The Seven Year Pitch

January 4, 2016 at 11:47 am | Posted in Biblical Walking | 1 Comment
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Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of The Deep End. Once again, I must express my sincere appreciation and thanks to those of you who subscribe, read regularly, and share some of the posts. Most of all, I must give praise and glory to God for allowing me to continue managing a blog which really belongs to Him. He was faithful in 2015. Of course, He was faithful every year before that, and He will be faithful in every year to come and throughout eternity as well!

I try to do some “sharing” and some promotion from time to time, but social media is not really my forte’, and there are time constraints. If I had to give a “pitch” (a persuasive salesman-type argument) for why you should take the time to read anything that the Lord has allowed me to write on this site, the best thing I could say would be: Give it a try. Pray about it. See if what you are reading matches up to what the Bible says. Look for the variety in the subjects and categories. In the land of the internet there is certainly no shortage of Christian websites and blogs! The Deep End is a comparatively small, backwater outpost, I know. There are times when the number of views picks up to a jogging and even a sprinting pace, but for the most part, the number of views and viewers progresses at a steady march. In honor of the occasion – as I look forward to another year of humbly studying the Bible, trying to share its truths, and walking with the Lord – I thought I would provide a table of contents for the category called Biblical Walking:

1. Like Father, Like Child (Ephesians 5:1-2)
2. Two “Right” Feet (II Chronicles 16:12)
3. Faithful Wounds (Proverbs 27:5-6) *
4. The Never-Ending Walk (II Kings 4:9)
5. Beware Whose Feet You Follow (Proverbs 5:5)
6. A Closer Walk with Thee (Amos 3:3; Psalm 139)
7. The Path of Sacrifice (Proverbs 4:23-27)
8. Beware Flaky Firmness (John 5:5-15)
9. The Particular Path (John 14:4-11)
10. All Dressed up and Nowhere to Go (Ephesians 6:10-14)
11. The Blessings and Hazards of Companionship (Proverbs 13:20)
12. A One-Question Quiz for Boys (Psalm 119:9)

* most-viewed post in category

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Beware Flaky Firmness

January 20, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Biblical Walking, The Fives | 1 Comment
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In the days when Christ Jesus walked in Jerusalem there was, near the sheep gate of the city, a pool called Bethesda. People with diseases, injuries, paralysis, and other maladies came to this pool to wait for the water to be stirred. There was a belief that an angel came periodically, and swirled the waters with healing power, but only the first one into the pool would receive the healing. One of the people there was a man who had been disabled for a long time, and he caught the attention of Jesus:

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

John 5:5

The Bible says that the man had an “infirmity,” which means that he lacked “firmness” or strength in his body. Either through inability, or through a secret fear that healing would entail completely changing the way he had lived for 38 years, he had never been the first one into the water.

Jesus ignored the pool and healed the man with a simple verbal command: “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” With that display of divine power, the Lord vanished into the crowd. The Jewish leaders, who were opposed to the ministry of Christ, found the man and chastised him for carrying his bed on the Sabbath.

Later, Jesus saw the man in the Temple, and said:

… Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

John 5:14

In doing so, Christ reminded the man that the “firmness” he had been given by God must be spiritual and moral firmness to match his physical firmness. Each and every one of us came into this world stricken with the infirmity of sin. We had no power to walk with the Lord, or to love or glorify God on our own. However, when Christ saves a sinner, and heals his soul, He does not do so merely for our happiness. He does it so that we have the ability and the inclination to now serve Him righteously. We must remember not to be “flaky” Christians, grateful one day and bitter the next, faithful one day and fearful the next, active one day and complacent the next. The Lord wants our “firmness” to be a constant victorious reminder of our former infirmity and glorious healing.

The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

John 5:15

The Path of Sacrifice

November 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Biblical Walking | 5 Comments
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I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:1

Old Testament sacrifices weren’t living sacrifices – at least not for long. When a lamb or a goat or a dove or a bull was sacrificed, it was put to death – then it had no trouble staying on the altar. As New Testament Christians, we are called to present our bodies before the Lord, but I’m thankful we are not called to be dead sacrifices. We are called to be living sacrifices.

This means, among other things, that our bodies need to be God-oriented. They need to be focused on God, moving toward God, and moving with God. Romans 12:2 tells us that we are to accomplish this yielding of our bodies by the renewing of our minds. Proverbs 4 tells us that it starts with our hearts, but it is the same idea.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

“Keep with diligence” is redundant, because that’s what diligence is: it is taking care of something by watching it closely. The “heart” has control over the more literal body parts.

Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

Proverbs 4:24

Guard your mouth from being froward – from saying something that will cause problems. “Perverse lips” means saying anything wrong – from telling lies, to being hurtful, to cursing.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Proverbs 4:25

Christians know their destination: He is Jesus. We have to keep our eyes on Him to move toward Him, and we have to keep our eyes on the Bible to move with Him.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

Proverbs 4:26

Watch your step. Stay on the right path. It’s a narrow path. If you’re wandering all over the place, you’re not on it.

Let your ways be “established” – let them be made stable by leaning on the Rock – by “amening” – leaning your whole weight upon the Lord.

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:27

A little step in either direction takes you out of the path of being a living sacrifice. It makes you a living, but wandering, rebel. Continuing on in a direction, either right or left, will eventually bring you to the point of having made a 180 degree turn – the exact opposite direction.

Remove your foot from evil. People who wander in the minefield are going to get blown up – along with the children and wives and others who were following them.

A Closer Walk with Thee

June 5, 2013 at 10:43 am | Posted in Amos, Biblical Walking, Selected Psalms | 14 Comments
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Thank You, Lord, for overcoming so many obstacles in our lives. Help us to hear Your voice clearly as we read and study Your Word. In the Name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

In the Bible the image of “walking” is a picture of fellowship.

Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Amos 3:3

That’s a rhetorical question – a question to which the asker does not really expect a formal answer. It is a question for which the answer immediately comes to mind, and we can just assume that everyone would answer it the same way. So, when the Bible asks, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” the answer is obviously “no.” As we’re “walking” with God, God expects us to be in agreement with Him. We tend to focus on our fellowship with God from a perspective of how well we know Him. But it might be more helpful to acknowledge and remember how well He knows us. That’s one of the key themes in Psalm 139.

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Psalm 139:1-6

There’s no point in trying to hoodwink God. Is there anybody in your life with whom you can totally let down your guard? Anybody about whom you can say, “There is absolutely nothing they could find out about me that I wouldn’t want them to know.” Maybe your spouse, maybe even your parents or your child, but, even then, in human relationships intimate knowledge almost always carries a loss of respect, or at least reverence. Not with God, however. You’ll never find any “dirt” on Him. For Christians, our relationship with Him is clear: Loving Father and imperfect child; Creator and created.

There is no point in trying to keep secrets from God, and there is no use in trying to hide from Him.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

Psalm 139:7-12

There is no corner dark enough, no dark alley, no barroom, movie theater, closet, or desk drawer that God does not see. Even under the covers in the middle of the night with your windows painted black, you are not invisible to God. Not only is He able to see you, but He is able to come guide you to safety or even deliver you.

In our fallen flesh, we are prone to cringe away from the truth that God sees us all the time – as if He were some malevolent totalitarian Big Brother hoping to catch you in a moment of unguarded freedom. The reality is that God’s omnipresence and omniscience are actually great blessings. Imagine if you could hide from God, what trouble you might get into.

If we’re going to walk with God, the best fellowship – the sweetest fellowship – and the most profitable fellowship – is going to be found walking where He wants to walk. Don’t make the mistake of contemplating the commission of something so shameful that it makes you think that God will depart from you while you do it, and make Himself blissfully ignorant when you’re done.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

I Corinthians 6:18-19

The Corinthian church was as carnal as most churches today. They had members openly engaging in fornication. The Holy Spirit wrote to them through the Apostle Paul and told them, “You’re sinning outside of your bodies, you’re sinning inside your bodies, you’re even sinning against your own bodies.” They were joining the temples of the Holy Ghost with harlots. If there was ever a time the Holy Ghost was going to leave them, it would have been then. Instead, He informed them that they were grieving Him by bringing Him into proximity with their fornication. There’s no hiding from God – even in a harlot’s bed.

1. You can’t hoodwink God.
2. You can’t hide from God.
3. You shouldn’t try to hinder God’s plans.

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

Psalm 139:13-18

Since God formed us – since He fashioned us – since He made our bodies work – since He even knows the number of our days – how can we think we know better than Him how we ought to live our lives? Or what we ought to do with our lives?

One of the great things about walking with God is just seeing what he planned for us today way back before He even created us. We live in a day when the world says “life” is just a random event. We can allow it to happen or hinder it from happening if we want. Children in their mothers’ wombs – from the instant of conception – are human beings bearing the image of God. Abortion is not a “legal choice” or a “right.” It is the brutal unjustified murder of a baby in an attempt to hinder God’s plan for life.

1. We can’t hoodwink God.
2. We can’t hide from God.
3. We shouldn’t hinder the plans of God.
4. We shouldn’t haggle with God.

Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:19-24

We will be much better off when we learn to love what God loves and hate what God hates, and to stop trying to convince Him that we know better than Him. We need to go ahead and submit ourselves to a thorough examination each day, but we are poor self-examiners. If I “search” me, I’m not going to be objective. I’m going to be very subjective, and I’m going to be ready to quickly cover my obvious and grievous sin-caused lacerations with Band-Aids of rationalization. But the Holy Ghost gives a more thorough examination than any doctor. If I ask God to search me – and pray the prayer of Psalm 139:23-24 – He will do it. It won’t be fun, but it will lead to a closer walk with God. It will lead to a revival in my life every day.

Covering our sin is not prosperous for us. Confession and forsaking sin pleases God. Few parents get a kick out of chastening their children, but the hug afterward is well worth the pain. If you are a Christian, God loves you. He wants to walk with you “in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8), but He doesn’t want your sin walking along with you. Unconfessed sin means that we are not in agreement with God, and two can’t walk together unless they be agreed.

Beware Whose Feet You Follow

May 22, 2013 at 9:58 am | Posted in Biblical Walking, The Fives | 1 Comment
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The Lord Jesus recruited disciples with this command and invitation: “Follow Me.” His, however, is not the only voice in this world that will beckon you. Therefore, we must beware of temptations that will lead us, like dull-witted sheep, astray.

The Bible warns us specifically of the sinful seductress, who, with enticing and deceptive words, lures us in a deadly direction:

Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

Proverbs 5:5

It is risky to follow someone who promises something rewarding. It may lead to a great blessing or a terrible trap, and often we can’t know for certain until we take the chance. However, here the Bible gives us the gift of insight into the future. The feet of a “strange woman” lead ultimately to death, but her feet are already “taking hold” of the powers of darkness and pulling them toward the foolish follower lured by her false charms. Let us take careful heed to the wisdom and warnings found in Scripture. Following Jesus leads certainly to eternal life. Following the temptress in Proverbs 5 leads certainly toward damage, despair, destruction, and death.

The Never-Ending Walk

February 24, 2010 at 11:25 am | Posted in Biblical Walking | 5 Comments
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Elisha was a follower of the prophet Elijah. When Elijah was carried to Heaven by a whirlwind in a chariot of fire, it was a sign to Elisha that God had given him what he had asked for: a double portion of Elijah’s spirit (II Kings 2:9-11).

Elisha went on to perform many great miracles by God’s power. This probably caused his reputation to grow among the people. However, there was something in addition to great miracles which called attention to Elisha. In the case of the Shunammite woman, the most notable thing about Elisha was his consistent walk with the Lord.

And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.

II Kings 4:9

First, this woman perceived that Elisha was holy. There should be something noticeably different about the “walk” (daily life) of a Christian. Second, she perceived that Elisha was a man “of God.” Those who walk closely with the Lord Jesus will begin to resemble Him. Finally, she perceived that Elisha went about the Lord’s business “continually.” What a great testimony it would be if regenerated believers on the Lord Jesus Christ would resolve to serve Him, to walk with Him, to proclaim Him, to promote His Kingdom, and to do His will continually.

Faithful Wounds

November 18, 2009 at 11:39 am | Posted in Biblical friendship, Biblical Violence, Biblical Walking | 21 Comments
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The young boy walked across the church parking lot, tossing a ball in the air and catching it as it fell, casually wandering toward a busy highway. One man noticed this, and, being a religious man, he began to wring his hands, pray, and ask the boy politely to stop, to change directions, or at least to pay attention to where he was going. The boy remained oblivious and kept moving toward the highway. Another man observed the boy, and, being a caring man, he ran in a flat-out sprint toward the boy, dove through the air, and crashed into the boy with a flying shoulder tackle. Both he and the boy landed, just short of the path of a speeding truck, in a ditch filled with mud, weeds, and broken glass. The boy was shaken up, crying, cut, and bruised, but still alive.

The two men had taken drastically different approaches. One man appeared loving and polite, but his passivity was evidence of a callow cruelty toward the boy. One man appeared hateful and rash, but his willingness to act was evidence of a true love for the boy.

Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Proverbs 27:5-6

Christians are not supposed to just “have” friends. They are supposed to LOVE their friends. Christian love is more than just a “feeling.” It always involves action. If I have a friend who is walking toward destruction, my “secret love” for this friend will be of little help. However, a loud verbal warning during a face-to-face confrontation, even though it may cause hard feelings, could do a world of good. I need to have a loving willingness to batter and bruise (and then bandage) my friends, instead of a weak-willed sentimental desire to give them little kisses good-bye as they head for damnation.

Two “Right” Feet

July 2, 2009 at 9:20 am | Posted in Biblical Doctoring, Biblical Walking | 6 Comments
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Asa was the third king of the Kingdom of Judah. The Bible records that he began his reign by walking in God’s will. As he trusted and obeyed the Lord for 35 years, he was blessed with success.

However, one who truly walks in the center of God’s will does not walk on a broad meandering thoroughfare. The centerline of God’s will is razor-thin. One step to the left or right can take you out of God’s perfect will, and 1000 miles in either direction can be just as damaging as that first step.

In that 35th year of his reign Asa took his first big step – a stumble, really – out of God’s will, and trusted the King of Syria instead of the Lord.

And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.

II Chronicles 16:7

Instead of repenting, and getting back on God’s narrow path, Asa continued to order his own steps, ignoring the Holy Spirit’s counsel which had been given to his great-great-grandfather, David. (Psalm 37:23)

Even when God allowed him to contract a disease which reminded Asa that he had stumbled and was using his feet to walk away from the Lord, instead of back to the Lord, the reproof was not taken.

And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

II Chronicles 16:12

God, help us to follow You on the paths of righteousness, for Your name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)

LIke Father, Like Child

June 8, 2009 at 9:10 am | Posted in Biblical Parenting, Biblical Walking | 10 Comments
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Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Ephesians 5:1

Have you ever seen a little boy with a toy lawnmower, following closely behind as his father uses the real thing a few steps ahead?

https://swimthedeepend.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/dc787-sany0213.jpg

Or a little girl using a pretend steering wheel in the passenger seat of a car, as her mother drives down the road?

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQtAdqGSXwMmNRWlyyTvTRlxTXGhVZ7TZS81u8AlHDjng33dvglfA

It’s just a simple fact of life that children like to imitate their parents.

If you have been brought to repentance and redemption by the sovereign grace of God, then you have a “spiritual Father” that should be even more important to you than an earthly parent is to his or her child. In like manner, you should desire to walk after, and to imitate, your Heavenly Father.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Ephesians 5:2

God is love (I John 4:8). For a Christian, born into the family of God, and therefore being a partaker of God’s divine nature (II Peter 1:4), to not be loving is to fail to be an imitator or a follower of our Father. It has been well said that, in the New Covenant, love is not something – love is the thing.


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