Your Voice: Do we walk by faith or by sight?

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Your Voice: Do we walk by faith or by sight?

By David L. Chancey
Fayetteville, Georgia

Retired educator Margie Bowen has climbed Stone Mountain more than 1,000 times.

The Atlanta resident started climbing Stone Mountain east of Atlanta for exercise and planned to climb the mountain 20 times that first summer.

She ended up tackling the largest piece of exposed granite in the world 100 times and then only increased from there.

Chancey.

How did she do it? She started and stayed at it.

She didn’t quit. Weather didn’t deter her.

She had “want-to,” and then she made that first one.

Every climb started with a first step, and then she kept putting one foot in front of the other until she reached the top. Then one climb led to another.

God wants us to keep climbing, also.

Our challenge is to rise to new spiritual heights and contributing to that progression is walking by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).

To climb spiritually:

First, we walk.

Walking is a biblical image of our relationship with God.

What did the Old Testament writer say about Enoch?

Two different times in Genesis 5:22–24, we see “Enoch walked with God.”

One translation says Enoch walked faithfully with God (NIV).

Another translates, “Enoch walked habitually with God” (Young’s Literal Translation).

Deep fellowship and meaningful conversation characterized his relationship with God.

God values the time we spend with Him and the priority we give to Him.

He doesn’t want to be an add-on to our lives, nor a Sunday novelty. He wants fellowship with us daily.

When I drive up and down the road near our subdivision, I notice joggers and walkers using the running path.

Often, two people run or walk together.

Many times, two ladies walk along, and you can tell they are in deep conversation, sometimes expressing themselves using hand gestures.

Maybe you have a friend you enjoy walking and visiting with.

That’s a picture of what God wants as we walk with Him.

He wants us to enjoy His company as we live out each day.

Second, we walk by faith.

Walking by faith means living in a way that demonstrates we possess full confidence in God, His promises and His ability to do what He says He will do.

To walk by faith:

  • We center our lives around God, not ourselves, constantly attacking selfishness.
  • Our outlook is positive. Because we trust God completely, we avoid a negative outlook.
  • We live with His peace in a stressful world.
  • Through studying His Word, we develop a spiritual perspective, always watching for where God is working.
  • We strive to live godly lives rather than worldly lives.
  • We pray as a lifestyle of continuous communication.
  • We place Jesus first in our lives.
  • We believe even when we cannot see.

Do we walk by faith or by sight?

EDITOR’S NOTE — David L. Chancey is a retired pastor in Georgia. He continues to minister through writing.


Thinking Next Gen

A few thoughts from Shane Pruitt, Next Gen director at the North American Mission Board:

1980s: “self-esteem” movement

1990s: “self-made” movement

2000s: “self-help” movement

2010s: “believe in self” movement

2020s: “self-love” movement

It’s all humanistic “self-worship” with different lingo.

However, you’re created to worship Someone other than “self.” He is Jesus.

“God will never give you more than you can handle” is a lie. You were never meant to handle everything by your own power. You’re created to trust in the God who can handle everything through you. Sometimes, He does give you more than you can handle, so that you’ll rely on Him.

Depression and anxiety are ravaging a generation, but there is … the gospel … Jesus … pastors, counselors, doctors … church and family … don’t isolate yourself.


The Bible: Everybody’s book

By Franklin L. Kirksey
Robertsdale, Alabama

The Bible was never intended to be a book for scholars and specialists only … it was intended to be everybody’s book,” says F.F. Bruce. Jesus invites everyone to come to Him (Matt. 11:28–30; Rev. 22:17). Therefore, the Bible is for everyone.

R.G. Lee states, “Jesus Himself tells us that He Himself is the theme of the Bible.”

Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39).

Three reasons

First, there is the Bible and your appropriation from it (2 Tim. 3:14–15).

David Livingstone, the famous Christian missionary doctor to Africa, declared, “All that I am I owe to Jesus Christ, revealed to me in His divine Book.”

The Bible contains the promise of salvation to whoever will come to Jesus on His terms. The appropriation of the promise of salvation can only come by faith (Rom. 10:17).

Warren W. Wiersbe explains, “True saving faith involves the whole personality: the mind is instructed, the emotions are stirred, and the will then acts in obedience.”

Second, there is the Bible and your approach to it (2 Tim. 3:16a).

It is God breathed. It is inspired (2 Pet. 1:20–21; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:15).

Third, there is the Bible and your application of it (2 Tim. 3:16b–17).

The Bible is the basis of our faith and practice.

Charles H. Spurgeon said, “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”


Playing catch with baseball legend Willie Mays

By Mark Tolbert
Arkansas Baptist State Convention

The year was 1967. I had a dream job for a teenage baseball fan: I was a Major League batboy. I worked for the Atlanta Braves as the visiting team batboy. Every team that visited Atlanta had me as their batboy during the game and as a clubhouse attendant, a Clubbie, before and after the game. Every team. All summer. It was a dream come true. I still have so many memories that I carry from that summer job so many years ago. But some stand out.

The San Francisco Giants were in Atlanta to play the Braves early in the summer. It was a Sunday afternoon game, and it was almost time to “Play Ball!” I had shagged balls in the outfield during batting practice, infield practice was completed, the grounds crew had smoothed out the grounds and laid down the chalk for foul lines and the batter’s box. Players were in the dugouts waiting to take the field.

I was there in the third base dugout in my Giants uniform along with the visiting team. All-star center fielder and future Hall of Famer Willie Mays approached me. We made eye contact and he smiled and said, “Hey, Clubbie, want to play some catch?” Wait, what? Was this happening? Willie Mays was talking to me? Willie Mays wanted to play catch with me?!?

‘Memory for a lifetime’

“Um, sure!” I managed somehow to stammer. “Do you have a glove?” he asked. “Yes,” I answered.

I picked up my glove, bounded up the dugout steps and waited for him at the top of the steps. Willie followed me up, walked about 30 feet away and alerted me, “I throw pretty hard!” Indeed, he did.

Just the two of us, me and Willie. Everyone else, all the players in the dugout, thousands of fans in the stands, looking on, and me and Willie playing catch.

Fifty-seven years later, my heart races a little, as I think back. What a moment!

Since his death, Willie Mays will be remembered, as one of the greatest players ever. He ranks second behind only Babe Ruth on most all-time lists, including those of The Sporting News and ESPN.

I remember the day he singled me out, invited me into his world and gave me a memory for a lifetime.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark Tolbert serves as the evangelism and revitalization strategist with the evangelism and church health team for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Tolbert has spent the last 15 years on faculty as a professor at New Orleans Seminary. These words were originally posted on Facebook on June 19, the day after the death of Willie Mays at the age of 93.


‘Greasy’ observation of the SBC meeting in Indy

By Mark Gonzales
Royal Palm Association of Churches

SBC pits and layers are on my heart as the roar and fumes from our Indianapolis convention settles, and I listen for the whispers of God to encourage my heart as we move forward together.

What have I been hearing? Well, basically that there are many meandering layers, many reflexive reactions and many differing conclusions regarding the menagerie of things presented, debated and voted upon at the SBC Annual Meeting in June.

And that’s OK. That is normal.

Romans 14 reminds us to grant each other grace space and let “each one be convinced in their own hearts and minds” on the issues we face “as unto the Lord.”

And that we need to guard our hearts from trying to definitively wrap our head around it all and/or fix each other. We can’t. However, what we can do is talk, and pray, and love and perhaps the toughest of all — trust.

Trusting presidents, directors, lawyers, trustees, institutions, task forces, denominational leaders and each other is getting hard to do for those of us who have been hurt, frustrated and disillusioned, especially as the shadows of unresolved misperceptions, misstatements, missteps and misdeeds (four very different things) still linger. But that’s why we have a Savior.

And the thing He has been reminding me of when my heart starts aching and racing through these issues, is that the one thing I ultimately need to trust through and through is Him.

Is He working with and through all the people I listed above or not? Do I really expect them to be perfect in all they do, or are they works — His works — in progress or not? Do these things take time and move slowly because of complacency or complexity?

This is the point when my heart starts smiling and resting in Him. Really. Because He’s got this. He’s got us.

As I read [the reports from the SBC Annual Meeting] with a humble appreciation of the ridiculously complex pits and layers in SBC life — no, make that all of life — I found myself coming to a greater peace in trusting Him with all of it.

He can drive the race car. I’m just happy to be in His pit crew!

EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark Gonzales is executive director of Royal Palm Association of Churches in southwest Florida.

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