Friday, April 16, 2010

#64 Following the Tracks

1 John 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Spring is in the air and most of rejoice that the coats can be stored away for another few months until winter makes its way back around to us. I will never forget the first winter our family experienced in Michigan. Of course moving up from the south we fully expected things to be covered in snow for months: we were not disappointed in the least. People said that we got more snow than was typical for central Michigan. We thought is was fun and did not get too worked up over it at all.

I can recall walking out in the yard with the kids. We have a hill beside our house to the west and it is perfect for sledding. The hill actually varies enough that you can have a more vigorous experience if so desired just by walking over to another part of the hill. One of our sledding runs has a bump at the bottom that will bruise your bottom if you're not careful to hit it just right.

The snow was pretty deep this particular day and the walk back up the hill was grueling after a few runs down. What we all discovered was that it was easier to come back up the hill if you walked in the foot prints of the one who went up first. Twelve inches of snow is not bad unless you are trying to walk in it up a steep hill. It was so cute watching the kids plow their way back up the hill, and it was neat to see them try to match the stride marked in the snow by me and Ginger. We had a blast that day and built some memories that will last a lifetime.

Walking in snow can tough but walking in this world can be even tougher. Sometimes the paths that we choose are bad at best and fatal at worst. We cannot see the future and too often we walk our own way without consulting God who knows all things (1 John 3:20). How much different would the course of our lives be if we would simply follow in the footprints of Jesus? How much less pain and heartache would we endure if we allowed Christ to be our guide? I can only speak from personal experience and tell you that when I have pursued my own courses of action they have often ended in failure, but each time I have looked for God's path and followed His leading I have found success and joy.

Does following the Lord mean that we will never endure hardship? No, not at all. In fact, Jesus said that if any man intends to follow Him, he must deny himself and take up his cross (Mark 8:34). Taking up the cross denotes public shame, possible humiliation, possible suffering for Christ's sake, and the likelihood of loosing our lives. But after the cross there was victory. There was newness of life. There was the promise of eternal life. There was a blessed hope of being united with Jesus forever if we remained faithful. No, the walk may not always be easy but life without Jesus is certainly not easy either. If life is going to be difficult, then I at least want Jesus' version of difficult instead of my own foolish version.

It is my prayer today that each one of us will have the courage to surrender our walk of life to Jesus. It is my prayer that you and I will choose to follow Jesus completely. For it is only in following His footsteps that we will find true joy, success, and ultimate happiness as we spend eternity with Him. Stop striving in vain friends and let the Lord of heaven lead you today.

Dear Father God,
Thank You for giving us the wonderful example of Jesus that we might follow after Him. Please forgive us for the times that we have tried to follow our own course and brought shame to us and You. Give us the faith and courage to follow Him wherever He may lead us, and may we never trudge through life alone and apart from Christ. We pray these things in Jesus' lovely name, Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Pastor Bentley,
    Great message. The Lord is truly great. We are so thankful for His love and his willingness to forgive us. One other comment, it's hard to read with the white print.

    May God accept our worship. Gary M.