Winter Weather Advisory

It’s not uncommon for the south to receive Winter Weather Advisories.  Of course, schools have already been closed in preparation for the event, allowing parents adequate time to have contingency plans for a babysitter or daycare, should the parents attempt to go to work.

However, for the snow to actually fall in a manner that the weathermen predict can be quite unusual.  Today, the Atlanta forecast is for about 1-2″ of snow, which is predicted to come in between 9-11 am. Because the temperatures won’t rise anytime this evening, the news is predicting that poor road conditions may last up to 24 hours or more.  Normally, during such events, the roads will be closed to help prevent accidents and loss of life.

If you do decide to venture out today, I hope you will be careful.  Winter driving can be quite tricky, especially if you are not accustomed to driving in snow. Roads that appear safe may have layers of ice underneath the snow and cause your car to slide or drift to one side of the road or the other.  Likewise, the beauty of the snow can be distracting visually.  I pray that you use extreme caution IF you must leave your house in such weather.

Likewise, driving down the road of life can also be quite tricky.  It is easy to begin to slide off the road to righteousness.

Jesus described the path to Heaven as a narrow gate:

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 HCSB)

In my opinion, He was not describing that Salvation is hard, but that following Jesus can be a tough road to follow – not in the sense that it is a hard decision, but in the sense that there are many distractions that can lead us astray throughout our life.  There are many worldly items that can cause us to slip and slide from our heart’s desire to do right.

As we venture down the road of life, we need to be aware of the dangerous items that can lead us astray.

When we go on a road trip, we generally recon a route, or utilize a GPS (or map) to find our way to new locations. In the same manner, we should this with life.

  • To do this, it is important to study the Bible daily, so that we know the path of righteousness.
  • Likewise, we should be in prayer concerning our decisions as we come to crossroads in life to aid us in choosing the right direction to turn.

I pray today that each of us will be physically careful while driving on today’s wintery roads, but I will also continue to pray for each of you that you drive cautiously down the road of life.

Take a tour

toursThis morning in my hotel, I noticed a group of literature advertising local tours and attractions.

From Rock City to Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta to Legoland, even unlikely Vampire tours, the Atlanta area offers a variety of tours for almost any tourist.

But what it doesn’t offer is a view into Heaven.  We do have some glimpses into Heaven from the Bible, mostly in Revelation 4 and 21, from John’s perspective.

Before I begin, let’s remember that Revelation is a prophetic book (that means that the things described have not yet fully occurred, although they will, and are slowly coming to fruition).  Let’s also note that Revelation, while still true in nature, has numerous references to figurative imagery, as John could not describe in human terms what he saw in a divine place. For example, when John describes the four horsemen in Revelation 6 (during the opening of the first 4 Seal judgments), we don’t know if these four horsemen are riding literal horses, or figurative horses.  On that note, I believe that John did his best to describe in human terms what he saw. I also believe that the true essence and beauty of Heaven can only be envisioned by the human heart, and not through our minds.

However, we do have some descriptions, which even in human words, are extremely beautiful.  I’d like to share some of those passages with you today:

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. (Revelation 4:2-4 NKJV)

In Revelation 21, we find a glimpse of the new Heaven:

10 … the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

14 Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15 And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 17 Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:10-27 NKJV)

Just think . . . some day, Christians all over will be able to experience the true radiant beauty that Jesus is preparing for us.

Home Sweet Home

I don’t know how many of you have ever been without a “home” for an extended time.
Just recently, as many of you know, I spent about 7 months in transient in a 1 bedroom apartment. Because I didn’t expect to be there long, I didn’t bring along many items from home. I loaded only the “necessities,” and thought that time would pass quickly. Unfortunately, the passing days grew longer and longer, while the apartment grew smaller and smaller. I didn’t have my belongings, so every day I felt more and more out of place, not at home.

Finally, we made it; we are in our home again and the movers brought our stuff. It feels good, . . . no, it feels GREAT to be “home” again.

Do you ever feel that way spiritually?
Jesus promised us before He ascended to Heaven that He was preparing a home for us:

 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? (John 14:2 ESV)

Sometimes we can feel like we don’t belong here. Our lives are turned upside down. The world pushes in on us, and we don’t know if we can bear the load anymore. Maybe it’s our job that’s so demanding, or family stresses that are weighing us down. Maybe it’s just an empty feeling that we get, not knowing what our purpose here on earth is. No matter what the cause, these stresses can lead us to feel like our lives are just not headed in the right direction.

Thankfully, there is good news! Jesus has told us that this life is not the end. He is preparing a place for us, and will be coming soon to gather us and bring us home.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:3 ESV)

And while Jesus is gone, He also said we can rejoice because:

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit,

whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and

bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you;

my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.

Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:25-27 ESV)

Jesus is preparing to receive us in His Father’s house. In the meantime, we can rest in knowing that His peace and the Holy Spirit will guide us until our Homecoming!