How to Walk with God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus, when speaking to his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew encouraged them (as well as us) to think heavenly thoughts, for when believers have heavenly thoughts, they will begin realizing how much they walk with our God.

Matthew 6:19 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

“Moth and rust” means doubts and worries, and the “thieves” represent fears. In the culture that Jesus lived in they were always consciously aware of what they would think about and what they would allow into their minds. “Treasures” mean thoughts. Jesus was laying the foundation for not only how to walk with God, but also how to recognize God Who walks with us.

Matthew 6:20 – But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Jesus was instructing his disciples to think the Word of God, to hold in their minds the words of life that are (according to Jesus) heavenly treasures. These heavenly treasures will assuredly cast out doubts, worries, and fears, and replace them with confidence and believing trust in our God.

Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

When we are thinking about God and His wonderful Word, our hearts will be right-on with God’s thoughts, which are His treasures. Nobody walks around continuously thinking about God and His Word (for we are not perfect); however, we can at least have precious moments of serenity throughout the day that can help us to remember God and His many promises to us.

Philippians expresses further dynamic truths that can help us discover God in our hearts. His Word shows us many wonderful things that are all around us which are godly and are thought-worthy and spiritually inspirational.

Philippians 4:8-9:
-8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
-9:  Those things {listed above}, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me {in the life of the Apostle Paul}, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

When Christians place heavenly thoughts in their minds, they will have the assurance that the God of peace shall absolutely be with them; this is how to walk with God. So enjoy this day knowing (thinking) that as you indeed walk with God, you will be walking with “the God of peace.”

Matthew – Revealing Our Shepherd King

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the fullness of time finally came, Jesus Christ was born into this world (Galatians 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament there were many prophecies that would highlight his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as we have seen.

The Bible reveals four major prophecies, each of which each relate to a different Gospel. In Matthew. Jesus Christ is revealed as the king of Israel, and in this day of God’s grace Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he is also our Redeemer.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we can learn how Jesus as the King and Messiah redeemed all of humanity.

In Matthew many parables relate to a king or the kingdom of heaven. The words “kingdom of heaven” (meaning the king’s reign from heaven), is used 32 times in Matthew, while “kingdom of heaven” is only used 10 times in the other three Gospels combined. In Matthew we have the fulfillment of the King of Israel who was God’s prophesied righteous branch.

“The kingdom of heaven” is Christ’s kingdom, for he was the King from heaven, while the words “kingdom of God” represents God’s heavenly kingdom that has no beginning and no end – spanning all time.

When Christ again returns to earth, he will fully establish his kingdom of which there shall be no end. However, today in grace we are citizens of the kingdom of God and in the future we will partake in the kingdom of Christ, for we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Today the kingdom of Christ is suspended until the King returns to earth to be the King of kings. Without the king’s presence on earth, his kingdom is held in abeyance. This is why II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are “ambassadors” in “Christ’s stead.”

There is no way that any one Gospel could fully explain the life of Jesus Christ; conversely, when we examine each Gospel and study them in the light that God’s Word reflects, then the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ’s ministry will become known in a most positive and dynamic way.

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch {offspring}, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {Also see Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 9:9.}

This righteous branch that God would raise up would be a King, and God’s offspring and is a direct revelation not only to the life of Jesus Christ but also to the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we have the royal (or kingly) genealogy from Abraham through Kings David and Solomon to Christ. The believers during the Gospel period had been hoping for this righteous branch who would be their king; however, they lacked understanding of what a king really was because they were used to the kind of kings that were despots or dictators, such as Herod, who was indeed the opposite of Jesus Christ.

A king from a spiritual point of view would be a pastor, someone who would love and protect his people, someone who would fight for the rights of his people, and someone who would be a leader showing them how to believe and accept God’s grace.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 “I am the root and the offspring of David.” David was the king of Israel, and Jesus being born through Mary (as the promised seed), had every legal right to inherit the throne of David.

Now David, what was he? David was a shepherd, he was called as a shepherd to be the king of Israel, this was the true spiritual function of a king – to pastor, to bind wounds, and to dedicate his life to protect his flock, as Jesus had done.

Matthew 27:11 – And Jesus stood before the governor {Pilate}: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The words “thou sayest” literally means you said it, or you got that right! Jesus knew who he was because he knew the prophecies written of him. Jesus further said to Pilate regarding this question of whom he was, “art thou a king then? Jesus answered {to Pilate}, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37).

God gave to Matthew the revelation to write about Jesus Christ as our shepherd king whom we can look to as “the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}” Hebrews 12:2.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him {a lawyer who was tempting him}, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang {suspend} all the law and the prophets.

Jesus as a loving King and as our example of a genuine shepherd lightened the loads that believers would carry by giving only two commandments that both relate to living in love.

It is enlightening to see how James wrote regarding this very subject of love by calling it the “royal law” in James 2:8. The reason that the law of love is royal is because it was given to us by the King.

Jesus Christ is our example of a genuine King whom we can continue looking to even today as Philippians 2:5 teaches us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came into this world to teach and show us how to love God and man, as we continue learning how to enjoy the life of love that is called “a more excellent way” I Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

In God’s eyes we are royalty because we are His sons and daughters, and as we put on the mind of Christ we will discover Our Shepherd King who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – so we may receive and enjoy the more abundant life.

A Heart of Testimony (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

What is A Heart of Testimony? It is one of the greatest, personal witnesses ever given to man by God. When I say testimony, what I mean is your own personal story of deliverance spoken with genuine enthusiasm. You – being the recipient of a personal blessing from God – become an authority on your own testimony that is lived by you, appreciated by you, and enjoyed more by you than any other living being because of the genuine excitement that your life reflects.

The heart of testimony is your outpouring spoken from your inner heart. When you, with your testimony – your true story – reach out and actually touch someone else’s heart with your feelings of joy and inner thankfulness, your life and testimony become a divine treasure released from the depths of your soul, as you become a precious gem and showpiece for the glory of God.

When you rehearse your testimony, even if it’s just to yourself, it becomes a reminder of why you can be so thankful. In II Corinthians 1:10 it says that God has “delivered us {past tense} and does deliver {present tense} in whom we trust that He will yet deliver {future tense}.” So not only does God deliver us once, but many times, and there’s still more to come!

From God’s point of view, the world needs more testimonies to establish Him as being alive and well, contrary to some popular beliefs, and those testimonies will lead people to Christ. From your point of view, your community, your neighbors, friends, and families need your testimonies to introduce Christ to them.

A heart of testimony is speaking up with your true story about what God has done for you personally. This is the greatest way to witness! A heart of testimony is your story of how God has touched your life in some way, and as you learn to recognize how much God has been enlightening, blessing, and encouraging you individually, you can begin to release your own true stories of deliverance that I like to call, A Heart of Testimony.

Psalms 119:111:
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

We Christians have the wonderful opportunity to express our personal testimonies about God’s personal intervention in our lives that only we can express as we become personally involved with our own tangible proofs of God’s loving care and concern for us.

A heart of testimony inspires us to become more involved in our communities, Churches, or fellowship groups, to help our families, our friends, and our neighbors see the greatness of God’s healing Word on a real personal level.

We can receive so much truth and understating from God’s Word spiritually, physically, and mentally, that a release becomes almost necessary, and with a heart of testimony, we have a wonderful way to release and begin receiving more from God. Having an inlet and an outlet will prevent the Christian believer’s life from becoming stagnant, for it replenishes our ability to give and to receive.

Your own testimony carries more weight, more power, and more conviction than secondhand stories because you witnessed it personally, and rarely can it be disputed because you were there as a firsthand witness – you saw it – you lived through it – and you sincerely believe it to a greater degree than anyone else could. The excitement of your own conviction, my friends, is what people will see and know as you speak up to tell someone your own story — your own heart of testimony.

There will always be people living in your sphere of influence that only you can help with your testimony. Why, even when Jesus Christ was here walking on the earth, other people spoke up to help him spread the Gospel with their own testimonies. There were the twelve Apostles whom Jesus sent out (Mark 6:7), and later Jesus sent out seventy more (Luke 10:1), and he encouraged future generations to continue the mission (Mark 16:15). It was Andrew who brought the fisherman, Simon Peter to Jesus, and Philip brought Nathaniel over to meet Jesus.

The same should be happening today, our ministers or clergyman or the heads and leaders of our youth groups cannot win everyone in their community to the Lord Jesus Christ. It should be an effort by all to help get the God of deliverance into society’s mainstreams, highways, and byways.

Who else is in our schools and campuses? Who else is really out there in our societies amongst the people? You and I are out there! God gave us all eternal life by His “grace” and He made us all able to share our own testimony from our hearts.

We have hundreds of thousands of personal and different stories of deliverance that we have to share with people. According to the Bible, our very lives are an “Epistle of Christ (II Corinthians 3:3). Like Christ taught, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34), for the testimonies that we can deliver will come from the abundance of our hearts.

For the most part people will usually read your life, your words, and the fruit you bear before taking a serious look at God’s Word. What comes out of your mouth might be the critical factor in someone’s decision to turn to Christ and accept his or her own deliverance.

Let’s go to the Bible and see just a few examples of testimonies starting with Simon in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 26:6:
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

You know what? Simon was healed of his leprosy before this day occurred. Yet he still carried his old name, Simon the Leper. To Simon this was not an insult or disgrace, but a blessing to have this title, just as honorable as if he were known by Simon the Just. Why? This was Simon’s story, his testimony of his deliverance. He was now clean and free of leprosy, yet was still affectionately known by his title, as it was a wonderful reminder to Simon of where he came from and who healed him.

Simon’s story must have just thrilled his family, friends, and neighbors to hear his testimony over and again, especially for those who knew him before his healing and had seen his bodily devastation of leprosy. Oh, how thankfully humble that must have kept Simon. I have no doubt that Simon’s Heart of Testimony led many to Christ for years to come!

Mark 16:9:
Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had {past tense} cast {out} seven devils.

Mary Magdalene did not have seven devil spirits anymore, yet God’s Word still points it out to us. Why? Again, for the same reason as Simon’s, this was Mary’s testimony. Think of the people Mary could have helped, people in similar circumstances with devil spirits or living around satanic influences, and as she relayed her testimony, explaining how Christ cast out those spirits to set her free, her testimony would give others the same hope of freedom that comes from knowing the Savior. What a wonderful testimony Mary had.

John 12:9, 11:
9: Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
11: Because that by reason of him {Lazarus} many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

Many people believed on Jesus, not only because of his preaching, but also because of the once dead man, Lazarus. Perhaps Lazarus would have said, “Oh yeah, I used to be dead! I was in a sepulcher wrapped in grave clothes for four days, but now I am alive and every day is new and exciting, every moment is a great gift! I really appreciate life and I owe it all to God through His Son, Jesus Christ!”

Possibly Lazarus would have reminded his two sisters and friends of the words Jesus spoke in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” By believing on Jesus Christ and his words, we, much like Lazarus, can pass from spiritual death unto spiritual life and enjoy our lives more abundantly as Jesus Promised in John 10:10.

It was Jesus Christ that raised Lazarus up and gave him a new life with a new song in his heart and a testimony that could reach into the very lives of people as he presented himself a living testimony for all to see, hear, and touch.

Perhaps it may seem to us that our testimonies are not as dramatic as Lazarus’ was, but there is no doubt that God, Who “is no respecter of persons” has given each of us a personal testimony to bring the God of deliverance to those in our immediate surroundings.

Lazarus, who was he? Much like you and me, touched by the Master’s hand, our Physician of the heart, and blessed with a testimony as a real living Epistle for the glory of God. As Jesus told one man, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.” We have the story of Jesus delivering this man who had a “legion” of spiritual problems. This man became so blessed that he wanted to travel with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go home and share his own testimony with his family, neighbors, and friends.

Mark 5:19-20:
19: Howbeit Jesus suffered him not {did not allow him to go with him}, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
-20: And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

The word Decapolis was not the word for a single city, but for an entire region, Decapolis means ten cities. This man whom Jesus healed in so many ways began spreading his own heartfelt testimony, his own experience that he had with Jesus, throughout Decapolis, so much so that when Jesus himself later passed through the regions of Decapolis it was easier for him to teach and preach the Gospel and heal people (Mark 7:31-8:9). Similarly, when we express our testimonies, we are preparing hearts to receive Christ and the healing Word of God.

When people express their own testimonies and they convey the compassion Jesus had upon their lives, even if it is only to their families and friends, the wonderful healing Word of God becomes more accessible, living, and real to those who hear them.

When we realize the compassion the Lord has on our lives, it is easy to be compassionate enough to reach out and share our testimony that we have placed in our hearts. This is how the Word of God flourished in the first century, and it is certain that even today the Word of God again can prevail as we tell our testimony with the love of God.

Perhaps one of the greatest recorded examples we have of testimonies is that of the Apostle Paul who expressed his story at every opportunity. Paul’s testimonies are written throughout the Book of Acts and the Epistles and Letters he wrote that are in the New Testament as a real example for all to see how he came face to face with God’s Word and his Savior.

In the Old Testament we read, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua” (Exodus 17:14). God wanted Moses to rehearse over and again the testimony of Joshua’s victories about his personal battles that would continue to inspire Joshua as the next leader of Israel. Knowing ourselves that we are more than conquerors with God in Christ (Romans 8:37), and believing that we can be victorious in our endeavors is something that God desires for His children to know and understand, for our heart of testimony can continue to build us up as individuals as well as all of those with whom we share them.

To study countless examples of a heart of testimony, see the Book of Psalms and Hebrews chapter 11. The Book of Acts is also filled with wonderful testimonies that the believers shared with one another.

In Acts 14:27 we read that the believers: “rehearsed all that God had done with them,” and thus, they outlined the details of their own testimonies with one another.

In Acts 12:17 Peter: “declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison,” which blessed, emboldened, and inspired the believers with encouragement and comfort.

In Acts 11:4 after delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles, Peter and his company: “rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them.”

These are all hearts of testimony that always bring glory to God, excitement to our families, our friends, and our neighbors, and personal joy into our lives for speaking up and sharing our own heartfelt experiences that we have had with our Savior and heavenly Father.

Psalms 119:111:
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

Matthew 5:16:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 3:21:
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.