Set Apart in the Way We Live
2 John 1–9
More than ever before, people are counting their steps. With the proper device, people can use their smartwatches or cell phones to keep track of the number of steps they walk. It is suggested by most health-care providers to set a goal for at least 10,000 steps each day. A walking regimen is good for your heart, weight loss and general health.
My mom walks every day without missing a beat and has done so for years. The key is commitment and discipline. Our Christian walk requires the same two ingredients. Our family members, friends and neighbors need to see that the Jesus we profess matches our daily lives. It should be our desire for our walk to match our talk.
Walk in truth. (1–4)
In a world bent on dangerous compromise and the tolerance of evil, God still calls us to know and share the truth. I once suffered from plantar fasciitis. If you’ve experienced this painful condition, you know the great lengths you will go to ease the pain. I tried a special boot, an injection and even rolling my foot across a frozen water bottle with no success.
My doctor referred me to a podiatrist, and he did not waste any time telling me how to alleviate my pain. “You have too much weight in the middle,” he declared. Well, of course, my first reaction was a bit of frustration, but then it turned into humility when I knew he was right. The truth he shared was hard to hear but was also beneficial.
Walk in love. (5–6)
Although ironic, it is possible to possess a head full of truth and a heart full of hate. The truth revealed to us by the Holy Spirit should compel us to an overwhelming sense of genuine love and concern for others.
The world will change little by what we believe, but we can make a major impact by the love we share. Since the days of the Old Testament, God has instructed His people to love others. It is part of the great and essential commandment of loving God. While there are times people can make it hard to receive love, we can do so as we walk in submission and similarity with Jesus.
Walk in obedience to the teachings of Christ. (7–9)
The truest measure of our walk with the Lord may not be measured in miles, but rather in minutes. Discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction.
The commitment to walk with Christ for the duration of our lives is just as important as where the Lord chooses to take us. Verse 8 reminds us to watch ourselves. The author is encouraging us to complete what Christ has begun in us. The time on earth God allows for each of us will vary. Some live long lives and see the births of great-grandchildren and beyond. Others depart at young ages, leaving us to wonder why.
The common bond for any believer is the great honor to live out the teachings and example of Jesus. There is no age requirement or expiration date for this principle. It is important to count your steps; it is even more important to make your steps count.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi