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Choosing the Right Road

5 Sep

I love these imagined responses * to the question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” 

  • Captain James T. Kirk: “To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.”WhyDidTheChickenCrossTheRoad
  • Grandma: “In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.”
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.”
  • Einstein: “Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?”
  • Martha Stewart: “A properly dressed chicken may cross the road, and that’s a Good Thing — but be sure to sell your chicken stock if you hear any rumors about oncoming traffic.”
  • Colonel Sanders: “I missed one?”
  • The Bible: “And God said unto the chicken, ‘Thou shalt cross the road.’ And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing.”

That last one really made me LOL.

But it also got me thinking about roads. So I’m going to get serious for a minute.

The Bible says there are two roads we can consider in life, but only one will lead to “rejoicing” forever.

Jesus taught about these roads. In Matthew 7:13-14 we read His words:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

What are these broad and narrow roads Jesus referred to?

Some versions of the Bible translate “road” as “way.” And that makes me think of another verse.

We know Jesus said, “I am the Way… No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). He didn’t say “a way.” The narrow road—the narrow way—to eternal life is Jesus and Jesus alone. There is “no other name” by which we must be “saved” (Acts 4:12).

Voices in our politically correct culture would have us accept the philosophy that there are many ways to heaven—that Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and others can find eternal life in heaven just like Christians. The world would have us believe we are being “judgmental” to believe we are the sole possessors of the truth that saves mankind … because all religions’ gods are equal.

This is utter foolishness. When we study the “gods” of other religions, we quickly see how different they are. (See the post: “How to Get to Heaven—What Are the Ideas from the Different Religions?)

As a Christian, I believe in the Bible as the Word of God, and 1 John 5:11-12 tells me eternal life is only in God’s Son. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

We see this again in the simplicity of John 3:16: “…God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The road that leads to heaven runs straight through the cross of Christ.

Those who will not believe in Jesus are “condemned already” according to scripture (John 3:18). We can’t create our own “road” by trying to come to God on our own efforts (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10). People would rather choose their own way. It’s no wonder “only a few” find God’s road to life.

“The way to God was completely closed, and sin was the roadblock (Romans 5:12). … We all deserve to stay on the “wide road that leads to destruction.” (GotQuestions.org)

But that is why we need God’s mercy.

The truth is, because God is just, He must require payment for sin; but God is also merciful, and His Son, Jesus, paid the penalty (Isaiah 53:5; 1 John 3:1, 16) through His sacrifice for us on the cross and His resurrection (John 1:12, Romans 10:9; Romans 5:6-8).

We may never know why the chicken crossed the road, but we CAN know the joy of choosing to walk God’s narrow road to heaven.

What road are you traveling on today?

* Note: I do not agree with or appreciate all of the responses in that link.

– Dawn

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Make the Message Clear

15 Sep

I recently read an entire page of cake inscriptions gone wrong Here are some samples:

  • When my mother-in-law ordered a cake for my wedding anniversary, she made a point of instructing the bakery, “That’s Thompson with a ‘p’.” Later, when she went to pick up her order, she noticed that on the box they had written, “Mrs. Phompson.”
  • For my 40th birthday, my husband decided to surprise me with a birthday cake from our local bakery. “In the middle, please print ‘Happy Birthday Nita,'” he instructed them over the phone. “Then, ‘You’re not getting older’ at the top and ‘you’re getting better’ at the bottom.” When he went to pick it up, he discovered that they had decorated the cake with the words exactly as he had said them: “Happy Birthday Nita. You’re not getting older at the top, you’re getting better a the bottom.”
  • We had a “going away” party for a lady… One of the supervisors called a Wal-Mart and ordered a cake. He told them to write: “Best Wishes Suzanne” and underneath that write, “We will miss you.”  As the picture shows, it didn’t quite turn out right.

Apparently, even floral tributes are not safe.

  • My husband is a mortician. He found an odd card on some flowers sent in honor of the deceased. When the sender of the flowers called to place her order, the florist asked what she wanted written on the card. She said, “Write ‘Rest in Peace’ on both sides. And, if you can fit it in, ‘We’ll see you in eternity..” My husband read the card: “Rest in Peace on both sides. And if you can fit it in, we’ll see you in eternity.”

These cakes  and the flowers point out the risk of trusting others to deliver our heart-felt messages. They might get it wrong!

Remember as a child playing the game “Telephone,” a game where children sit in a circle and one child begins to relay a message that must go around the entire circle. The last child reveals the message ~ and sometimes, what the child is so off from the original message that everyone erupts in laughter.

When a message is important, we need to share it ourselves. We need to be sure people “get it.” Nowhere is this more important than when we share the biblical message of the Gospel.

A child explain the gospel to another young friend, in earshot of his mom. He talked with great passion about Jesus’ death and burial, but left out Jesus’ resurrection. “What about when Jesus rose from the grave?” his mom said. The boy turned around and whispered to his mom, “He’ll never believe that, Mom. I’m just going to tell him about heaven.”

That’s the problem with a lot of messages about the scripture. People (sometimes even pastors) leave parts out, believing the plain truth of the Word of God will be too difficult ~ too strange ~ for people to believe. We can’t help it if people misunderstand, but we need to be sure that the messages we share (especially about the Gospel) are not mis-stated! We can’t make people believe, but we must make the message clear.

The Apostle Paul explained the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. But he also asked the Colossian church to pray for him so his messages would be clear (Colossians 4:3-4). He had the facts straight, but he wanted the wisdom to communicate through the Holy Spirit to the hearts of men and women so they would understand.

That should be our prayer as well:  “Lord, help me make the message of the Gospel clear.”

Note: All of the cake and floral inscriptions appeared on “Cake Talk,” Snopes.com:  (1) http://www.readersdigest.ca, 1997; (2) http://www.readersdigest, ca, 1992; (3) Email to Snopes.com, Oct. 2007; (4) email to Snopes.com, 2007

– Dawn

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