On Saturday morning, I decided that my grass needed to be mowed. So I got out my lawn mower, filled it with gas, and went to the back yard (I always start in the back yard because we have two dogs…).
My lawn mower has five cut levels on it. I have always kept it on the middle one. But on Saturday I had a strange thought. If I move the cut level down one notch...then I might not have to mow the next weekend.
Besides the back yard being very well fertilized (see two dog comment above), it had also been about two weeks since I last mowed. The grass was pretty high. But my one track mind was to not have to mow the next weekend. So I started cutting.
It wasn’t too long before the mower started sputtering; so I would have to push down on the handle so the blade could clear the cut grass out and then it would work fine...for about the next 20 feet.
I finished the back yard and as I moved to the front I thought about raising the blades back to “normal.” But decided it wouldn’t be too bad...I’d made it through the back yard, surely the front wouldn’t be as tough.
As I approached the halfway point of the front yard, the mower sputtered, I pushed the handle down, and it died. I pulled the starter rope, and nothing. I thought it might be too hot. So I got a drink, came back and it still wouldn’t start.
I thought about fuel...but it typically takes about 3/4 of a tank to mow back and front, so that couldn’t be it. But I checked anyway. Guess what? I was out of fuel!
So I put more gas into the mower and finished mowing. Once everything was put away, I went back into the house and saw that it had taken me two and a half hours to mow: normally I can mow, do the weed eater, etc. in about an hour and a half.
I made what I thought was just a small change: I lowered the mower 1/4-1/2 an inch. And it took twice as much gas (there was about 1/2 a tank left when I finished) and it took me an hour longer to complete the task.
So what does this have to do with you? Sometimes in our lives we can make a “minor” change that has major results. Sometimes the results are what we expected (it remains to be seen if I have to mow this weekend)...sometimes they are not what we expect (extra gas and time).
When we gave our lives to Christ and made Him our Lord, we decided to make a change in our lives. That change has consequences.
Sometimes the consequences are what we anticipated: our sins are washed away, we become a part of a loving and caring family of believers that rejoice with us when we rejoice and weep with us when we weep (see 1 Corinthians 12:26).
Sometimes the consequences are not what we anticipated: the denial of self and our selfish desires, taking up our cross daily and following Jesus (see Luke 9:23) can cost us friends, family, a job, financially, and in other ways we never imagined.
But while I don’t know if the extra gas and time were worth it right now, eventually I will know if I made a good change or a useless change to my mowing habits.
However we can have complete confidence that changing our lives from serving self to serving Christ will be worth the sacrifice. Heaven is truly beyond anything we can ask or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20-21).
Well, I did it again! I really can’t believe that I did it. I really can’t believe that I keep doing it. I’d really rather not do it at all. What did I do?
If I were to show you the keys that I carry with me, you would notice that there are a couple of keys that look very similar.
One of the “twin keys” is to my office and the other is to Skye’s office. I very rarely get these two mixed up because my office key has a “P” on it and Skye’s office key has an “O” on it.
But the key to my house and the key to the church building look identical. If you look closely, even the first three notches of the keys are similar. I even have my house key on a separate ring with the key to the storage room at the house.
Yet despite my efforts, this afternoon I came back from lunch and tried to unlock the church building door with my house key. And, at times, I’ve tried to unlock my house with the church building key...which can have significantly undesirable results when your hands are full of “stuff.”
You see locks are funny like that. If you don’t try the proper key, no matter how full your hands are and what is about to go “KERSPLAT” on the ground, they just won’t open.
And it doesn’t matter how many times you try the wrong key...even if you try it during a solar eclipse...it will never open a lock it is not designed to fit.
In thinking about this, I thought about Jesus’ talking in John 10. He speaks of those who don’t enter in the proper way being thieves and robbers but that The Shepherd enters by the door. Then He says He is the door.
The only proper way to be in His flock is through Him. The only way to enter through Him is through His blood. The only way to contact His blood is by being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.
No other key will work. You can try them, but the door will remain locked. You can be as sincere as you can possibly be, but the door will not open if you’re not using the proper key.
The right key is accessible to all of us. Jesus left heaven, came to earth, died, was buried, and rose again to show us the way.
You now have the proper key in your hand. Will you use it and open the door to untold blessings? Or will you keep trying some other key and stay outside?
The House to House Heart to Heart Facebook page shared the following article entitled “Three Things You Won’t Hear on the Day of Judgment.” The article was originally written by Roger Campbell from Cleveland, Tennessee.
The concept of a coming Day of Judgment is not a fantasy or fable. It is a fact. Paul told the people in ancient Athens that God “hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31). All people that have ever lived on the earth will be brought before the throne of God, and His glorious Son will judge each one of them (Matthew 25:31-33). Some things will be missing on that great day, so do not expect to see or hear them.
“There is no God.”
According to the Bible, that is what fools say while living in this world (Psalm 14:1). However, on judgment day this truth will be clear to all: “He is” (Hebrews 11:6). “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
“One religion is as good as another.”
On that day all will know without a doubt that only through Jesus can people come to the Father (John 14:6). All will see that only those washed in the blood of the Lamb are redeemed from sins (Revelation 5:9), and the only way for His blood to keep on cleansing a person is for that person to continue to walk in the light of His word (1 John 1:7).
“I regret that I did my best to follow Jesus faithfully.”
Friends, the crown of life is for the faithful—period! (Revelation 2:10). It is the good and faithful servant who will hear on that day, “Well done . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:23). Regret such a reward? Never! Every service attended, every prayer offered, every minute spent in Bible study, every visit made, every mile walked for the Cause—all of this and more will make us think, as the hymn says, “Heaven will surely be worth it all.”
May we all give diligence to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10-11).