“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:34-38)
Having been to my ancestral home recently, I began to notice something, nothing new mind you, been down this road before and have written on it before. The entire time I was there, the emboldended verses above kept knocking around inside my head. Other questions jumped aboard as well, like, “How many of my ancestors have passed on and will never see the gates of heaven?”
They lived lives that were tough and complex, extreme weather shifts even when finding food, warmth and shelter. Their lives were very hard and continue to be for those who are there. And yet, this was home, not just to me, but to them even more so. Setting aside the difficulties of life, I am sure you will agree that living is paramount. Even having a future, is equally important, as say, living life on its own. The question is…WHERE?
Humans are social creatures by in large, yet some prefer to be alone, sequestered from the rest of society. At some point in time the reclusives will have to emerge into society, for various reasons. It would seem that my home state of Alaska leads in those who prefer solitude and seclusion. There are places in Alaska where people have not walked in a hundred years and with that, how many hundreds have been lost there? It once again popped into my head that with the Lord God Almighty, the relationship is singular in its intimacy─just you and the Lord. Yet few, ever understand the depth of that relationship or even the breadth of God’s blessings.
I walked around, came upon some huge ravens and thought of the story about the birth of the earth, according to the ancestors. Colorful though it may be, it is wrong. Everything in God’s Word is so, “in your face” in Alaska, almost to the point of being written on everything and everywhere I looked. I was so humbled! Having said all of this, it is painfully evident that people everywhere know about Jesus Christ, already. It is even more painful to realize that the vast majority have chosen to follow any “thing” or “person”… other than Jesus Christ! And how do we know this to be true?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matthew 6:19-23).
It is clearly evident, that we, as born-again Christians must strip away the outer layers of our lives and take a very close look at, “what” or “who” is most important in our lives. If we find anything other than Jesus Christ we are in enormous trouble!
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
There is no place on earth that you can hide from the Lord! Everywhere I looked in Alaska, my Lord was there. It became sad for me to think of how many living there knew or didn’t know Jesus Christ on an intimate level. How can you miss this point when it is so starkly evident at every turn, regardless of weather or anything else! Alaska shines with God’s glory! I saw way too many drinking and doing drugs to be able to see what was around them all the time. Perverting their bodies and their minds, for the lack of anything better to do─at that moment.
I spoke with some and they were eager to listen and actually enjoyed the conversation. In the end though, I would hear “Well…that’s just like him, I have my own beliefs…” and off they would go as if walking through some strange and weird world the rest of us are never able to see. All I could think was: another wasted decision, another wasted life and I hoped they enjoy their 70-80 or so years they have (if that).
According to Gods Word, we may get three score and ten years (70 years) or 4 score years with suffering (80 Years). The one thing everyone misses is this:
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Epehsians 1:4).
God knows each of us intimately (before the universe was ever created). Remember God knows everything about all things because HE created it all…even death! So when we hear “Oh my…he or she was taken before their time,” makes little to no sense! God never makes a mistake, HE always knows exactly what HE is doing with whomever and for whatever reason. This includes the thoughts in everyone’s head! God knows if you have chosen to follow HIM, because HE knows every intent of your heart before it ever enters your heart. God knows if you have truly chosen HIM above everything else or whether your blowing smoke for everyone else, you can NOT get away from God! There is no lying to God, you can not cheat God and think you can get away with it!
Of all people, Satan thinks that he can destroy God, when it is God that created him in the first place. What’s even worse is when one of us chooses to follow Satan, because Satan lied to us and made us think anything about God─is a lie! That individual is headed for eternal punishment that God designed for Satan and his ilk…not for us!
Think and choose wisely!
Jesus Christ…the answer to every problem!