I’ve been out walking in this beautiful fall weather. Temps in the 60s when I begin my walk, climbing nicely into the low 70s. The bright blue September skies somehow just brighten my spirit. Maybe heaven has such spectacular colors. I sure hope so. All this walking under the sun has darkened my skin. I’m not a dark skinned person, but I definitely have funny looking tan lines. Across the backs of my hands you can see the strap marks of my walking sticks. My calves are 5 shades darker than my thighs. The sun has left its mark on me. It is visible that I’ve been spending time outside.
When people spend time doing “whatever”, they are impacted by whatever that is. Time leaves its mark. Time changes things.
Relationships take time. Beauty takes time. Growth takes time. So much in this life depends upon the passage of time.
I am an impatient person. I want to lose weight – yesterday. I don’t want to have to put the hours and hours of walking in that are needed to prepare my body for this pilgrimage. I want healing for others to be quick. I don’t like extended suffering. I want all of my relationships to be strong automatically. The things in this life that are truly worthwhile take an investment of our time. Working hard and waiting for results. This is contrary to our culture.
I want to be called a Christian, but I don’t want to read God’s word. Really?
I want to go to heaven, but I don’t want to actually have to follow the way of Jesus.
There is a commercial that has been airing recently for an insurance company that says, “…put in the work, the hours, the sweat and protect it. Dreams don’t come true. Dreams, dreams are made true.” I like the point it makes. Whatever is important to you, you must be intentional and persistent to achieve.
Grace is offered freely. Salvation is offered freely. But you must accept it. To really claim belief in Jesus Christ, you must submit your entire life to Jesus so that He can live in you. You must follow Him to build a relationship with Him. If you choose anything other than this, you will not receive eternal life in heaven with God. Make Jesus the Lord of your life. Walk daily with Him. Put in the time and effort of reading and studying God’s word so that you really know your creator. Obey God’s call on your life. Step out of your comfort zone and walk by faith.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
Sanctification takes time and effort. When you’ve spent time with the Son, it will be visibly evident. He will leave His mark on you. Salvation by faith is “granted” freely. Sanctification is earned through obedience. If you desire a deeper walk with God, it will take time. Lace up those tennis shoes, grab your walking sticks, prepare your mind for action and get to it. The time is going to pass anyway. Where do you want to be? Closer or farther away from Jesus?
Called to Be Holy
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13 ESV)
Read God’s word daily. Be intentional about how you spend your time. Be encouraged. Press on.