Four Characteristics of a Worthy Walk

5 March 2023 PM – Colossians 1:9-12 – Col23 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In the previous section (Colossians 1:3-8), Paul identified four reasons that he was thankful for the Colossian believers. In our text for this evening (Colossians 1:9-12), Paul further described his prayer for the saints. He desired that they might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is wisdom and understanding imparted by the Spirit of God, enabling the believer to have precise and correct knowledge of God’s will. God has a will for every believer. Parts of God’s will for believers overlap. It is God’s will for every Christian to fellowship with God in His Word and in prayer, flee temptation, live a pure life, and share the Gospel with others. He also has a specific path for each to follow. To find and stay in the centre of God’s will, we must stay close to God’s Light. [Illustrate walking down a dark path in the forest and staying in the lantern light.].
            Paul prayed to this end in order that they might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. Walking in a manner that is worthy of our Saviour and King is no small task. It is a walk that mimics Him and honours Him.
Transition: This evening, I want us to zoom in on the four characteristics of a God-worthy walk that Paul prayed would be evident in the Colossian believer’s lives. They are for us as well.
The first characteristic of a God-worthy walk is…
  1. Being fruitful in every good work (v.10)
a.         A worthy walk is a fruitful walk.
1)         To be fruitful simply means to bear fruit or to be productive. A productive garden feeds the family. Its beauty cheers the discouraged. Its bounty helps the needy.
2)         A Christian walk that is worthy of our awesome Lord, needs to be a spiritually productive walk.
b.         God wants us to be fruitful in every good work.
1)         Cultivate your time with the Lord in the Word and in prayer so that it improves your character and attitudes. Feed your soul on wholesome books and godly media rather than on secular TV, Facebook and secular music. Seek to be Christ-like in EVERY work you do.
2)         I like what Charles Spurgeon said about this. “‘Fruitful in every good work.’ Here is room and range enough – in ‘every good work.’ Have you the ability to preach the gospel? Preach it! Does a little child need comforting? Comfort it! Can you stand up and vindicate a glorious truth before thousands? Do it! Does a poor saint need a bit of dinner from your table? Send it to her. Let works of obedience, testimony, zeal, charity, piety, and philanthropy all be found in your life. Do not select big things as your specialty, but glorify the Lord also in the littles – ‘fruitful in every good work.’”
The second characteristic of a God-worthy walk is…
2.        Increasing in the knowledge of God (v.10)
a.         A worthy walk is not stagnant.
1)         My parent’s farm has several ponds, or rather stagnant swamps. The water in those swamps does not move. As a result, it is brownish-green and rather smelly.
2)         This word “increasing” is in the passive voice, which means that we cannot increase ourselves, but we set the stage for it and allow it to take place.
3)         God wants Christians to be increasing in the knowledge of Him. To increase is to grow greater in quantity. When the water in a pond increases due to springs, it will increase and run over, keeping it fresh. A Christian who lets God’s Word increase his knowledge of God will produce an overflow to share with spouse, family, friends and others.
b.         A worthy walk focuses on knowing God.
1)         This knowledge describes a precise and correct knowledge. It is a full knowledge.
2)         It is a full knowledge of God. Though you allow the springs of God’s word to flow into your heart for an entire lifetime, you will never exhaust or master the full knowledge of God. There is always more to learn and ponder about God.
a)         As you read the Bible, watch for characteristics and qualities of God.
b)         Note how he responds and reacts to situations.
c)         Meditate on him in the night seasons.
3)         As you allow yourself to grow in knowledge of God, your walk with the Lord ought to become more of a God-worthy walk.
The third characteristic of a God-worthy walk is…
3.        Being strengthened with all might (v.11)
a.         Let God strengthen you spiritually.
1)         Like increasing in the knowledge of God, this too is in the passive voice. It is something that you allow rather than something you do.
2)         God wants us to allow Him to strengthen or empower us by the might of His glory (cf., Eph 6:10). This is the might, strength or power of that displays God’s glory. It is allowing God to do in us what we cannot do ourselves so that He gets all the glory.
3)         God gives this strength when we humbly depend on Him. When Jesus told his disciples, “without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5), He was reminding them of their need to depend on Him for their strength. This is one of our greatest needs. We must depend on Him for victory over temptation, courage to witness, change of character, for answers to prayer, for time management, for parenting, for fulfilling your marital role, etc.
b.         God’s strength in you is productive.
1)         He specifically mentions our need for God’s strength for patience in all situations and for longsuffering with joyfulness.
2)         Biblical patience is steadfast endurance. “In the NT, [it is] the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” BTSK Depending on God’s strength is that which will keep us true to God’s will when the situations around is make it difficult.
3)         Longsuffering, though similar, is persevering during difficulties and being slow to avenge wrongs against us or get angry. It is fortitude. Fortitude enables one to endure adversity with courage. God wants to strengthen us to be longsuffering with joyfulness. Longsuffering is not something in which most of us naturally excels, especially when done with joyfulness. This is a by-product of depending on the Lord for strength.
4)         Truly, depending on the Lord for strength to be patient in all situations and longsuffering with joyfulness is a characteristic of a God-worthy walk that we need.
The fourth characteristic of a God-worthy walk is…
4.        Giving thanks unto the Father (v.12)
a.         God desires our thanks.
1)         God created humans for His glory.
2)         Many Scriptures exhort us to be thankful to God. Our text (Colossians 1:12) is the first of four exhortations to be thankful found in this book alone (Col 2:7; 3:15; 3:17; 4:2).
b.         God deserves our thanks.
1)         Our text sites one reason that God deserves our gratitude; He has made us meet or fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in [heavenly] light.
2)         As Christians, Christ has paid the eternal debt of our sin, made us children of God, and promised us an eternity in heaven. (2 Corinthians 9:15) “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” Truly, He deserves our gratefulness.
3)         Daily, when we sin, if we confess our sin, Christ forgives us and restores us to fellowship. We ought to be grateful!
4)         Because God is our Creator, Sustainer and Provider, we owe Him everything. If God stopped being God, all life would instantly die. He deserves our gratefulness.
Conclusion: It is God’s will for each of us to walk a God-worthy walk. As you ponder the four characteristics that Paul listed of a God-worthy walk, if God reveals some areas that need improvement in your life, take action right now. As we pray in a moment, ask God to help you make the needed changes, then set to work to obey.
Song: His Way with Thee – 367