Home> The Lower Lights> January 2006

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  Alan Jones, Editor

  (734) 942-7956

 

 

 

"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 5                                                                   July 2005                                                                                             No1 

 

SEEING THE ROAD AHEAD!

 

Recently, I was traveling south on I-69 in Indiana when I encountered a traffic slowdown.  In a few minutes I found out why we had slowed to a crawl.  There was a horrible accident on the northbound side and everyone was slowing down to take a look.  The accident involved two semis. One was turned on its side with all of the glass gone from the tractor.   The nose of the other tractor was shoved in like an accordion.  Immediately, I prayed for the welfare of the drivers and the comfort of their families.  Their lives had been suddenly and unexpectedly changed.  As the drivers left the terminal for the highway, they did not know what awaited them on the road ahead.  The backup caused by the accident was five miles and was still growing.  Motorists caught in it had a certain timetable in their mind to get to work or to get home from work, to get to a vacation destination or to return home.  But, they, too, did not know what awaited them on the road ahead.    Their timetable went out the window.  They were making good time when suddenly and unexpectedly they were forced to stop and to wait, and wait, and wait.

 Man cannot see the future.  Solomon wrote, “Do not boast about tomorrow.  For you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Prov 27:1)  The wise and humble person will make plans accordingly.  James admonished, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’  Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little time and vanishes away.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.’

 

But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.” (Js 4:13-16). 

                Yes, our future is subject to the will of the Lord who sees the road ahead that we cannot see.  God proved to Israel that He knows the future.  He told them of their coming destruction by a ruler from the north (Assyria) so that when it happened they would say, “He is right!” (Isa 10:5-6; 41:25-26).  God foretold that, after He had carried Israel to captivity in Assyria and Babylon, He would bring them home by His shepherd Cyrus, a man who wasn’t even born when the prediction was made (Isa 44:27-45:3). 

                Our realization that God sees the road ahead that we cannot see should inspire us to trust Him.   If we trust Him, we will let the wisdom of His Word direct our lives- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6).  We will not worry about the future, but will turn every care into a prayer, with the confidence that He who looks ahead will provide what we need (Mt 6:25-34; Phil 4:6-7).  We will realize that, if we love Him, He will use even the tragedy and suffering that may lie ahead on the road to accomplish His purpose in us- to help us be conformed in our character to the image of His Son and to get us home to glory in heaven (Rom 8:28-30).  

Where is your trust?  In God who sees the road ahead or in yourself, you who cannot even anticipate an accident or a traffic jam?

WHAT GOD TELLS US IS ON THE ROAD AHEAD

When I passed by the exit following the end of the traffic jam (see pg 1) and saw cars and trucks streaming along at 70 m.p.h., I thought, “I sure wish I could warn them of the five mile back-up ahead so they could exit and try to find an al-ternate route.”  I can warn you about the things God tells us are on the road ahead.  But there is no escaping them.  There is no alternate route. 

Death is on the road ahead of you.  God says, “It is appointed for men to die once.” (Heb 9:27)  This is an appointment we must all keep (unless we are alive at the coming of Jesus- 1 Thess 4:15).  Jesus told the story of a rich farmer who made big plans with no thought of this appointment.  The farmer had more harvest than he knew what to do with.  He planned to tear down his barns and build bigger ones and then sit back and enjoy life for many years to come.  But, he didn’t have many years left to live.  In fact, God required his soul that night (Lk 12:16-20).  Are you living like your life on earth will be forever or are you looking down the road? 

               Judgment is on the road ahead of you.  God adds to the sentence above, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judg-ment.” (Heb 9:27)  John described a vision he saw of this day, “And I saw the dead, the great and the small standing before the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” (Rev 20:12)  God will pronounce sentence on you based on how you have

 

 lived and whether or not your name is in the book of life, His record of those who have a relationship with Him. 

Heaven or hell is on the road ahead of you.  At the Judgment, Jesus will hand out to you either the sentence of eternal life or eternal punishment (Mt 25:46).  The eternal punishment is hell, the torment of the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41; Mk 9:43-48).  Eternal life is never-ending fellowship with God and His Son in heaven, being honored as His children.  God will wipe away all the tears of earth life and its sorrows will never be experienced again (Rom 8:19; Rev 21:1-4). 

Death and judgment you cannot change, but your eternal destination you will choose.  You will choose either to receive the wages of your sins (Rom 6:23)  or you will choose to have Jesus pay for them with His blood so that your name can be added to the book of life. Believe in Jesus and confess Him as your Lord (Rom 10:9-10) and repent of your sins and be baptized (Acts 2:38).  Continue in the book of life by walking in the light as God is in the light, confessing your sins so that the blood of Jesus will make you pure. (1 Jn 1:5-10)   Remember, no one will arrive at heaven by accident and you must get there by the road less traveled (Mt 7:13-14).  

Is heaven at the end of the road you are traveling?



 

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