"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant
also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
John 12: 26 (NIV)
If you remember, Dona and I went to Kentucky's Natural Bridge for my 45th class reunion. I thought this would be a good time to stop by my Aunt and Uncle's house on the way back home. According to Google Maps, it was only about thirty minutes away, wasn't too far out of the way, and was in the right direction coming back to Maineville. I really like maps, so I checked it out and had a pretty good idea how we would go according to Google.
But, when it was time to start our pilgrimage to their home from the lodge, I realized that I didn't have their address to put into the Garmin. Okay, I'll just put in Frenchburg, Kentucky. After all, I knew where they lived, just not how to get there from where I was. It worked! I looked at the overall map on the GPS, and, sure enough, it was going to take us to Frenchburg. We drove along and kept driving in the valleys. Now I knew that we needed to go over a mountain at some point, but it wasn't happening. We kept following creek roads with names that reflected that, something like North Creek Road, Hard Creek Road, East Creek Road...I don't remember the actual names now. I told Dona that if the GPS told us to turn onto a road like Jim Branch, then we were in trouble. It did. (Wait, was that banjo music?) And the road ended in a gravel lane. We immediately turned around and went back part of the way we had come (without the GPS!).
When we got to an open area, I reconfigured the GPS to find a gas station in Frenchburg. It seemed to be happier with that idea. It gave us very good directions (although it did suggest a short cut down into, and through, a creek...nope, not going there). We made pretty good time and came out on a road five minutes north of town (even though we were coming from the south). I had called to tell them we were going to be later than what we had said, but it was only about fifteen minutes since I had built in a lot of leeway.
"Okay, Pastor Steve, what in the world does that have to do with the scripture above?" you ask. Glad you got me back on track. Have you made the decision to make Jesus your Lord and Savior? Then we have to ask, "Is my lifestyle a reflection of that decision?" It should be. We may get distracted from it time and again by not having a clear understanding of what the expectation is...(like not knowing exactly where the GPS was taking me) especially early in our Christian walk. But we should be getting better each and every day as we read, meditate, and pray over God's Word. (Similar to reconfiguring the GPS, setting a new goal or destination.) It gives us instruction on how we do this discipleship thing with Jesus. It helps if we have someone else to help keep up us on track, like our GPS...or Dona. Sometimes we get off course, but, if we have a focus or a specific point of reference, we can get right back on the road to following Jesus.
Of course, the objective is to have our deliverance (see what I did there?) from the penalty of sin and death. Once we have accepted Jesus, we may get off the main road from time to time, but as long as we keep recalibrating to get back on course, we should be okay. Our salvation doesn't depend on how well we do, but on our desire to follow Him. God will honor those who have chosen to follow Jesus. We can't work our way in, although there is a good argument that we need to utilize our talents for God's Kingdom. That would be part of our recalibration. What we do along our road to follow Jesus will be part of our reward when we get home. Keep the GPS (God's Purpose of Salvation) the destination. Have a good All Hallow's Eve, or All Saint's Eve. God bless.