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May 17, 2012

Be careful how you walk

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I love the story about a wealthy businessman, who traveled frequently, took flying lessons and bought His own plane.  He really enjoyed piloting his own plane.  Several years later, he decided to buy a plane with pontoons so he could fly to his lake cabin.  

On his very first flight in his new plane, he forgetfully started to head for the airport landing strip where he had regularly landed for many years.  Luckily, just before he hit the runway, his wife yelled, “Pull up John, pull up!  You can’t land here; you have pontoons!”  Immediately, John hit the throttle, veered off toward the lake, and landed safely in the calm, blue waters.  Still rattled, he shook his head and said, “I don’t know where my mind was.  I just wasn’t thinking.  That’s probably the dumbest thing I have ever done.”  He then opened the door and stepped out into the lake!

Most of us have done dumb things like that sometime in our lives.  We can usually look back at them and laugh at ourselves.  But it is important for us to be careful how we walk spiritually.  Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:15-16, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”  Paul is saying that we need to give very careful consideration to all the circumstances so we don’t make foolish mistakes.  We need to be very careful how we walk.  This includes taking advantage of opportunities to do good things for others.

Paul continues in Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”  The wise individual realizes that God’s will should determine how we live our lives.  Since God is our Maker, He knows what is best for us.

Man often gets himself into trouble by trying to chart his own course in life.  Jeremiah recognized that man does not have the ability to do this.  He wrote in Jeremiah 10:23, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”  We need to recognize that truth today.

It is only through Jesus that we can know the way.  In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  It is important to recognize that the only way to God is through Jesus.  He came to this earth that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).  He has given us a manual (the New Testament) to show us how we ought to live and how we can be prepared to live with Him eternally in heaven.  We must let Him be our Guide.  In John 12:48, He warns, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

Peter said in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”  Since Satan is constantly looking for ways to destroy us, we need to exercise great care in following the path that God would have us to travel.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  

“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Statisticians have found that most people expect to go to heaven when they die.  But according to Jesus, the majority of people are going the wrong way.  

We need to exercise great care to not do anything stupid, like stepping out of a plane into a lake.  It is so easy for a person to foul up his life.  But God, in His word, shows us how to live.  Let’s follow His advice so we do not end up all wet – or something much worse!

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