1999-10-25 - Oklahoma Here I Come
Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. In your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Gerhard Brunger, a German, came to Canada with a mission and a fairly engaging idea. He wanted to ride his bicycle across Canada in only 44 days. He huffed and he puffed and he peddled his way across Canada on his solo mission. He was in the middle of his trip when he realized he had made a grand mistake. Gerhard, at some point, had crossed the US border and continued to ride until he was now in Oklahoma. Hopelessly lost, he gave up his aspirations of riding through Canada in 44 days. Life is a lot like a trip through Canada on a bicycle in 44 days. Life is short, it has a starting point and ending point, and life is hard. Sometimes life can feel like a journey and sometimes we feel on course and other times off course.
What course are you on? What are you looking for in life? What is it that you want to gain from life, and to take with you to the grave? Christ asked a stunning question after an equally eye-catching statement in John 11:25, 26, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall love even if he dies; and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Christ asked this question of Martha, and she gave a great answer, but the question is no less a question posed to us. "Do you believe this," is important because if you and I believe these things about Christ our lives will be, should be, must be, different as a result. Like the biker traveling through Canada whose course changed, so our life changes when we say that we believe in the resurrection of Christ and when we find our life and meaning in Him.
I was recently asked some questions about my faith. The people asking wanted to know what I believed, as I expected they would, but they also asked me how I was living. They wanted to know if I followed and practiced what I believed. In doing so they hit the bulls eye. It is easy to know the right answers and to play the Pharisee but it is much harder and more important to live faithfully and to follow what you believe.
Maybe everyone would agree that it is important to study the Bible, and to walk with God daily, hourly, in a relational course of life. But do we? Maybe everyone would agree that prayer is a vital part of the Christian life. But do we pray? Maybe we would all agree that we should not indulge any sin. But do we fall into the trap of rationalization of sin and explaining it away?
We know the question Christ posed to Martha, "Do you believe this?" The implication being that if she did, it would change her beliefs and practice, and so it should be also with us. If we are to follow Christ we must stay the course and if we have travelled off course we must now turn back. The wonder of forgiveness is that no matter how far off course we have travelled we can be back on course in a moment, because, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
Soli Deo Gloria,