I grew up on a Louisiana red dirt road. I have walk them. I have ridden my horse down them—working cows on what was then the open range. I have driven cars and trucks a many a mile down their winding paths. I love those roads.
One of my favorite poems is The Road Not Taken, written a century ago, this year, by Robert Frost. The last stanza contains my favorite words written by Frost: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Oh, how true that has been in my life.
Yet, there is another road, perhaps even less traveled. It’s not a red dirt road or the one Frost wrote about. Come…and look…and choose this road —if you will. It will change your life. It will even change your destiny.
Did you know?
In 1829, a man named George Wilson was found guilty of six charges and given the death sentence. But, Wilson had influential friends who petitioned President Andrew Jackson for a pardon. Jackson granted the pardon, and it was brought to prison and given to Wilson. To everyone’s surprise, Wilson said, “I am going to hang.” There had never been a refusal to a pardon, so the courts didn’t know what to do. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and Chief Justice John Marshall gave the ruling, “A pardon is a piece of paper, the value of which depends upon the acceptance by the person implicated. If he does not accept the pardon, then he must be executed.” God loves you, and yes, He has provided a pardon for you, paid for with Christ’s own life-blood, but you have the right to refuse the pardon. Jesus was crucified between two thieves. One thief said yes to Jesus, but the other said no to Him. One accepted the pardon and the other refused it. The question to you and I today is the same as it was 2,000 years ago: which thief on the cross are you? The one who said yes to God’s pardon or the one that said no to His pardon? I have chosen to say yes. You have the same choice.
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Did you know…?
God is seeking you!
The last invitation in the Word of God is found in Revelation 22:17: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”
Are you thirsty? Then come. Let him that hears come. And, whosoever will, come.
That invitation is to you…it is to me…it is to everyone!
Bring your disappointments, bring your failures, bring your fears, bring your heartaches. The Holy Spirit says come to Jesus.
He loves you. He wants to save you. He will save you. Come to Jesus, and drink the water of life freely.
He suffered, He bleed, He died, because He loves you. Listen to the still small voice, of the Holy Spirit, saying to you come to Jesus. Don’t wait—come!
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“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isaiah 45:22)
“All you ends of the earth” is the Aboriginal people of the Central Australian desert. “All you ends of the earth” are those in darkest Africa. “All you ends of the earth” are the isolated tribes in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. “All you ends of the earth” is presidents, world leaders, and kings. “All you ends of the earth” is the polished lawyer, and the gifted doctor, and the brilliant college professor. “All you ends of the earth” is the prostitute, and the drug dealer, and the rapist, and the thief, and the murderer. “All you ends of the earth” is you…and me.
God’s Word, the Bible, states, “So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” Those that looked lived. Those that looked were healed. Those that looked were made whole. Those that looked were saved. They didn’t wait to they were a better person. They just looked.
Jesus tells us that this is a picture of Him being lifted up on the cross. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15) That serpent represented the sin of the people. Christ was made sin for us. Will you look to Jesus—will you put your trust in Him—the One who died for your sins. Will you put your faith in Jesus—the One who shed His life-blood for you…and for me? Some years ago my eldest son, Aaron, was in an automobile accident. His back was broken so badly that the doctors said he might not ever walk again. After fusing several vertebrae in his lower back he was able to begin the long task of healing from the spinal fusion surgery, in a rigid plastic back brace. Later, his doctor finally agreed to let him briefly remove the brace to take a shower, as long as someone was with him.
As I was driving to pick he and his brothers up for the weekend, unbeknown to me, his brother, Josh, and he removed the brace so he could take a hot shower, in his shorts. Josh was with him, but was much smaller than him at that time.
As I drove, I decided to stop at the post office, when a still small voice spoke to me saying, “you need to go now.” I passed the post office and drove as fast as I could wondering what that warning was about. There were no cell phones then. As I entered the house I asked his mother where he was. She said in the shower. I ran to it and as soon as I entered the bathroom he said, “Dad, I’m dizzy.” I stepped into the shower and placed by arms under his arms from his back. He immediately passed out. I told his younger brother to help me move him to a bed, while their mother called 911. His dead weight was more than I could have ever imaged. We got him onto the bed without reinjuring his back. I knew if he had fallen he might have been paralyzed.
As I prayed, following the ambulance to the hospital’s emergency room, I noticed the symbol on the back of the ambulance. It was the American Medical Association’s (AMA) logo of a serpent wrapped around a staff. The sign of healing medicine reminded me of the bronze serpent on the staff lifted up by Moses. Many Christians believe that’s were it originated from.
But, more importantly it reminded me of Jesus being lifted up on a cross for my son. God’s son in place of my son…I really can’t fathom love that great. To this day, I cannot see that symbol without giving thanks to the Lord for that warning, and the shed blood of Christ lifted high upon a cross for my sins, for your sins, for the sins of the entire world. Surely, there can be no greater love than God giving His Son’s life-blood for us.
When we arrived at the hospital, the doctors gave him intravenous (IV) fluids and two bottles of Gatorade for dehydration. The hot shower, along with pain medication and dehydration, had caused his blood to rush to his feet and therefore faint.
Will you look to the One that was lifted up on a cross for you? Will you look to the Great Physician—Jesus, to heal you of all your pain? Will you look to Jesus, who took your place on a cross and died for your sins?
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Jesus hung between two thieves on a cross. One of them rejected Him, but the other one put his faith in Him, “Will You remember me when You enter Your kingdom?” Jesus replied, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Now, both of those men were guilty. One put his trust in Jesus, and the other chose not to. Again, the question is, which thief on the cross are you?
Now, there was a third cross that day. It was for another criminal named Barabbas and he represents us. Jesus was crucified on a cross meant for Barabbas—it was your cross, too—it was my cross, too. Jesus bore your cross and my cross. He took our place on that cross. The just for the unjust. The Righteous for the unrighteous. The sinless Lamb of God for the sinner.
Self improvement will not qualify you for salvation for God’s Word says, “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10) Comparing yourself to others will not work either, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Doing the best you can will not save you for the Scriptures record, “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) Ask yourself, If you could be good enough to pay for your sins then why did Jesus have to die for you? The answer is you can’t.
Come—come just as you are. Will you say yes to Jesus—today?
There’s a Scripture that I love, and it explains things so very simply.
It says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
You can settle this question right now in heaven and on earth by saying yes to Jesus—accepting His pardon, just as that one thief did on the cross.
There are no exact words. Praying is just talking to the Lord.
If these words are how you feel in your heart, then pray:
I come to You in prayer, asking for the forgiveness of my sins.
I confess with my mouth and believe with my heart that Jesus is Your Son, And that He died on the cross at Calvary that I might be forgiven.
Father, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and I ask You right now to come into my life and be my personal Lord and Savior.
I repent of my sins and will surrender You all the days of my life.
Because Your word is truth, I confess with my mouth that I am born again and cleansed by the blood of Jesus!
In Jesus’s Holy Name I pray. Amen!
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The most famous words ever spoken:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“Whoever,” that’s you…that’s me…that’s everyone. Come to Jesus. Look to Jesus. Choose Jesus. Today!
All Scripture references are from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.
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“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot (Evangelical Christian who was killed, in 1956, while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people of Ecuador ).