptures? Anyone desirous of devouring it? Then God will give His Word (Jn 6:45). He will not throw His pearls before pigs. If you know where and when to say ‘No’ you will have enough time to revel in a happy love affair with your Bible. Without a formal education Jesus was thorough with the Scriptures by His hard work (Jn 7:15).

Today we go to the church, meetings, conventions to listen to windbag sermons and return home empty and hungry. God can choose you to give His Word to feed the world. Why not?

Let’s continue to read from Matthew 7:24. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock.” If we lay the foundation of our life on this rock no tsunami can destroy us.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (vv 26,27).

Who are these? Those who treated God like dirt and His Word like garbage. There was a man who built a house. The rains descended and the floods beat upon the house, but the house stood strong. Who was this? Noah! God told him to make it out of Gopher wood. He did not say, “No Lord, I will cut down wood nearby.”  God specified the length and breadth. He obeyed implicitly. Everything was done to God’s specification. There was no foundation for this house except God’s Word. No flood could destroy it; rather the floods carried it to a mountain top. If our life is built on the Word of God let come any danger, difficulty, disaster, doom, disease we will go up and up and never come down.

It was not much different during the Old Testament days. God said of Israel “They come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not do them.” Sermon tasters! (Ezek 33:31,32).

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word  go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action (Js 1:22-25—The Message).

The Word of God is easy to talk but painful to practice. I will give you an example. When God sent His Son to this planet to die a cruel death, Jesus said, “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God” (Heb 10:9). But when time was closing in on Him, when He was passing through the valley of death, He cried with all His might,

“Let this cup pass from Me.” God the Father had a will and Jesus (in human form) had His own will. Both the wills clashed. Jesus cried, struggled and sweated drops of blood before He could give Himself over to the will of the Father and say, “Your will be done.”

Such shall be our struggles too. Father’s will on the one side and our will on the other side. Peter promised to die for Jesus but ended up denying Him. There was a rich young man, keen to enter eternal life. When Jesus told him to go, sell what he had, give to the poor and follow Him, he was stunned. He thought about his mansions, cars, bank balance, orchards, cattle!

Impossible. He turned away and left. You will one day face such a difficult choice. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son. Will you sacrifice your will for God’s will to walk the talk? If you do, you will inherit the blessings of God.

3. Prayer Life

“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mt 15:8,9).

A man with a superficial prayer life cannot be a victorious Christian. Prayer is talking to God. We see here people making a big show of prayer and worship. Instead we must build a deep communicating relationship with God. Here lies the secret of an exuberant Christian life. The more you pray the more successful Christian you shall be. Satan will do anything to hinder your prayer life. As you utter your prayers with your lips he will carry your heart and mind to other, ‘more important’ things like examination, official work or cooking. Don’t give in to him. For every hindrance he brings find a solution. If you sleep in prayer, walk and pray. If your mind wanders, pray aloud; look at your prayer diary and pray.

Jesus said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:23,24). The emphasis here is the heart and soul worship. God is looking for such worshippers.

Jesus condemned theatrical prayer. “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words,” (Mt 6:5-7). Jesus has taught us exactly how to pray. Speak to God just as you would speak to your father, using simple language.

Develop raw honesty and detailed thoroughness in prayer.

Jesus condemned hypocritical fasting. “When you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward” (Mt 6:16). I have asked people why they appeared dull. They have replied, “Today is the 35th day of my fast.” Jesus taught that our fasting should be hidden from others. Dress well, shampoo and comb your hair, apply powder and be vivacious. God hates outward show.

Jesus said, “Watch and pray.” One day the disciples of Jesus saw Him pray and came to Him and expressed their desire to learn prayer and Jesus taught them an excellent model prayer. The disciples learnt that prayer. But another day Jesus told them to keep awake and pray and left them. What did the disciples do? They slept. He taught them to pray, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” When they slept off Jesus woke them up and reminded, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Mt 26:41). Disciples failed miserably. Our mouth will speak bombastic things but nothing of that is reflected in life. Jesus was not only a teacher of prayer but a man of prayer.

Let’s look into another aspect. “Being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Lk 22:44). To fall on the ground it must have been copious. Did this happen in summer or winter? Winter. When Peter was warming himself near a fire Jesus was sweating blood. To sweat in winter one must run hard or labour. That’s the kind of prayer Jesus did. Even in summer we don’t sweat in prayer. Today’s demands for a faster tempo has reduced many to sacrifice the quality of their prayer time. How do we pray? Morning without brushing our teeth, covering ourselves with bedsheet and lying down in bed! That’s not prayer. Jump out of bed, brush your teeth, wash your face, comb your hair, apply  powder, have coffee and sing a song clapping your hands. Then pray aloud. That’s the way to outfox the devil.

4. Self-controlled Life

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it... I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor 9:24,27).

It is discipline or decadence. Can we run with a full stomach? We need to control ourselves in everyway if we run in a race for a gold medal. Preaching lips and self-controlled life! If we do not practice what we preach we are disqualified. Jesus condemned the scribes and pharisees, teachers of the law saying, “Whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say and do not do” (Mt 23:3; 5:19). Many preachers are like these scribes and pharisees. They preach water and drink wine. Beware, our life should match our testimony and preaching. No sloppy living!

Come to 2 Timothy 3:6,7, “For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” There are predators on the prowl who take advantage of vulnerable women with their smooth-talk. Who are these? These are people who go to churches, conventions, meetings, study programmes and seminars. They take notes and learn and join every Bible competition, but the truth never sinks into them. They don’t strive to bring into their lives what they learn and therefore end up in lust and sin. Don’t be like these. The truth should teach you to control yourself, especially in the area of sex. Learn to be immune to attractive personalities.

First, you should not be a source of temptation to the opposite sex. Never trifle with somebody’s life.

Secondly you must escape all temptation from the opposite sex. Girls these days boldly touch or slap men in a friendly way. Then when the same men misbehave they complain. TV, computer, mobile are all good. But unless you have the maturity to handle them they will draw you to the depths of sin. Premarital sex is flagrant  violation of God’s laws. John Wesley’s diary reads, “Resist the very beginnings of lusts, not by arguing with it but by thinking no more of it or by immediately going into company.”

Today’s fashion is having boy-friends and girl-friends. I saw an article, “Benefits of flirting” in a good magazine and was shocked how young people are led astray. Flirting leads nowhere and you always come out the loser. I don’t say you should not talk to the opposite sex. In public places and functions talk with them and have fun. But don’t develop intimacy with one person. Especially during your college or school days set your mind on your studies. This is not the time to fall in love. Don’t choose your life partner all by yourself excluding your parents. You are taking a big risk. Many

fall under the spell of philandering married or unmarried persons unwisely and destroy their future.

Love quickens all the senses but the common and too soon you will discover that your goddess has feet of clay. Girls get pregnant, have abortion. These are all traumatic experiences. Some contract Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Let every STD booth remind you of it. There is no treatment for AIDS which you can contract with a single sexual encounter. In hospital we get even children with such diseases. Going alone anywhere with the opposite sex could be downright dangerous as your emotion can spin out of control. You don’t need to trust even a saint. Today many young people are deceived by their own relatives, known persons, respectable people and even ministers of God.

Be alert. Many young people are sexually active these days. Make a decision today to exercise self-control. Say, “No” to improper sex. You may be a homosexual or lesbian. Extricate yourself from all improper relationship. Know when to switch off your computer or TV.

Peter warns us in his epistle of such people. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you... having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls...” (2 Pet 2:1,14). You will face trap after trap after trap. Sexual temptations continually badger you. Make a decision today. Then you will be more in charge of your emotions and life. Train yourself not to respond to innocent sounding seducting words of the opposite sex. God has wiped away all your past sins. Start afresh today. Not just in the area of sex but train yourself to control your anger, appetite, laziness, tongue and every area of your life. There are things you must shed to live stable responsible lives. Don’t get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out yourself.

5. Love Life

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).

We can talk eloquently but if we don’t show angelic love, who cares. God does not give marks to what you speak. Do you walk in love? Learn to love and respect everyone. In 1 John 2:9 we read, “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” You may testify that you are saved and come to the light. But if you are still fighting with your brother or sister at home you are not saved yet; you are still in darkness. Love should be not only outside the house but inside the house too.

Very spiritual people can be most unloving. They are impatient, unkind, puffed up, behave rudely, selfseeking and easily provoked, but love rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. If you practice such love you will have no relationship problems. Many of your life’s problems will be solved. Be a little extra kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. In a world too often cold and unresponsive—keep loving, keep on loving.

Let your love not be fake (Rom 12:9). Let’s not just talk love by just saying, “Go in peace be warmed and filled,” but by giving him the thing needed (Js 2:16). Walk in love as Christ also has loved us.

6. Family Life

Speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord...submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph 5:19,21).

In verse 19 we read about speaking and in verse 21 about action. Family life does not stop with melodious singing and mellowed down speaking. It goes down to the more difficult task of submission to one another. Our first testimony should be from members of our own household. It is true we have to exhort one another but more important for children is submission to parents. May be your parents are not saved; still the flash of insight that long experience gives can be yours, if you obey. You must obey them unless it is a sinful demand. Obey your parents in the Lord (Eph 6:1). Then the household will be filled with joy and peace.

Jesus went with his parents to Nazareth and was submissive to them. Therefore He increased in wisdom, stature, in favour with God and men (Lk 2:51,52).

Many children are worried. There is no peace or joy in their homes. There is constant fighting and bickering. Father drinks and mother is wayward, brother doesn’t understand and sister cares the less. It may be you are an orphan. Quit worrying. No one is immune to misfortune. We have to accept that vulnerability but be resilient. May be your parents insist on your studies.They know what they are doing. You cannot come up in life without a good qualification. Even if you want to serve the Lord education is a must; otherwise your  dreams will turn to dust. Never be careless in your studies. There lies your testimony, not in your mouth. Try, try and try again. Failure is not the last word. Life is full of second chances. Man’s role in life is to work, work hard and work some more. You are too young to give up. You are the master of your own destiny. Many children waste time in front of the TV and when they fail in their exams blame God. Don’t blame God or the devil. It is your responsibility to work hard and get through. During student days nothing else is more important. Get-together with good friends and study. Get a degree and a post graduate degree or a Professional Degree and shine for God.

7. Conscientious Life

“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith, from which some having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm(1 Tim 1:5-7).

Idle talkers do not care for a good conscience. Having understood the importance of maintaining a good conscience Paul writes to Timothy repeatedly about it. “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith having suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim 1:18-20).

What causes shipwreck of our precious faith? Neglect of conscience. Keep your conscience clean and pure and you are sure to keep your faith intact. “Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience” (1 Tim 3:9). Again in 4:1,2 Paul writes, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry...” Here again we see how by speaking lies (idle talk) people depart from faith. Keeping your conscience clear is the way to hold on to your faith.

2 Timothy 1:3-5, “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did.. When I call to remembrance, the genuine faith that is in you.” When you serve God, your conscience must be pure. The devil will tell you that certain things are not wrong; but your conscience will not agree. May be you hurt someone and came home. Your conscience may prompt you to go back and settle the matter. Obey your conscience. That’s how you can be victorious in your Christian life. Consult your conscience before taking decisions. Your conscience will lead you perfectly. Listen to your  conscience. David writes, “Meditate within your heart on your bed” (Psa 4:4). Talk to your heart and find out if it can give a clean chit about you. Your conscience may scold you. Don’t disagree. Set the matter right and get right with God. A clear conscience is the best tranquilizer. If you shut your conscience’s mouth it will become dumb.

In conclusion, hold on to your faith whatever it may cost you; stand firm on the Word of God; never allow defeat in your prayer life; train yourself in self-control; learn to love; have a submissive family life and take care of your conscience. Let these things not be mere talk in your mouth but walk in your life.

During the reign of Josiah the book of the law was gathering dust inside the temple. It was discovered, dusted and handed over to the king, who had it read and made a covenant to obey the Word heart and soul (2 Chr 34:14-19,31). Then he taught the people. The result? A mighty Revival. If we are the temple of God and the Word is sleeping in us, let us give life to it and a revival is sure to follow.

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 Walk the Talk

A cock flew over the compound wall to the neighbour’s house. The neighbour was a pastor who promptly ordered his wife to cook it for Sunday lunch. His powerful Sunday sermon was, “Do not covet what belongs to your neighbour.” His wife was cut to the heart and released the cock. The salivating pastor sat down for lunch only to stare at his plate with rice and sambar. His wife said that she freed the rooster on hearing his sermon. To that the angry pastor replied, “My sermon was for the congregation, not for you.” Such a culture of ‘talking’ and not ‘walking’ has invaded our lives. No wonder many of us are like boats on dry land not progressing forward in our Christian life. The talking group is big and growing. The walking group is small and dwindling.

More “blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey it” than the mother of Jesus (Lk 11:27,28).

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” states the Scripture explicitly (1 Jn 2:6). Many accept Christ but few enter heaven. Why? Because walkers are few. You can talk the walk but can you walk the talk? Talking is easy. Doing is hard. Rebekah’s promise to draw water for the camels were not empty words. She was ‘quick’ and ‘ran’ to quench the thirst of ten camels! That made the man to vote for Rebekah for his master’s son.

Our God is a God of action. He spoke with His mouth and fulfilled with His hand (1 Ki 8:15; Num 23:19). Jesus and Moses were dynamic in work and word (Lk 24:19; Acts 7:22). In the beginning was the Word (talk)  (Jn 1:1). It did not stop there. And the Word became flesh (walk) (Jn 1:14). An example of how the Word became flesh is Jesus. Not only gracious words proceeded out of His mouth (Lk 4:22); “He was full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). The devil gets between your talk and walk. Your words in tongue should come down to your heart and life. Billy Graham’s son testified, “My dad is the same in the pulpit and at home.” This is where many fail. The devil will fight tooth and nail to keep you from practicing your words. There are atleast seven areas in our life where we need to Walk the Talk to enjoy a victorious Christian life.

1. Faith Life

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Rom 10:9,10).

We have a wrong notion that we are saved by confessing a list of sins and the lordship of Christ. It is true that we have to repent of our sins and confess the Lord Jesus but salvation is not just that but by heart of hearts believing that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and God raised Him from the dead. It is not just head knowledge. Do you know that Judas did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God? (Jn 6:64).

Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for  righteousness. Thousands of years ago Abraham had such a committed trust in God. That’s why when God said, ‘Go,’ he did not ask God, “Where Lord? Which is the way?” He simply packed his things and got off his butt. He went, not knowing where he was going. Why? Because he knew who was going before him.

This is how we walk in this life. We simply go with God. The Bible says, blessed are those who walk by faith and not by sight. Many times we cannot see God. All will be darkness. The devil will touch our faith, then shake it, then try to uproot it. If you want to lead a victorious life, you must stand firm in your faith. The devil will ask you many questions like, “Are you saved? You don’t look so. You still commit sins. I doubt. How do you know you go to heaven?” If I rewind my life-tape 45 years I could see myself standing in confusion doubting my salvation. The devil drives you absolutely crazy by bombarding you with such arrows. Tell the devil that the Bible says the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sins.

Salvation is different from sanctification. Salvation is like birth, a one-day process. The moment you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you are saved. But sanctification is like growth; a life long process after salvation. A pig will run to the gutter even after a bath. That’s the unbeliever. They love to live in sin. But a lamb will not go near the gutter. Even by mistake if it falls in, it will try to remove the dirt. This is the believer who hates sin. That’s the difference between an unbeliever and believer. Jesus told Peter that satan wanted to sift him like wheat. But He prayed for Peter that his faith may not fail (Lk 22:31,32). Stay on your toes. Satan is sure to do the same for you. Failures, trials, and temptations will assault you. Satan will ask you where your God is. Many commit suicide unable to face failures. That’s satan’s ploy. One day Job faced a similar situation. He had decided to take God seriously and respond to him believingly but his faith was under trial. His wife told him to curse God and be done with it. Satan challenged God that Job would deny him. But Job said, “Even if He killed me, yet I’d keep on hoping” (13:15). Can we say the same? “The genuiness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 1:7).

Jesus asked, “What do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not’, but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of the father?” They said to Him, “The first.” The one who did, not the one who said. Jesus explained, “Assuredly, I say to you that the tax collectors and harlots enter the Kingdom of God before you ... tax collectors and harlots believe Him” (Mt 21:28-32). Here Jesus talks about faith to the chief priests and elders, exponents of the Word of God. They said they’d go but did not, but the scum of society repented and entered the Kingdom. If satan says you cannot enter heaven, tell him that the tax collectors and harlots enter heaven and you follow them. Never believe the lies of the devil. Put your faith talk into faith walk. Otherwise you are like demons who believe and tremble but do not enter heaven (Js 2:19). Till the end you must stand firm in your faith.

2. Word Life

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21).

Here we see mere talkers, the plague of modern Christianity. It is time to stop talking and start walking. They prophesied, cast out demons, did wonders. Luke 13:26 supplies additional information. They said, “We ate and drank in your presence, and You taught in our streets.” But He will reply, “I never knew you; depart from Me you who practice lawlessness.” A man is caught by a police and he says, “I know the IG.” The police immediately salutes him. He says, “But the IG doesn’t know me.” It may be a joke but what shame when we claim, “Lord, You are a familiar figure to us” and He says, “I don’t know who you are.” Today we may laugh at the joke but that day when the Lord denies us it is going to be terrible. We know God. But does God know us? God knows only those who practice what they say, only those who do His will. Therefore beware.

“He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him... He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 Jn 2:4,6). He who wants to enter the Kingdom of heaven should watch Jesus and walk like Him. Some people behave as if they can snap their fingers and be in heaven. Entering heaven is not child’s play; it is not building a globetrotting ministry. It is doing the will of the Father. It requires serious obedience. So the million dollar question is, “What is the will of the Father?” How do we know that? That’s why we say one who does not read the Bible, cannot know the will of God and therefore cannot lead a victorious life. One who does not have the Scriptures at the fingertips will make lot of mistakes in life.

Why has the Bible taken the back seat to your text books? That’s why these days there is no revelation of the Word of God. Everybody’s mind is full of doing M.Phil and Ph.D, find a job, earn, build a house, etc. The devil takes the lead. Very few think, “I must master the Bible, I must read atleast one hour, I must get a Bible Dictionary and the Study Bible, I must understand the difficult passages.” What did the boy Jesus do? He discussed with the elders. Is there anyone who wants to commit oneself to the study of the Scriptures? Anyone desirous of devouring it? Then God will give His Word (Jn 6:45). He will not throw His pearls before pigs. If you know where and when to say ‘No’ you will have enough time to revel in a happy love affair with your Bible. Without a formal education Jesus was thorough with the Scriptures by His hard work (Jn 7:15).

Today we go to the church, meetings, conventions to listen to windbag sermons and return home empty and hungry. God can choose you to give His Word to feed the world. Why not?

Let’s continue to read from Matthew 7:24. “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock.” If we lay the foundation of our life on this rock no tsunami can destroy us.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (vv 26,27).

Who are these? Those who treated God like dirt and His Word like garbage. There was a man who built a house. The rains descended and the floods beat upon the house, but the house stood strong. Who was this? Noah! God told him to make it out of Gopher wood. He did not say, “No Lord, I will cut down wood nearby.”  God specified the length and breadth. He obeyed implicitly. Everything was done to God’s specification. There was no foundation for this house except God’s Word. No flood could destroy it; rather the floods carried it to a mountain top. If our life is built on the Word of God let come any danger, difficulty, disaster, doom, disease we will go up and up and never come down.

It was not much different during the Old Testament days. God said of Israel “They come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain. Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not do them.” Sermon tasters! (Ezek 33:31,32).

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word  go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action (Js 1:22-25—The Message).

The Word of God is easy to talk but painful to practice. I will give you an example. When God sent His Son to this planet to die a cruel death, Jesus said, “Behold, I have come to do your will, O God” (Heb 10:9). But when time was closing in on Him, when He was passing through the valley of death, He cried with all His might,

“Let this cup pass from Me.” God the Father had a will and Jesus (in human form) had His own will. Both the wills clashed. Jesus cried, struggled and sweated drops of blood before He could give Himself over to the will of the Father and say, “Your will be done.”

Such shall be our struggles too. Father’s will on the one side and our will on the other side. Peter promised to die for Jesus but ended up denying Him. There was a rich young man, keen to enter eternal life. When Jesus told him to go, sell what he had, give to the poor and follow Him, he was stunned. He thought about his mansions, cars, bank balance, orchards, cattle!

Impossible. He turned away and left. You will one day face such a difficult choice. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son. Will you sacrifice your will for God’s will to walk the talk? If you do, you will inherit the blessings of God.

3. Prayer Life

“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mt 15:8,9).

A man with a superficial prayer life cannot be a victorious Christian. Prayer is talking to God. We see here people making a big show of prayer and worship. Instead we must build a deep communicating relationship with God. Here lies the secret of an exuberant Christian life. The more you pray the more successful Christian you shall be. Satan will do anything to hinder your prayer life. As you utter your prayers with your lips he will carry your heart and mind to other, ‘more important’ things like examination, official work or cooking. Don’t give in to him. For every hindrance he brings find a solution. If you sleep in prayer, walk and pray. If your mind wanders, pray aloud; look at your prayer diary and pray.

Jesus said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:23,24). The emphasis here is the heart and soul worship. God is looking for such worshippers.

Jesus condemned theatrical prayer. “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words,” (Mt 6:5-7). Jesus has taught us exactly how to pray. Speak to God just as you would speak to your father, using simple language.

Develop raw honesty and detailed thoroughness in prayer.

Jesus condemned hypocritical fasting. “When you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward” (Mt 6:16). I have asked people why they appeared dull. They have replied, “Today is the 35th day of my fast.” Jesus taught that our fasting should be hidden from others. Dress well, shampoo and comb your hair, apply powder and be vivacious. God hates outward show.

Jesus said, “Watch and pray.” One day the disciples of Jesus saw Him pray and came to Him and expressed their desire to learn prayer and Jesus taught them an excellent model prayer. The disciples learnt that prayer. But another day Jesus told them to keep awake and pray and left them. What did the disciples do? They slept. He taught them to pray, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” When they slept off Jesus woke them up and reminded, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Mt 26:41). Disciples failed miserably. Our mouth will speak bombastic things but nothing of that is reflected in life. Jesus was not only a teacher of prayer but a man of prayer.

Let’s look into another aspect. “Being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Lk 22:44). To fall on the ground it must have been copious. Did this happen in summer or winter? Winter. When Peter was warming himself near a fire Jesus was sweating blood. To sweat in winter one must run hard or labour. That’s the kind of prayer Jesus did. Even in summer we don’t sweat in prayer. Today’s demands for a faster tempo has reduced many to sacrifice the quality of their prayer time. How do we pray? Morning without brushing our teeth, covering ourselves with bedsheet and lying down in bed! That’s not prayer. Jump out of bed, brush your teeth, wash your face, comb your hair, apply  powder, have coffee and sing a song clapping your hands. Then pray aloud. That’s the way to outfox the devil.

4. Self-controlled Life

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it... I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor 9:24,27).

It is discipline or decadence. Can we run with a full stomach? We need to control ourselves in everyway if we run in a race for a gold medal. Preaching lips and self-controlled life! If we do not practice what we preach we are disqualified. Jesus condemned the scribes and pharisees, teachers of the law saying, “Whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say and do not do” (Mt 23:3; 5:19). Many preachers are like these scribes and pharisees. They preach water and drink wine. Beware, our life should match our testimony and preaching. No sloppy living!

Come to 2 Timothy 3:6,7, “For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” There are predators on the prowl who take advantage of vulnerable women with their smooth-talk. Who are these? These are people who go to churches, conventions, meetings, study programmes and seminars. They take notes and learn and join every Bible competition, but the truth never sinks into them. They don’t strive to bring into their lives what they learn and therefore end up in lust and sin. Don’t be like these. The truth should teach you to control yourself, especially in the area of sex. Learn to be immune to attractive personalities.

First, you should not be a source of temptation to the opposite sex. Never trifle with somebody’s life.

Secondly you must escape all temptation from the opposite sex. Girls these days boldly touch or slap men in a friendly way. Then when the same men misbehave they complain. TV, computer, mobile are all good. But unless you have the maturity to handle them they will draw you to the depths of sin. Premarital sex is flagrant  violation of God’s laws. John Wesley’s diary reads, “Resist the very beginnings of lusts, not by arguing with it but by thinking no more of it or by immediately going into company.”

Today’s fashion is having boy-friends and girl-friends. I saw an article, “Benefits of flirting” in a good magazine and was shocked how young people are led astray. Flirting leads nowhere and you always come out the loser. I don’t say you should not talk to the opposite sex. In public places and functions talk with them and have fun. But don’t develop intimacy with one person. Especially during your college or school days set your mind on your studies. This is not the time to fall in love. Don’t choose your life partner all by yourself excluding your parents. You are taking a big risk. Many

fall under the spell of philandering married or unmarried persons unwisely and destroy their future.

Love quickens all the senses but the common and too soon you will discover that your goddess has feet of clay. Girls get pregnant, have abortion. These are all traumatic experiences. Some contract Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Let every STD booth remind you of it. There is no treatment for AIDS which you can contract with a single sexual encounter. In hospital we get even children with such diseases. Going alone anywhere with the opposite sex could be downright dangerous as your emotion can spin out of control. You don’t need to trust even a saint. Today many young people are deceived by their own relatives, known persons, respectable people and even ministers of God.

Be alert. Many young people are sexually active these days. Make a decision today to exercise self-control. Say, “No” to improper sex. You may be a homosexual or lesbian. Extricate yourself from all improper relationship. Know when to switch off your computer or TV.

Peter warns us in his epistle of such people. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you... having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls...” (2 Pet 2:1,14). You will face trap after trap after trap. Sexual temptations continually badger you. Make a decision today. Then you will be more in charge of your emotions and life. Train yourself not to respond to innocent sounding seducting words of the opposite sex. God has wiped away all your past sins. Start afresh today. Not just in the area of sex but train yourself to control your anger, appetite, laziness, tongue and every area of your life. There are things you must shed to live stable responsible lives. Don’t get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out yourself.

5. Love Life

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).

We can talk eloquently but if we don’t show angelic love, who cares. God does not give marks to what you speak. Do you walk in love? Learn to love and respect everyone. In 1 John 2:9 we read, “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.” You may testify that you are saved and come to the light. But if you are still fighting with your brother or sister at home you are not saved yet; you are still in darkness. Love should be not only outside the house but inside the house too.

Very spiritual people can be most unloving. They are impatient, unkind, puffed up, behave rudely, selfseeking and easily provoked, but love rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. If you practice such love you will have no relationship problems. Many of your life’s problems will be solved. Be a little extra kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. In a world too often cold and unresponsive—keep loving, keep on loving.

Let your love not be fake (Rom 12:9). Let’s not just talk love by just saying, “Go in peace be warmed and filled,” but by giving him the thing needed (Js 2:16). Walk in love as Christ also has loved us.

6. Family Life

Speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord...submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph 5:19,21).

In verse 19 we read about speaking and in verse 21 about action. Family life does not stop with melodious singing and mellowed down speaking. It goes down to the more difficult task of submission to one another. Our first testimony should be from members of our own household. It is true we have to exhort one another but more important for children is submission to parents. May be your parents are not saved; still the flash of insight that long experience gives can be yours, if you obey. You must obey them unless it is a sinful demand. Obey your parents in the Lord (Eph 6:1). Then the household will be filled with joy and peace.

Jesus went with his parents to Nazareth and was submissive to them. Therefore He increased in wisdom, stature, in favour with God and men (Lk 2:51,52).

Many children are worried. There is no peace or joy in their homes. There is constant fighting and bickering. Father drinks and mother is wayward, brother doesn’t understand and sister cares the less. It may be you are an orphan. Quit worrying. No one is immune to misfortune. We have to accept that vulnerability but be resilient. May be your parents insist on your studies.They know what they are doing. You cannot come up in life without a good qualification. Even if you want to serve the Lord education is a must; otherwise your  dreams will turn to dust. Never be careless in your studies. There lies your testimony, not in your mouth. Try, try and try again. Failure is not the last word. Life is full of second chances. Man’s role in life is to work, work hard and work some more. You are too young to give up. You are the master of your own destiny. Many children waste time in front of the TV and when they fail in their exams blame God. Don’t blame God or the devil. It is your responsibility to work hard and get through. During student days nothing else is more important. Get-together with good friends and study. Get a degree and a post graduate degree or a Professional Degree and shine for God.

7. Conscientious Life

“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith, from which some having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm(1 Tim 1:5-7).

Idle talkers do not care for a good conscience. Having understood the importance of maintaining a good conscience Paul writes to Timothy repeatedly about it. “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith having suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim 1:18-20).

What causes shipwreck of our precious faith? Neglect of conscience. Keep your conscience clean and pure and you are sure to keep your faith intact. “Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience” (1 Tim 3:9). Again in 4:1,2 Paul writes, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry...” Here again we see how by speaking lies (idle talk) people depart from faith. Keeping your conscience clear is the way to hold on to your faith.

2 Timothy 1:3-5, “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did.. When I call to remembrance, the genuine faith that is in you.” When you serve God, your conscience must be pure. The devil will tell you that certain things are not wrong; but your conscience will not agree. May be you hurt someone and came home. Your conscience may prompt you to go back and settle the matter. Obey your conscience. That’s how you can be victorious in your Christian life. Consult your conscience before taking decisions. Your conscience will lead you perfectly. Listen to your  conscience. David writes, “Meditate within your heart on your bed” (Psa 4:4). Talk to your heart and find out if it can give a clean chit about you. Your conscience may scold you. Don’t disagree. Set the matter right and get right with God. A clear conscience is the best tranquilizer. If you shut your conscience’s mouth it will become dumb.

In conclusion, hold on to your faith whatever it may cost you; stand firm on the Word of God; never allow defeat in your prayer life; train yourself in self-control; learn to love; have a submissive family life and take care of your conscience. Let these things not be mere talk in your mouth but walk in your life.

During the reign of Josiah the book of the law was gathering dust inside the temple. It was discovered, dusted and handed over to the king, who had it read and made a covenant to obey the Word heart and soul (2 Chr 34:14-19,31). Then he taught the people. The result? A mighty Revival. If we are the temple of God and the Word is sleeping in us, let us give life to it and a revival is sure to follow.

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