Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven; V. Where Are We Going?
Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven:
Where are We Going?
† IHS †
As we journey through this life, may we keep in sight the destination, the place where we realize completely the love and mercy of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Other Destination Options:
Have you ever been tempted to play hookey from a family gathering? You’re on your way to your grandparent’s house, and you see how beautiful a day it is, and you think, we could just spend a little while at the park, or maybe the beach?
Or maybe you are working on a project, sewing that new whatever it is people sew and just another twenty minutes and you will finish it! Or the ball game is on, and you will leave a little later…and make up for it by driving a little faster?
Back when we were kids, and we were about to be stuffed in the back seat together, I bet many of us had a way to stall. Maybe we didn’t want to get dressed up, Or we blamed our sister for taking too much time in the bathroom. For me, it usually was – just let me finish the book I am reading!
It’s not that we didn’t know about the feast that awaited us, Grampy’s sausage, or Uncle Wally’s fireworks, or the French Onion Dip and carved turkey? There were just other things….that seemed important for that moment.
If you did this, and arrived two hours late, were you upset when they didn’t keep everyone waiting for dinner?
Do we play the same game with God?
Do we miss His invitations to spend time with Him, to share the feasts He has prepared, because we have other things to do before we continue on our journey to heaven?
Why Didn’t God wait for Us?
Patient, we hear God is patient.
Abraham and Moses count on it for their people. Joseph comforts his brothers with the thought of God’s patience. David praises God for God’s patience with him. Job depends on it, even when he doesn’t have the answers. Peter tells us why God is so patient, because God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all to be transformed and made holy. Set apart to a relationship with God.
An interesting thought, this patience of God.
Curious, has anyone here ever had someone take advantage of their patience?
How did it feel?
Ever plan and cook a dinner, like the king in the parable, only to have the people choose to do something else?
What if their excuse, like the excuses in the parable, is somewhat weak? I heard one yesterday, for example, that was that we miss church sometimes because we know church and Bible studies will be here next week, but that other thing, that game, is today. I need to make this abundantly clear: this parable isn’t just about our church life.
How often do we fail to talk to God, to put our trust in Him for the things we are struggling with? How often do we think we have to find another solution for our problems, a different road to take? How often will we pass by the opportunity to think and meditate on His love. Do we find something else, rather than being still, and knowing He is God?
Does being patient cost you something? Does it ever tear at you, frustrate you, even sadden you?
Have we ever wondered what God’s patience costs Him?
We know being patient costs us, we know the levels of frustration, even pain, as we see people we love do the wrong things.
Things that would so concern God, that He sent Jesus, to live life, to suffer and die on the cross, to make it right…
To bring all who would come, to His feast, to be His family.
The good and bad alike…..all are welcome, all are offered the opportunity to be made ready. Matter of fact, we are sent out to bring them here; to celebrate, to enjoy, to know His peace.
But what are we missing?
If I can go back to the original illustration, we know that there are some things that we miss, when we divert from the original journey, we realize we are going to miss some things.
if we were diverted on our way to Grampy DeLuca’s house, it would mean we would miss Grampy’s incredible Italian sausages. Even some 34 years later, I can remember walking down the stairs into his basement, where they would be in the oven. We’d miss Grampy and Uncle Bill, Uncle Butchie and my dad singing. (I’ll actually get to play the piano that I played for them this week. ) we’d miss everyone at peace, the one day when all family fights were given a reprieve, a truce.
I would have us ask what we miss, when we forgo our times with God, whether here at church, or whether it is the time we could set aside for prayer, for spending time meditating on His word, and on the gifts He gives us? What do we give up?
You see my friends, this is about doing things because we have to do them or we won’t be good. It’s about doing them for the same reason we go to our family gatherings, a friend’s birthday party, or make time to go to a wedding. No, Don, it’s not because of the food, its’ because of the love of family, and there is no family closer to us than God.
What we are missing is our time with Him, our time realizing the depth of His love. Our time where He assures us that it will all be okay, that He has forgiven us and made everything right. We’d miss the people He surrounds us with to bless us, to help us grow, to give us a hug because they are glad to see us, or to bring us comfort.
When we forgo our time with Him, we miss Him, and all He brings to our life.
These things Paul called the fruit of the Spirit,
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
These things aren’t the reason to feast with God, but they are what happens when we do. The reason is simple… to be in the presence of the One who loves us, who gives us life, who gives us Himself, who makes our lives right…..who feeds and nourishes our Spirit, who lifts us up like no other.
Enough so our souls shout His praises, our hearts trust and depend on His healing and restoration, our minds are transformed, and we begin to see reality differently, His way. And we hear his voice calling to us, encouraging more people to come to the feast, for it is ready!
Posted on October 12, 2014, in Sermons and tagged A Spiritual Journey, Church, Communion with God, excuses, Feast of Victory, Fruit of the Spirit, God is patient, Life in Christ, patience, prayer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.