Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Road MUCH Traveled

 Any person living on this earth will always have the notion of life as a journey. We consider it an accepted fact that this life here on earth involves a journey on our part towards either a better place or to nothingness, depending on what belief and culture system you have been brought up with. Different religions and groups of faith take it that our life here is an experience of a passage, a pilgrimage, an expedition - however you want to put it. 

When we talk about traveling, we could not take away the fact that there is a road that we follow. No matter where that road leads us to, it is always a given that when one needs to get somewhere on a journey one must have a road to travel on. In this light, let me say that most, if not all, of us are on what I want to call the "road much traveled".  

Man has been going through life with one sense of direction. We have been going our OWN way, doing our own thing and hoping that we would get to where we want to by the end of our time. All of us prefer to ENJOY the journey we have in life. We have come up with a lot of "journey" quotes over the years just because we try to make the journey more enjoyable and fulfilling for us. Here are some quotes you might have already known by heart:

The road much traveled is the one that shows a signpost that leads us to a better place. Whether you believe in the teachings of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Chinese Faith, the Bahá'í Faith or Christianity, "HEAVEN" is the place we all aim to be in the end. Man is depraved here on earth that he longs to be in that better place called "heaven".  

Jesus speaks of roads as well. In Matthew 7:13 he said...

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.KJV

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easya that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." ESV

We must realize that the is a way that leads to our destruction and Jesus describes it with a wide gate and the way being broad or "easy". Why would he warn us of this? Because the bible also tells us that "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 16:25) KJV

As I have mentioned, we all have wanted an easy journey. A journey that would allow us to enjoy the ride. The road much traveled where most of us are is the road that we ourselves made. And the bible did tell us this:

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;" 
(Isaiah 53:6) KJV

We all have gone astray. Not even a single one of us is found on the right path. We have went on our OWN way. We've made up the different journeys we are taking and we've turned everything upside down just to fit all of it into whatever selfish desires we have for ourselves. Do you want to know why this was so? Because man, apart from God, is totally deprived of anything good! We all didn't want to do what's right. Our proud and selfish ways made us sing "I did it MY WAY...".

Do you know how vile, and depraved and empty and selfish and evil we all are? None of us ever desired God just because He is God. Our perverted hearts run after God and spiritual things because we wanted to attain that blessing, that happy place, that comfort and providence that God may have in store for us. Our hearts look up to God, cry out to God just because we needed something from Him. Not that we want to give Him all the praises, the worship, the Glory and Power He deserves but because we make Him into our most favorite "Jehovah-Jireh", the God who provides us with ALL that WE need. Can't you see, the bible tells us this:

 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not oneThere is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."
 (Romans 3:11) KJV

We are not seeking after God, we are seeking after our own selfish desires! We all are just prideful, selfish and arrogant beings that USE God for our own purpose! No matter how much you argue with me right now or explain to me that you love God as evidenced by your going to church or reading your devotionals and praying novenas and long prayers, or calling out to the name of Jesus, you can never argue with the bible's condemnation to all of us that NONE, not even ONE of us, is righteous before the eyes of God and that NONE, not even ONE, seeks after God! 

Man, apart from the saving grace of a merciful God, is nothing but a vile, empty, wretched, filthy being before the eyes of a Holy God.

"For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." 
(Romans 3:23) KJV, emphasis added.

We all have sinned against God. And because the One True God of the bible is a Holy God, this is where we find ourselves to be in - DEAD!!!

"For the wages of sin is DEATH..." (Romans 6:23)

Realize it, my friend, that apart from the grace of God, no matter what you do with your spirituality and how much good works you try to do to suffice, they never could measure up to what God requires of us for righteousness. We will come short of the glory of God because of our sin and the bible says that the "wages" or literally the (ONLY) provision that we might receive from God is the judgment of DEATH. Do not continue to be deceived that you can work your way into heaven and that you can present your own good works before God's throne and boast of them because this is what we read: 

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;" 
(Isaiah 64:6) KJV

A lot of us rely on our own righteousness. We believe that by being good to others and by showing love to people, we are doing our part to be able to get to heaven. We were taught to strive to do good, to respect others, and to make sure that everybody is happy and we don't step on anybody's back. We are brought up in a culture system and belief system that convinces us into thinking that as long as we do not commit any grievous act against another human being, then we should be okay with God. 

"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." (Romans 3:20) KJV

Listen, no amount of prayer and petition and church-going or praise singing, and visiting the sick or serving the poor could get us anywhere near heaven! When presented to God, they are but FILTHY rags! How much filthy can that get?! Don't you see the redundancy of how it's been described? A "rag" is already defined as a small piece of cloth, such as one torn from a discarded garment; a scrap! A rag by itself is already a reject, but God didn't stop there. He makes it a point that we will realize that the good we see in ourselves as we do it OUR way is nothing but FILTH before His eyes! Can't you see? It's not just simply dirty, its FILTHY - it's disgustingly dirty!!!

Holy and Filthy can never go together. Damnation and Death are what awaits us in the end of this journey. The bible warns us that in the last days this is what we will see in us:

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholyheartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God," (2 Timothy 3:1-4) ESV

As they would say it, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that this is how the unsaved, unregenerated people of the world is today. Lovers of pleasure rather than of God. We run after the lusts of our flesh and fight for our right to do so. We want more of the things that God hates. We compromise to the left, right, up and down just to cater to the filthy nature we have inside. And we do not even flinch a bit about these! The bible exposes man's heart: 

"There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:15) KJV

My dearest friends and loved ones, READ YOUR BIBLE and see...

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 
(1 Corinthians 6: 9-10) KJV

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (ESV)

What then is the hope of man before the judgment of our Holy God? Where do we turn for help? READ YOUR BIBLE:

"My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

"Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14: 5-6)

"But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." (Romans 3: 21-25) 

"That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10: 9)

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2: 1-9)

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him." (1 John 3:1)

"As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”" (1 Peter 1: 14-16)

My dearest friend, I pray that God will give you the grace to see His Truth in light of the gospel. May you be blessed with wisdom that He alone can provide. May your eyes be opened to His amazing GRACE. 

I pray that the Word of God will be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path as you follow the narrow path that leads to life. It is a road less traveled but take heart for the Lord goes before you. My prayers are with you always.

With much love...

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