1996-11-14 - Roadblocks
They keep us from getting from one place to another be it on the highway, in the office or at home. They take many forms from physical barriers, to the boss who shows up with something very urgent, to that stack of bills that needs to be done. And yet so many of the things that restrict us are things that are only in our minds. Take this puzzle for example:
There are eight glasses in a row. The four on the left are full of water and the four on the right are empty. The goal is to have every other glass full and do so by only touching four glasses. This is pretty obvious to most folks. If the glasses are numbered one to eight, left to right, then you exchange two and five, and four and seven. Now all the odd glasses are filled and the even ones are empty.
Then comes the second challenge. Return the glasses to their original position and once again make every other glass full. The difference is that you may now only touch two glasses. Most folks, including myself have a much tougher time with this task. The solution is this. Take the second glass and pour the water from it into the fifth glass and return the second glass to its place. Then take the fourth glass and pour the contents into the seventh glass and return the fourth glass to its place. Now all the glasses are odd/even and you have only touched two glasses. Try this with your friends. They will think you've gone Mensa on them.
The point is this. The roadblock most folks run into in the second puzzle is a restriction they place upon themselves. No one said that you could not pour the water from one glass to another. But, since we are instructed to only move two glasses we restrict ourselves to that mode of thinking needlessly.
A far more important roadblock to deal with is why you won't accept Jesus or walk more closely with Him. I ask people why they won't come to Jesus. The answers are things like "I have some things in my life to fix first." or "He could never accept me after what I did." Nothing could be further from the truth. These restrictions are only in our minds and not in the mind of God. As for fixing ourselves:
Isaiah 64:6 - For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
The very best efforts we can muster are filthy rags. We are incapable of meeting the standard of perfection that is required by the Law. The Law had to be satisfied and we could not do it, but God had a plan. Jesus would come and live a perfect life and give it to us. Roadblock removed. And what about that thing on our past that God could never forgive?
1 Cor 6:9 - Or do you not know that the unrightious shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revialers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [ Keep Reading ] And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.
Simply put, God can forgive anyone. And the only thing He can not forgive is not accepting the solution He has made for us. There is simply no other way to get to Heaven. But the work is all done. There is nothing left for us to get or do wrong.
John 3:14 - And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;  that whosoever believes may in Him have eternal life.
That 'whosoever' includes everyone from you, to me, to the president, to the poorest and hungriest soul on this earth. No restrictions, no preconditions. All He asks is that we come to Him and accept the free gift of eternal life He offers. Does it sound too easy? It is only easy because God knew that we needed all the help we can get. He is not some huge "Thou shalt not" in the sky who doesn't care. His caring knows no limits.
Isaiah 53:4 - Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.
All the work has been done by God on our behalf. He wants spend all of eternity getting to know us and us Him. Does this sound different than what you have heard about God? Do you want to know this love? It is easy too. All you have to do is admit to God that you have sinned, and are not perfect. And you want to accept His gift of eternal life. Along with that gift comes peace with God and membership into His family. We'd love to meet you. If you need a little help getting started, try something like this prayer.
Lord Jesus, I now know that I can not make it on my own. I am not perfect. But You are and want to share that with me. I accept Your offered work of salvation and eternal life that You have for me. I want to be a member of Your family and live with You forever in Heaven. Thank You for dying for me and caring for me. Amen.
Not too hard. If you have prayed this prayer, or something like it from your heart, we would like to know about it. We'd like to help you find a church where you can learn more about this new life you have entered. There you will be able to meet others who have accepted Jesus as Savior, learn more about Him and make some new friends who will help you to grow in your understanding of how much God loves you. Send us a note at Webservants@cfdevotionals.org and we'll get back to you as quickly as we can. Thanks.
Lord Jesus, You have done so much for us, and shown us such wondrous love and care there are hardly words to begin to thank You. The simple truth that You do care and have come and suffered and died, and rose again to make a way for us to share eternity with You is staggering. There is not much we can do but thank You and learn more about You and this great heart You have toward us. Guide us and lead us as we learn and grow. Amen.
Grace & Peace,