David Jeremiah - Writing Your Story
In John Eldredge's little book called "Epic," he talks about how life doesn't come like a math problem, and you can solve it like an equation into which you plug write numbers and get the right answers. "Instead," he said, "we should look at life as a story. Waking up each day is like turning the page in the story of our life. We don't know what characters will make an appearance, or what will happen, or how the plot will thicken. We don't know, over a year's time, how a chapter will end, whether it will be dramatic or funny or calamitous. We just have to live out our life one day at a time and be ready for the story to unfold. Fortunately," Eldredge says, "regardless of how our story turns out on any given day, month, or year, we can read ahead and we can see how the story of our life turns out in the end. We were born into a story that God is telling and the most dramatic story in history, an epic of God-like proportions. We have a part to play in God's story of the ages. And it's our calling to find our part and play our part to the fullest".
That's what goes through our minds during these days. We realize we've finished one chapter and a new chapter is about to start. God's story is the story of good and evil. And in recent years, we've seen the struggle of good against evil being played out on our television screens almost every night. Hard to go through a day without being reminded that evil is a very real presence and very much a part of God's epic story. Even here in the United States, our population is divided basically down the middle between opposing political views. Everywhere we look, there are forces battling with one another for control of power and influence. The Bible uses a lot of metaphors to describe God's story. It's the story of spiritual life. Paul calls this story a race. In another place, he refers to it as warfare. And in Philippians 2:15, Paul reminds us that this story is a story of, well, good and evil that can be thought of as light and darkness.
There's a lot of ways to look at the story, a lot of metaphors in the Bible for the story. But of all the metaphors for God's story in the Bible, I believe that the best one is the journey. It truly pictures the progressive unfolding of one stage of life into another. We're on a journey together. This is God's story and the story is about a journey. And in the text that we're going to look at today in Proverbs chapter 4, we will see the journey play out in this metaphor. "But the path of the just is like the shining sun That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble". How many of you know that when you're reading the Bible, if you have already discovered something in the Bible that you're sensitive to, all of a sudden, you start seeing it on every chapter at every page? So, if you think about the journey and you read the Bible with that in mind, you're gonna find it illustrated everywhere.
And there's some critical passages in Psalms and Proverbs where the writers saw a journey along the path as a perfect picture of our journey through life with God. Why a path? Well, because a path has a beginning and it has an ending, and you have to journey along that path. And that's what life is like. There are obviously many paths to choose from in life. And the one we choose determines our ultimate destination, either life or destruction. In the New Testament we're told there's a broad way and a narrow way. And the broad way seems like the right way because so many people are on the broad way. But the Bible tells us if you get on the broad road, it will take you to the wrong destination. The destination of the broad way is destruction and death. But the Bible goes on to say there's a narrow way, and the narrow way leads to life. Where you end up depends a lot upon what journey you take.
If you get on the broad road, you're gonna go to destruction. If you get on the narrow road, you will end up in life. Pastor Derrick Thomas says that the narrow path is the best path. "The Christian life," he says, "is a road trip, a journey of the most exhilarating kind. It has a starting point and a terminus. It is a metaphor of movement. Christians do not stay in one place too long, for they are set for another location". Early Christians referred to themselves as followers of the way. In other words, they understood they were on a journey, a reflection that determined that they followed a different path. There's something exciting about the Christian journey.
I thought about that a lot recently because I've been on this journey for a long time. And I have to tell you, it's one of the most exciting journeys. I can't imagine living my life any other way than I've lived it in following the Lord and his direction in what I do. New glimpses of God's provision are available, and we've seen many of them during these days. We've heard stories about how God has helped you along the journey when you didn't expect that to happen. But we can be assured that on this journey, nothing happens to us that is unknown to God. And the Bible says everything is sifted through his hands. He knows the journey. He knows where the journey ends because he's made that happen. But along the way, he knows what's going on with us as well.
Sinclair Ferguson used to end his sermons with an exclamatory. He used to say, "Isn't it wonderful to be a Christian"? That's how he ended every sermon. I wonder if you feel that way. Isn't it wonderful to be a Christian? I can't imagine not knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that ultimately God is there and he's going to help us through this rough part of the journey we have been experiencing. So today, we're gonna talk about this journey from these two verses in Proverbs 4. I won't spend a lot of time on each point, but I want to tell you five things about your journey from Proverbs chapter 4. First of all, your journey has a definite beginning. Every journey starts somewhere. They don't just happen. You don't just show up one day and you're on a road. You get on that road. You on ramp to that road. Our journey toward God begins when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. That's when you began your walk with God.
Until you know Jesus Christ, you're not on the journey toward heaven. But when you accept Christ, you begin to walk along a path that's illuminated by the light of his presence. And that journey begins with one thing, the conviction of sin. Have you ever thought about that? Why are you a Christian today? Because one day, in the past, you realized that you were a sinner. All of us are sinners. The Bible says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Do you know there are no exceptions to that statement? Nobody's ever gonna show up one day and say, "Oh, no, I haven't sinned". I've had people tell me they don't sin, they make mistakes. But no, no, that doesn't work. You have to understand that your journey toward God begins when you acknowledge that you're a sinner.
John 3:19 says this, "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God". Here Jesus is saying that if you practice sin, you don't like the light. Have you ever noticed that? Did you know that most of the crimes that occur occur at night? Why is that? Because people like to do things they shouldn't do under the cover of darkness. When you walk in darkness and all of a sudden the light shines, you either get on board with the light or you feel very uncomfortable and you head for the hills. Because when the light shines, it exposes the darkness. It exposes your sin.
And that's what happens when your journey begins. One day you're walking along feeling pretty good about yourself and all of a sudden, you realize that you're out of sync with God and things aren't right. And you know that it's because of what you're doing, and the things that you're experiencing, and the thoughts that you're having. And something inside of you tells you that's not the way it's supposed to be. You know what that is? That's conviction. The Bible tells us that the Spirit of God has come into the world to convict us of sin. And that's what happens. It's amazing to me, as a pastor over these many years, to preach and have people come to Jesus, and then have them come and tell me after they came to Jesus, after they became Christians, "You know, I don't do this anymore. I don't do that anymore. I stopped doing this. I don't go here. I used to go there". And I think, well, I haven't preached on any of that. What's going on?
Well, you see, when you become a Christian, the Bible says God gives you a special gift. It's called the Holy Spirit. Did you know that the first name of the Holy Spirit is Holy? And when he comes to live within your heart, he begins to develop within you a sensitivity to life that's based upon righteousness and not sinfulness. And so, you become sensitive to things you never were sensitive to before, and you begin to walk in conviction. The Bible says that along this way, you meet a compassionate Savior who came into the world to be light and show you the way. And so, with your conviction of sin and your compassion from the Savior, you meet the Lord Jesus Christ who said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life".
I met a young woman several months ago coming off of a life on the streets in our area. She'd been living on drugs on the street for three years and she just couldn't get free. Then someone told her about Jesus and her life changed. In an amazing way, she went from darkness to light almost overnight. Her family hardly recognized her when they first saw her after her recovery. She told me, "Nobody really understands what Jesus can do. I am what Jesus can do". And many of us could give that testimony ourselves. Dr. Francis Collins is the director of the National Institute of Health and one of the most widely respected physicians in the world. He's been on the front lines in trying to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, and I've been reading about him.
Recently, he sat down with "The Atlantic's" Peter Werner and described the beginning of his journey with Christ. And it was a whole different way than this young lady, but it was the same thing, how he moved from being an atheist to a believer. Collins, growing up, had religious instruction. Here it was, his parents sent him to the corner church 'cause they wanted him to be in the choir. That's all he knew. His dad told him, "Go sing in the choir. Don't pay any attention to anything else that happens. Just sing in the choir. We want you to learn to sing". So, that's what he did. And he went to college and he graduated, and he found himself slowly moving from the category of an agnostic, which means he didn't know for sure if there was a God, to the category of an atheist, which means he was pretty sure there wasn't any God.
He didn't believe there was a God. But the time came when, as a third-year medical student, he was no longer learning about the human body in a lecture hall. He wasn't studying medicine. He was beginning to practice it. And he was sitting at the bedside of people with terrible illnesses and trying to comfort them. And he realized how unprepared he was for that because he didn't know what to say to them. The turning point for him was when he became attached to a patient who reminded him, in their conversations, of his need. In fact, this woman reminded him of his grandmother. And she was suffering from advanced cardiac disease, which included almost everyday episodes of extreme pain. And yet she came through this all with remarkable peace and was very comfortable sharing the reasons for that. Dr. Collins said, "She would often tell me the reason I got through that was because of Jesus who lives in my heart". At one point, after one of those sharing moments, she looked at Collins in a quizzical way and she said, "You know, doctor, you've listened to me talk about my faith, but you never say anything. What do you believe"?
You know, the Bible says we should always be ready to give an answer to those who ask us concerning our faith? That was an epic moment for that doctor. That direct, simple question was like a thunderclap to him. The most important question he'd ever been asked, "What do you believe"? I want to ask you that question this morning. What do you believe? Collins later met a pastor who introduced him to C.S. Lewis. He began to read C.S. Lewis's writing, who was an Oxford scholar who at one time had been an atheist himself. And as he watched God work through the writings of C.S. Lewis in his life, he became a Christian. He eventually found, at the age of 27 years of age, Jesus Christ and revolutionized his life.
So, whether you're a young lady coming off the street because of drugs or you're an intellectual doctor, it's all the same. In reality, what you need is Jesus Christ. Your journey begins with Jesus. And I want to ask you today, as you face these next months, are you going into the New Year with Jesus in your life? If you're not, you need to really understand that the journey you're on right now is not gonna take you very far in the direction you want to go. The journey begins in a definite way. And then our journey takes us to difficult places. How many of you know that? Haven't we been through some of those this year? People always ask me, "Why are Christians going through trouble"? Well, we're all human. We live on this earth. We're walking on the earth. And because there's light shining on our path doesn't mean it's always gonna be smooth. Many new Christians are surprised when they become Christians and all of a sudden, their life becomes complicated. But anyone who's been on the path for a few years will tell you, the path is difficult.
Listen to what Proverbs says. It says, "The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble". That's what happens to those who are outside of Christ. But how many of you know that the way of the righteous can also be like that? After you become a Christian, your problems don't get solved altogether. In fact, most people tell me, and I seem to remember this to some degree myself, when you become a Christian, you get a few problems you didn't have before. You know, you didn't ever have any argument with the devil before you got saved. You just did what he wanted you to do. But now you know better. You got the Holy Spirit living within you and he's making you very uncomfortable. And all of a sudden, you've got this thing going on inside of you, this internal struggling because God wants you to walk with him.
You know, I always tell people that when you get saved, you don't lose your old nature. Some people think, "Oh, well, I got saved. I got a new nature. Now I don't have an old one". Oh, yes, you do. You have an old nature. And if you don't believe that, ask your wife or your husband. They'll tell you, you still have the old nature. But you have the new nature. In the past, you couldn't do anything but follow the enemy. Now you've got a new nature that enables you to follow God. And when you choose to follow God, you're walking a new path. The path of light is not easy. We have learned that this year more than any year that I can ever remember. Would you rather be on a wide path filled with lots of people stumbling in the darkness, or on a narrow path with just a few people walking in the light? That seems like an easy choice. The wisdom literature of the Old Testament advises us to take the path of light.
Listen to Proverbs 4:11 and 12. "I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered And when you run, you will not stumble". That's a good one to remember. Psalm 37 puts it this way, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand". These passages are not saying that the path of light is trouble free. It doesn't say that. The Bible doesn't teach that. But they are saying that you will not walk alone on that path, that God is watching you all along the way. If you're gonna get discouraged the first time you hit a rough place on the path, you're gonna have a frustrating journey. So, when you face these challenges, face them with God and know that he's going to help you through them. And don't be surprised if you're a Christian, that you have trouble.
In touching the heart of God, Catherine Marshall tells this wonderful story about a very important lesson she learned from her friend Marge. "Marge was bound for Cleveland, waiting for a takeoff. As she settled into her seat, this lady Marge noticed a strange phenomenon. On one side of the airplane a sunset suffused the entire sky with glorious color. But out of the window next to her seat, all she could see was a sky that was dark and threatening with no sign of a sunset at all". If you've ever been in an airplane, that can happen depending upon how its positioned. "As the plane's engines began to roar, Marge said she imagined God encouraging her with these words. 'You have noticed the windows beneath the roar and thrust of takeoff. Your life will contain some happy and some beautiful times, but also some dark shadows. Here's a lesson I want to teach you to save you much heartache.'" This is God speaking in her heart. This is what she thought God was saying to her.
"'It doesn't matter which window you look through, this plane is going to Cleveland.' So it is in your life. You have a choice. You can dwell on the gloomy picture. You can focus on the bright things and leave the dark ominous situations to God". God is saying to you, "If you're a Christian, you're gonna see some dark things and you're gonna see some bright things, some things that encourage you and some things you wonder about. But just give thanks to God. Your plane is going to heaven. You're on the right plane, and you're gonna face things along the way," like this woman said about her airline flight. "Learn this act," she wrote, "and it will able you to experience the peace that passes understanding".
I think that's a great lesson for us all to learn because some of us may have been so oblivious to what the Bible teaches about this, that we're blown off course when we have problems. The Bible doesn't teach us that, as believers, we're gonna bypass all of the issues. But the difference is if you're a Christian, you have an understanding about all this that no one else can have. You know that God is with you. You know you're headed to heaven. You know that you're going to be all right because God has given you his promise. So, your journey has a definite beginning. Your journey takes you to difficult places. Here's the third one, your journey gives you a defining purpose. It says in verse 18, "The path of the just is like the shining sun That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day".
Here the writer is telling us that if you get on the path, you get on the right journey. The journey is not only going to take you to your destination, but you're going to grow in lightness to the Lord the longer you walk with him. That's the way it should work. Paul said we're to shine as lights in the world. What happens is you start to walk with the Lord, little by little you go through some of these challenges and you grow. You develop spiritual muscles that help you deal with the next time you face something. Each time you face a problem, you discover that God is faithful and he is capable. And you take that information to yourself. And so, when you're facing the next problem, now you have some tools you didn't have before. You have the memory of what God has done and the realization that what he has done, he will do and he can do. And so, you are stronger. And so, as you walk on this path, and this is the way it should work and we should be taking a little inventory about this right now.
The longer I walk with the Lord on this path, I should be coming, in some way, more like him. I should be growing in my faith. If you can walk on the path toward heaven with Jesus Christ as your companion and not grow in your faith, something's wrong. So, I want to ask you, as you look at your life, have you made some progress this year? Have you learned some things about the Lord you didn't know? Have you made some decisions about your own life you didn't expect? We find it difficult to maintain a commitment to this world and the next and yet, that's what we have to do. We're living in this world on this journey. And we're headed toward heaven, which is our goal.
Now, let me tell you something that might surprise you because it did surprise me when I realized it this week. There is a whole lot more in the Bible about the journey than there is about the destination. Did you know that? I mean, we like to think, "Oh, we're going to heaven. The Bible's filled with stuff about heaven". Really, it's not. There's not a lot of information in the Bible about heaven, the last couple chapters of Revelation, a few other things. But there's an awful lot in the Bible about the journey. And sometimes, if we're not careful, we get all caught up with the destination and so we don't know what to do on the journey.
I remember when I was teaching on The Life Beyond Amazing, I had quoted an author who said that there are two thresholds in the Christian life. One is the threshold when you get saved, and the other is the threshold when you go to heaven. And he said, "The problem is, most Christians have no idea what to do between those two. They get saved, they know they're gonna go to heaven, but they don't understand what to do in between". If that's true, it's not because there isn't any information in the Bible. There's more information in the Bible about your journey to heaven than there is in the Bible about heaven itself. So, we should take seriously this information. A friend of mine uses the analogy of a busload of tourists who were on their way to the Grand Canyon.
"On the long journey across the wheat fields of Kansas through the glorious mountains of Colorado, the travelers inexplicably keep the shades down. They're intent on the ultimate destination. They never even bother to look outside. And as a result, they spend their time arguing over things like who has the best seat and who's taking too much time in the bathroom. The church can resemble a bus," said this man. "We should remember that the Bible has far more to say about how to live during the journey than about the ultimate destination. You need both and Christians. People are committed to the afterlife, should be committed to this life as well".
Friends, until you get to heaven, you gotta live on this earth. Until you arrive at the door of heaven, you gotta figure out how to live on this earth. And you say, "Well, how do I do that"? This book is full of it full. I mean that the epistles in the New Testament are half, they're half application, every one of them. You read the first three chapters, you'll find doctrine. Read the next three chapters, and it's all about how to take that doctrine and put it into practice in your life. If we learn anything as we go into this New Year, learn this, if you want to understand how to walk on the journey to heaven, there's only one place you can get any information about that and that's in the Holy Book we call the Bible. And if you'll learn to look for it along the way, you will find all kinds of principles that will help you negotiate the journey. We had a candlelight service here on Christmas Eve. The room was dark and one by one the light was shared throughout the sanctuary.
And you see little by little the auditorium, the light begins to spread throughout every place. The Bible tells us that as we walk on this journey, we're supposed to be lights. As we move on this journey, we're supposed to light up the darkness around us. How many of you know there's so much darkness right now if you really live your life as a Christian, you will be noticed? You will be noticed because you will be so different. We are not the light, we are just the reflectors of the light. We do not shine, God shines through us. But if you walk on this journey, you will be a testimony to those around you if you stay on track and you follow the principles of the Word of God.
And then number four, our journey is a developing experience. We move along the path and something happens. The Bible says we shine ever brighter. One scholar put it this way, he said, "The righteous are like the light of morning that keeps on increasing and not like the afternoon light that keeps on diminishing". If you're a Christian, you're walking on this path, you should be like the morning light. You're getting brighter and brighter as you trust the Lord to help you do your journey in his faith. I love to meet old saints who have been walking with Jesus. After spending time with the Lord on a personal level, I remember as a seminary student, we had some of those guys who taught. Some of them that, I don't mean this in a negative way, they were so holy, I didn't feel worthy to be sitting in the class. It was intimidating to be in the class with these people. These men who had studied the Word of God, many of them had learned the languages of Hebrew and Greek, and they'd spent their whole life immersed in the Scripture and walking with God.
And I thought often, I hope I can grow older like that. I hope that my life is reflective of that as I get older. You know, the last thing you want to be is a grumpy, old man. The last thing you want to be is somebody who doesn't reflect Jesus. And I've known people like that. Have you ever known people, you thought they were great Christians, when they got old and started having some age issues, they just turned out to be not very nice? We should pray that God would help us as we go on this journey. According to Proverbs, we should be shining brighter and brighter unto that day. We should be growing in Christ and becoming more like him, and learning to live for him in such a way that brings honor and glory to his name. Some people, when they get to heaven, it's gonna be a major adjustment from the way they've lived. Other people, there won't be any adjustment at all. They'll just go right on into heaven because they've learned how to live the Christian life in such a way.
Well, there you have the first four principles, and there's one more. Our journey is toward a destination. That's the obvious thing. When you get on this path, according to the Book of Proverbs, when you walk into this New Year, if you're a Christian, you may go through the whole year and you're still walking on the path. Some of us in this room may be in heaven next year at this time, who knows? But the most important thing is the destination of everyone who is journeying on the path of the just is unto... what did the Bible say? Calls it the perfect day. Have you ever had a perfect day? I mean, you've probably said, "Oh," maybe at night you said, "And this is a really, this was a perfect day". No, it wasn't. There's no such thing as a perfect day on this earth. But one day, when we get to the end of our journey and we step out of this life into the presence of the Lord, the Bible calls that the perfect day. And that perfect day will last forever.
If you're a Christian, listen to me, you're on a journey toward a perfect day, and one day you'll arrive. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is the way of death". Did you know a lot of people think they're on the right road? And they don't know that there's a path that they should be on that they're not on. And isn't it true that some people think, "Well, it doesn't matter whether it's true or not. What matters is that you believe". Suppose you're saying, "Okay, I'm going to Detroit," and you're on a road toward San Francisco. But you say in your heart, you believe you're going to Detroit. I'm gonna tell you something, ma'am. You're gonna end up in San Francisco no matter what you believe about where you are. The Bible says there are a lot of people who think they're on the right path, but the path they're on is gonna lead them to death.
You may be here today and thinking, "Well, I'm okay. I don't need to be on the path toward righteousness and the path toward heaven". Doesn't matter what you believe. What matters is what is true. And what is true is if you're not walking with Jesus on the path toward heaven, you're on the wrong road and it's gonna take you to the wrong place. And it won't matter whether you're sincere or not. This whole idea, "Well, if you just sincerely believe what you believe, it will be all right". No, it won't. It won't be all right. "There is a way that seems right to a man," says the Scripture, "but its end is the way of death". Someone gave me these words many years ago, I think I slipped him into a file, ultimately into my Bible one day. Here it is, "Life is a story in volumes three, the past, and the present, and the yet to be. The first is finished and laid away. The second we're reading day by day. The third and last are volume three, is locked from sight in eternity".
What we've lived already, we can't undo. God doesn't make done things undone. You may look back on this year and say, "You know, I haven't been walking on the right path like I should have been". You can just pray and make that go away. You can ask for forgiveness and go forward. But you can't do anything about the past. The past is over. So, if you've done things you shouldn't have done in the past, get them right with God, and then forget it and get on with your life. But you can live your life today. This is volume two. You're on the journey. And ultimately, one day you'll be in heaven if you're a Christian. We're writing our story every day. We're walking in this journey every day. And if we walk with the Lord, not only will the ultimate destination be the perfect day, but every day we walk with him on the way will also be enjoyable.
You know, there's a song that someone wrote that goes something like this. "If there weren't any heaven for me to enjoy and I still had the chance to walk with Jesus during this life, life would be worth it all". I want to tell you something that I believe with all my heart. The Christian life, with all of its challenges and especially now with some persecution, the Christian life is the best life you'll ever have on this earth. The journey with Christ toward heaven is the most wonderful experience and the greatest adventure you'll ever have in your whole life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. One day I'm gonna see Jesus, and I'll enter into the perfect day. But I want to tell you something. The journey's been amazing. I've had some hard times and had some incredible times. But most of all, I've had this steady walk with the Lord all these years, knowing that he was involved in my life and that he cared deeply about what happened to me. And he would guide me, and direct me, and help me do the right thing.
Bob Goff is one of my favorite writers. I understand he's a resident of San Diego. He calls himself a recovering lawyer. I always loved that. He practiced law for 25 years. He gave up his law firm to pursue writing and speaking full time. He's probably best known for his New York Times best-selling book entitled, "Love Does". Ever since Bob Goff was a kid, he's wanted to sail across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. So, a few years ago, Bob and a couple of his buddies entered the Transpac race, and every other year, a sailboat race from Los Angeles to Hawaii. With limited experience, Bob and his friends filled their 35-foot sailboat with canned chili and bottled water, and they set sail for Hawaii. Two weeks later, they arrived and experienced an extraordinary conclusion to their journey. This is how Bob Goff tells the story.
"There's a tradition," he said, "in the Transpac race no matter when you finish the race, even if it's two in the morning. When you pull into the Ala Moana Marina in O'ahu, there's a guy who announces the name of the boat and names every crew member who made the trip. Just when we came to the end of our supplies, we sailed across the finish line off Diamond Head and into the marina. It was a few hours before dawn. It had been 16 days since we set out from Los Angeles in our little boat, knowing very little about navigation. Suddenly, the silence was broken by a booming voice over a loudspeaker announcing the name of our tiny boat. Then the announcer started naming the names of our ragtag crew like he was introducing the heads of state. When he came to my name, he didn't talk about how few navigation skills I had or the zigzag course I led us in to get there. He didn't tell everyone I didn't even know which way north was or about all my other mess ups. Instead, he just welcomed me from the adventure like a proud father. When he was done, there was a pause and then a sincere voice came across the loudspeaker to the entire crew. And this was what the voice said, 'Friends, it's been a long trip. Welcome home.' Because of the way he said it, we all welled up and fought back tears. I wiped my eyes as I reflected in that moment," said Bob golf. "But none of that mattered now because we had completed the race. I've always thought that heaven might be kind of a similar experience. After we each cross the finish line in our lives, I imagine we'll be like floating into the Hawaiian Marina when our names were announced. And one by one at the end of our lives after our many mistakes and mid-course corrections, our loving heavenly Father will simply say, 'Friends, it's been a long trip. Welcome home.'"
And what I've learned from this study this week in Proverbs is, it's not just the welcome home that counts. It's the long trip too. The journey is worth taking. The journey is a wonderful way to spend your life on this earth. The Bible says we're pilgrims and strangers. We don't belong to this earth. This world is not our home. We're just passing through. And let the journey be a delightful one. Don't complain about the struggles. Rejoice in the privilege you have of walking with the Lord through these days of uncertainty and knowing you have one up on everybody who doesn't know the Lord Jesus Christ. You have the Creator God living within you. He knows the way. He won't let you get lost. He will stay with you all the way to the end. Amen.