This Week's Bible Study
The Walk with the Word reading for the week beginning 8/9 is Matthew 13:53-18. The featured Bible study is Matthew 18 • Lessons in Greatness and Forgiveness. If we were to watch or read a biography on someone the world considers to be “great” or highly esteemed, the focus is overwhelmingly fixated on qualifications and the juxtaposition of environment and events. In God’s economy, however, the value is placed instead on personal relationships. Even with the original Apostles, those we recognize as the pillars of the Church, Christ established that every Believer is defined by their treatment and love of others rather than their mere position or office. The organizational structure of the Church never compromises the greater principles of love and grace.
This Month's Commentary
Thus far, I have resisted devoting an article on what many have already shared a wide spectrum of opinions as to the proper Christian response for the COVID-19 pandemic. (Thus ends my silence.) The best description I’ve heard to date is a very well-presented sermon providing solid scriptural and historical support that this should be treated as a dress rehearsal for the ultimate fulfillment to come in the final week of years. This was a gem in a sea of the many alternative commentaries on whether or not Christians should wear masks or observe the government ban on groups of ten or more meeting together. This public Christian discussion has led to extreme views accusing each end of the spectrum to be in sin or some kind of spiritual compromise. I’m not sure we’ve been stellar witnesses to either the saved or the unsaved in many of our Internet postings. However, what I say is, why not go the extra mile?
[Read the full commentary, “Why Not Go the Extra Mile?”.]
Overview of Walk with the Word
Walk with the Word is based on the belief that the best way to know God personally is to experience Him through His Word. How does experiencing God personally through His Word happen? It happens when we allow Him to "speak" to us through His Word. We believe that every Christian is capable of hearing God speak through His Word if they will devote the time and effort. Too few Christians today are truly experiencing God through His Word because they have assumed that the attaining of facts and knowledge about God's Word is sufficient.
Knowledge of God's Word is important; without it we would not know about God. However, facts, information, doctrine and theology do not always put us in touch with God; they do not automatically connect us to God personally. Knowledge about God does not necessarily translate into knowledge of God experientially. Facts and information about God's Word may be one step so as to know God, but is only one step towards God.
Walk with the Word provides a systematic method for reading through the Bible every 3-1/3 years. The program is designed to be implemented by churches on a church-wide basis, as a small group ministry, or for the individual. Teaching through the Bible every 3 years is not for the mere purpose of completing a noble task, but to learn how to personally apply the whole Word of God.
Walk with the Word primarily focuses on three things:
- (1) To receive the Word (accurately understand the Bible and be able to interact with it on a personal level, to the point that God speaks to the heart);
- (2) To live the Word ("flesh out" God's Word to the point that the truth permeates every aspect of the believer's life, affecting decision-making, behavior and relationships); and,
- (3) To spread the Word (share the good news found in God's Word with pre-Christians, and help them to receive the Word and begin living the Word).