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From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 58 Number 3 May/June 2012
The Word Has It
“Strengthen me according to Your word,” Psalm 119:28
MARBC Executive Director
We are entering the time of year when many people are beginning to anticipate and plan their summer vacation activities. Besides setting aside the dates, saving the funds, and considering the activities, part of the planning involves the actual vacation destination.
For many years, vacation planners utilized the maps provided by many of the major gasoline service stations (remember those?). Or, they purchased road atlases similar to the one published by Rand McNally. Members of A.A.A., the American Automobile Association, can request a “trip ticket” that gives suggested routes, mileage, and places of interest along the route. Today’s vacation planners may use online services such as MapQuest or utilize a portable GPS unit or Smart Phone. Whatever resource an individual chooses to utilize for travel, it is important that the service or device have accurate, up-to-date information.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe tells a humorous story that once occurred on a passenger train. A railway conductor began taking tickets one morning and discovered that the first passenger had the wrong ticket. “I’m sorry, sir,” said the conductor, “but you’re on the wrong train. You will have to change at the next station.” He took several more tickets and found that those passengers were also carrying the wrong tickets. It seemed so strange that so many people would have made the same mistake. Then the truth came out: the conductor was on the wrong train!
Sometimes people are like that poor conductor. They make the false assumption that they know the way they are going and how to get to the proper destination. While on their way to their assumed destination they point out the seemingly misguided ways of others. Then, to their embarrassment, they realize that it is they who are not “tracking” in the right direction.
This directionless problem can be especially serious when it comes to the direction of a person’s spiritual life. It is critically important that each individual seriously consider their spiritual direction by asking, “Am I confident that I know ‘the way?'”
The phrase, “the way,” is an interesting one as you trace its use through out the Bible.
The Book of Proverbs twice shares an important statement about the dangers of taking the wrong way: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)
Jesus further illustrated this dangerous path during His earthly ministry. He stated to a large crowd of followers, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
No one should be deceived into believing that all roads lead to heaven and spiritual safety. In fact, when it comes to the matter of salvation and an eternally lasting relationship with God, Jesus is the only way. Jesus Himself states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
It is clear that the followers of Jesus in the early church were committed to a strong spiritual relationship with him and thus intent on following His principles for life and eternity. This led to Jesus followers being tagged with the identification, “the followers of ‘the Way!'” (Acts 9:2; 19:9, 19:23; 24:14)
Perhaps while making plans related to your summer vacation destination, it would also be a good time for you to reflect on the way you are heading spiritually. What does the direction of your life and the roads that you travel to get there declare about the focus and priorities of your life? If you seem to be wandering aimlessly with no sense of clear purpose, let me encourage you to look to Jesus Christ. He will provide forgiveness, salvation, purpose, and security to every person who comes to him through faith. To alter a phrase used a few years back, “Don’t leave home without Him.” He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
You have His Word on it! (KEF)