Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is this all there is? . . .

Is this what we were dreaming of when we were eight?!! My friend and I exchanged these very thoughts as newly weds before we both had children. Get up, go to work, housework, laundry, go to bed, get up and do it all again.

Well, Mr. Burrell has made a good point again. It is all in your perspective and attitude. You can be so entrenched in your routine that you don't realize that only you have the power to change it. God will give you suggestions along the way.

Taking the Blue Line

Welcome back to the Shepherd’s Hill Homechurch message. We are glad that you stopped in today. Angie asked me what the title was for the message this week and when I told her she wanted an explanation. I am always trying to keep things fresh for the Sunday morning group so I made her wait. As many of you know, I get the message sometime during my week as the Holy Spirit gives me one word, one thought or one experience to write on. Of course, this week was no different.
What happened this week was that I was in the doldrums. Have you ever felt like you were in a rut? Now, don’t get me wrong. We have so many changes happening here at Shepherd’s Hill that there is never a dull moment. Right now, we are planning for our Fall Homesteading Classes. Angie is doing her weekly bake sale. Two of our daughters have big events taking place and there is much going on with that. Our grand-children are growing like weeds and every time we see them they look bigger. We still plan on opening our store soon and there is much to do there. And yet, I had the doldrums.
Our passage this week comes from Luke chapter eighteen. Go ahead and find that chapter because we will look at three verses here. As I mentioned, I have been feeling like life was pretty much the same old grind, day after day. I can’t complain, mind you. God is supplying our needs and everyone is in health. My job is pretty much the same as it has been for the past thirty years. But then again, life can seem the same everyday.
I started home a few days ago and my trip was to be the same as it always was. As I leave work every day I call Angie and let her know that I’m on the way. I drive through the town I work in and hit the Interstate Highway for a few miles. Then, I drive down a long, straight two-lane highway with very little traffic for about twenty-five miles. I then come into our little two red-light town and go south for about seven miles. In the mornings, it’s just reversed. It’s about an hour drive and very peaceful. I don’t listen to the radio and my cell phone loses signal so no one can get me; only God. As I said, I can’t complain.
But on the particular day this week God spoke to me as I left work. I had already talked to Angie and was set in to drive slow and steady. I started praying and talking to God. Don’t you feel bad for those who never have conversations with the Almighty? So many people are missing out on a relationship with their Creator because they are still looking for scientific evidence that He exists! How sad!
So, as I began my trip I began to relate to the Father that I needed something different. I learned many years ago to be careful what you ask for. Our children learned to never say they were bored because Mom and Dad quickly found something for them to do. While I wasn’t complaining, I just humbly asked God for a little change. As I approached my turn for the interstate God showed me a map of the area. You see, the route I take home is the smoothest and straightest. But, it’s also the longest and there are several other routes to travel. In my mind He reminded me of some other roads that I have been on. I saw the area as a road map. The main highways were there, but also the secondary roads. As I visualized these in my spirit God said, “Take the blue line, Paul”.
The blue lines on the map are the secondary roads. You’ve seen them on road maps, I’m sure. I was at a point where I was about to go the same way that I had been for years. God wanted me to take a road that I used to take and stopped using for comfort’s sake. So, off I went.
As I started down this old path everything seemed new again. The farther I went the more relaxed I felt. It was amazing at how enjoyable it was to take these curvy, twisty roads. My younger days of motorcycle riding flashed before my eyes. The miles melted away and before I was half way home I was singing and crying in praises to God. It was as if I had a burden taken off of my shoulders.
How does the blue line relate to scripture? Well, in Luke eighteen there were children brought to Jesus in verse fifteen. I often see Jesus painted as a harsh figure that many children would be afraid of. Every once in a while you see Jesus portrayed as smiling and holding children. Here is the passage that those pictures come from. His disciples began to turn away the people as if the children were a burden to the Lord. But, as always Jesus corrected wrong attitudes and told them to allow the children to come to Him.
The last line of verse sixteen is important. The Kingdom of God is of such as the children. What does that mean? Does it mean that when we get to Heaven we will all be children? Does it mean that if we work hard we can renew our youth? Read further, friend. Jesus explains it in the next verse.
In verse seventeen Jesus said that we must receive His kingdom as a child or we can never get there. Where is “there” exactly? What is it that we do not receive unless we receive it as a child? His Kingdom is more than what we think of as Heaven. The un-saved see the Christian’s view of Heaven and believe that it is saints sitting on clouds and playing harps. They think we will all be surrounded by winged babies with glitter on their faces. They imagine that if there is a heaven then it is a boring place for eternity and they don’t want to be there. On the contrary, the Bible never teaches such.
We have begun our latest mid-week Bible study and we are looking at Revelations. We spent last night in awe at the way God’s throne was described by John and Ezekiel. It was exactly the same. Both men saw a consistent picture of God. It was mysterious to be sure. But boring? Never! The heaven that awaits us is going to be an eternity of new. I’m speaking about everything being new. Nothing will ever be bad again. You might think that eternity could get old if everything is always the same. Don’t worry; it won’t be. You will not be stuck on a cloud playing a harp. You will reign with Jesus (2 Tim. 2:12) Why do you think the heavens are eternal when scientists look out to try and find the end? That’s right; we have a great life ahead of us.
As I drove down the “blue line” highway I was reminded again that life is what you make of it. When we get older we tend to lose interest in anything enjoyable. We decide that life is serious and hard and we’d just better make the best of it. God intended for us to never lose hope in this life. While we suffer in this life some become so serious that they get suicidal. If all we do is dwell on the way things are and think that all eternity isn’t going to be much better we will lose hope. But you can take hope, my friend.
Jesus said that we had to receive His Kingdom as a child. Why do you think educated people have such a hard time finding The Way? They seek for physical evidence. I have a telescope and occasionally look at the stars and planets. I get a magazine with articles in it about space. Most of these articles are written by people who are seeking the origin of the universe. How sad! Not only can they know the origin but they can also meet the Creator!
They sometimes mention the “theory” of creation as if it were a fairy tale. They see those of us who believe in the Almighty as children. Well, guess what? We are. We who find God have become children and accept Him and what He said. They may laugh at us but we are the ones who have peace, joy and hope. They will die hopeless and miserable. Their lives will only be the short years they spend on this Earth. We shall reign for eternity with God!
Is your life enjoyable and exciting friend? Do you look forward to the days ahead and what they bring? Or perhaps you dread leaving the same house to go to another day of the same job and see the same people as every other day. Your life has become rigid and in a rut. You don’t have to stay there. You have a choice today.
Take the blue line home…..

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