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Showing posts with label Numbers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Numbers. Show all posts

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Way or the Highway – A Fork in the Road that Defines Us - Purity 591


 

The Way or the Highway – A Fork in the Road that Defines Us - Purity 591

Purity 591 12/02/2021  Purity 591 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo from inside the Buskirks covered Bridge comes to us from yours truly as I was looking in the photo archive and came across some memories from October 7th of this year.  For those who don’t know that was the day that I was to propose to my fiancĂ© and the photo’s I have of the Buskirk Bridge from that day are a demarcation point in my personal history because before I crossed that bridge I didn’t know I was going to propose that day.  It was on the other side of the bridge that I discovered I was to receive my fiancĂ©’s engagement ring early and I realized that the time was now! Today, October 7th, 2021, was the day of salvation! Well engagement anyway.

I guess I was saved in a sense, from the monkhood that I had expected to live in for the rest of my days, when TammyLyn Seguin nodded and then verbally consented to be my wife.    

You see since coming to faith in Christ in 2010, I have been committed to follow the call that God has put on my life to be an authentic Christian and to walk in the Spirit.

As I have progressively gotten to know the Lord more through His word and through His calling, I turned from my “normal” life that was characterized by reactive emotions, addiction, and bondage to the sins of the flesh and turned to follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

My previous life and a Christian disciple’s lifestyle were not exactly one in the same and over the years there has been lots of growing pains and a fair share of broken relationships as some friends and family were not on board with my transition from “fun loving drunk” to a Christian who tries to live according to the Word of God. 

As I progressively walked out my Christian faith, I realized that there were not many available women on this narrow path and after a few disappointments I realized that even though some women would identify themselves as Christians, their ideas of faith and how they mixed with the world’s philosophies were far from what I was looking for.  I had resolved to be alone for the rest of my life rather than enter into a relationship that would compromise my faith. 

Dating really isn’t an option for a Christian. An authentic Christian really would be “courting” because causal dating with a lack of commitment should be antithetical to a Christian disciple’s lifestyle.  The Bible is pretty clear that sexual relationships are only approved, or not sin,  under a marriage covenant. 

So while it is possible to date without having sex, let’s be real… who wants to? Nobody.

As much as the world likes to theorize and blaspheme over the idea that Jesus could have had “girlfriends”,  Christ was unmarried and was without sin. Christ had female disciples, not romantic interests. The word of God is true and there are no accounts of Jesus “playing the field” or “going steady”.  Basically, even Jesus didn’t want to date. He had a higher call.

Some of us can be called to a single life dedicated to serve the Lord exclusively.  Some of us can be called to be single and celibate. I thought that was a real possibility for my life because there seemed not to be any faithful Christian women who were interested in purchasing my “brand of Christianity” or me personally and all the accompanying baggage of my past.  

But as far as I was concerned, as long as I had my relationship with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, I had more than enough love in my life, and I could spend the rest of my life in joy and peace walking the disciple’s path solo.  

If you zoom in on today’s photo, you will see a road sign that points to the left and to the right.  When you cross the Buskirk Bridge, you must choose which way you should go.   

Similarly, at some point in our lives we come to The Bridge that leads to eternal life, Jesus Christ.  Before we die, we must choose if we will cross it. 

If we choose to reject Christ and decide to do things “My way” and challenge God to judge us on our own merits, we will eventually come to discover that what we always suspected about our lives of sin was true. Without Christ, we are on the Highway to Hell.  And unlike all the jokes and foolish speculations of man that tell us that Hell is a place where we will party with all our friends in low places, Jesus spent His earthly ministry warning people to repent and to avoid the place that He described with images of fire (Matt. 25:41), darkness (Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30), and the weeping and gnashing of teeth ” (Matt. 8:12; 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28).

So while Fleetwood Mac will tell you that “You can go your own way”, I wouldn’t recommend it.    Instead we should choose the Truth, The Way, and The Life: Jesus Christ.

If we place our faith in Christ, we cross the bridge from death to life eternal. God gives us the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, spiritual life, and the assurance that He will never leave us or forsake us.  

Faith in the Prince of Peace gives us peace with God. Walking in the Spirit, living according to God’s ways, results in the fruit of the Spirit that gives us peace on earth.

So choose to cross into life everlasting by putting your faith in Jesus Christ every day.  Yeah, just because we “crossed that bridge” once upon a time doesn’t mean our journey is over.  

When we cross that bridge into faith, we run into another road sign.  It points to the path of Christian discipleship and to the Road of Compromise.  The path of Christian discipleship leads to freedom in Christ and victory.  The Road of Compromise leads to bondage to sin, to guilt, to shame, and to a lack of assurance of salvation.

While you have crossed the bridge into life eternal, the enemy will beckon you to “go your own way” and to remain in the chains that you have been set free of. The difference of experiencing a victorious Christian life and one that doesn’t seem all that different from life before Christ lies in the way that you walk out your faith on the earth.  

Walking the Christian path of discipleship will change you as you renew your mind and conform to the image of Christ.

It will also cost you something, for as your light of Christ shines brighter the darkness that surrounds you will flee and will take with it those who have chosen the darkness rather than the light.  You have chosen The Way and they have sadly chosen the highway and because you are going in different directions it shouldn’t surprise us that people will depart from our journey of faith.  

It can be a lonely road at times, but Christ’s way is not only the best way, for those who understand it, it really is the only way.   But it is a way that is paved with peace, love, and joy.   

And just when you think you will walk your life of faith all by yourself, the Lord will give you company for your travels and ask you to take another step of faith with a Christlike man or woman to walk with you from here to eternity.  

So keep walking and talking with God, the path of Christian discipleship may not be seem to be as fast or exciting as the Highway to Hell, but man when you are travelling with God you are not so worried about making “good time” because you know that you will see some amazing sights and do some amazing things as you travel and you know that your final destination will be a good one.

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:


Numbers 23:19 (NLT2)
19  God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

 

Today’s verse reminds us that God is not like our neighbor.  

One of the major problems in the world is our human relationships.  Jean Paul Sartre’s famous quote from his play “No Exit” tells us that “Hell is other people.”   What’s so hellish about people? 

Well, while we could spend a long time documenting the evil that men do, one thing that pains us the most is that men lie.  Sometimes we don’t even intend to lie but circumstances change, and we change our minds about something that we have said or promised and the change in our stance makes us liars.    Sometimes we say we will do something and just don’t do it. Broken promises or the failure to act make us liars.   

The pain that comes from the lies that we have been told could send us on a journey to escape the company of men altogether because it seems like there is no one we can trust. 

But today’s verse encourages us to have a relationship with God because He is not a liar.  God doesn’t change His mind or fail to act, and He makes good on His promises faithfully. 

Those without a relationship with God though faith in Jesus Christ might balk at that idea.  They look at the untrustworthiness of human relationships and the suffering in the world and decide that God is a liar.. somehow. They assume that a good God wouldn’t allow these things to happen and thus can’t be good and must be a liar too.  

Unfortunately, God’s ways are higher than our ways and while we can’t understand why things happen the way they do all the time, if we seek the Lord and His righteousness we will come into a relationship with God that accepts His sovereign rule and His word which assures us that He will intervene and take control of the destiny of the universe.  

While some may struggle to see how God can be good, He sent Christ to die for us and reconcile us to Him.  God’s justice will come, and His promises will be fulfilled, in His time and according to His will.  The word of God is true, and He is not a liar.  

But just like a parent that withholds rewards until the proper time, He will make good on all of His promises and act justly when it is time for His will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.   

Christ is known as the Truth and there is no deceit in Him. He spoke the things of God the Father and we can trust Him.

So take solace in the fact that God is not a man that He should lie and rejoice over all the promises that will be fulfilled when Christ returns and His eternal kingdom will culminate with the creation of a new heaven and a new earth.

 

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we begin sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  starting on Day 6, as I started late and want our sharing to lead us up to Christmas Eve.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Tozer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

 

LUKEWARM ABOUT CHRIST’S RETURN

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:51–52

The return of Christ as a blessed hope is, as I have said, all but dead among us. The truth touching the second advent, where it is presented today, is for the most part either academic or political. The joyful personal element is altogether missing. Where are they who

“Yearn for the sign, O Christ, of thy fulfilling,

Faint for the flaming of Thine advent feet”?

The longing to see Christ that burned in the breasts of those first Christians seems to have burned itself out. All we have left are the ashes. It is precisely the “yearning” and the “fainting” for the return of Christ that has distinguished the personal hope from the theological one. Mere acquaintance with correct doctrine is a poor substitute for Christ and familiarity with New Testament eschatology will never take the place of a love-inflamed desire to look on His face.

If the tender yearning is gone from the advent hope today there must be a reason for it; and I think I know what it is, or what they are, for there are a number of them. One is simply that popular fundamentalist theology has emphasized the utility of the cross rather than the beauty of the One who died on it. The saved man’s relation to Christ has been made contractual instead of personal. The “work” of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the person of Christ. Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification. What He did for me seems to be more important than what He is to me. Redemption is seen as an across-the-counter transaction, which we “accept,” and the whole thing lacks emotional content. We must love someone very much to stay awake and long for his coming, and that may explain the absence of power in the advent hope even among those who still believe in it.

Another reason for the absence of real yearning for Christ’s return is that Christians are so comfortable in this world that they have little desire to leave it. For those leaders who set the pace of religion and determine its content and quality, Christianity has become of late remarkably lucrative. The streets of gold do not have too great an appeal for those who find it so easy to pile up gold and silver in the service of the Lord here on earth. We all want to reserve the hope of heaven as a kind of insurance against the day of death, but as long as we are healthy and comfortable, why change a familiar good for something about which we actually know very little? So reasons the carnal mind, and so subtly that we are scarcely aware of it.

Again, in these times religion has become jolly good fun right here in this present world, and what’s the hurry about heaven anyway? Christianity, contrary to what some had thought is another and higher form of entertainment. Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears and carried all the crosses; we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak in the form of religious pleasures modeled after the world but carried on in the name of Jesus. So say the same people who claim to believe in Christ’s second coming.

History reveals that times of suffering for the Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord. Our present preoccupation with this world may be a warning of bitter days to come. God will wean us from the earth some way—the easy way if possible, the hard way if necessary. It is up to us.

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

 

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship