By Karen Friday
“It will take us all to heaven.”
He wants to reveal Himself to us. To be known.
A recent visit to a Tennessee theme park was no exception. Beautiful sun-shiny day with pumpkins, autumn leaves, skee-ball, and down-home food.
God met me there. The ever-present way of illustrating His truths wherever I go.
My husband Mike and I discussed a favorite moment from the day. A carousel ride came in at #1 for me. That’s how I roll. I’m the thrill seeker of the family. (People, I’m a loose cannon that must be held back.)
Mike joined me, so I dared to be brave for his choice. As we walked in pursuit of the ferris wheel, this fear-of-heights gal prayed.
Signage read, “Closed due to wasps.” Confirmation the Lord is merciful. Hallelujah! Seriously, I was devoted and committed to not back out—hopefully. I rambled about how the wasp thing was dangerous. Spared by insects.
Splitting a foot-long corn dog and fries tops Mike’s list of special moments. Since his ride choice fell through, tasty food won the prize. We have some history here. On our honeymoon, while he enjoyed a foot-long hot dog, I devoured a foot-long corn dog. This new bride celebrated in a big way.
Oh, the lessons God taught me? I haven’t forgotten.
Lesson #1: Snacking in a crowded concessions area, two ladies asked if we would share our table. The conversation turned to pastors and wives, baptism and rites, church and denominations.
Finally, one of the women concluded, “Guess they will all take us to heaven.” Guessing is a risk you don’t want to take when it comes to eternity. I responded, “The good news, it’s not about a denomination, but Christianity.” I heard an “Amen.”
Lesson #2: We were carried around the park on a locomotive from World War I. The excursion came complete with coal embers, soot, whistles, and smoke. When the train conductor and host were silent on tour facts, music blared through the speakers.
“Give me that old time religion…it’s good enough for me. Makes us love everybody. It will take us all to heaven.” (The song dates back to the 1800’s.)
Here the claim was again. Something, not someone, would lead to heaven.
There’s a problem. A church brand or religion can’t fulfill the requirement of eternal life.
Old time religion may have seemed sufficient for great, great Aunt Bessie and Uncle Jack. It’s only satisfied by man. Eternal standards can’t be met in human attempts.
Heaven isn’t for the good enough.
Lesson #3: Melodies of homespun childhood and country living filled the show’s theater. Spiritual tunes lit the stage and screen.
“He’s alive. I’m forgiven. Heaven’s gates are open wide.”
Hey, you want the answer key to God’s test for theme-park lessons and old time religion?
Jesus. Brings. Heaven. To. Us.
The heart of the gospel, Jesus is enough. It’s not about religion. It’s about relationship with the Creator.
God freely gave His son. The old and new foundations of faith rest on Him alone.
In former times, God revealed Himself to the people on earth. Over and over. He showed His greatness, His power, His love, His mercy, and His holiness. He is revealed to us.
Religion will fail us. Denominational systems will cease to exist.
The arms of Jesus stretched out on a wooden cross. The blood of the perfect sacrifice swung heaven’s gates wide open.
“You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth Who was nailed to a cross. He is risen!” (Mark 16:6, NLV.) Christ rose from the dead. He forgives our sin. It’s amazing grace.
Give me Jesus.
© 2015 by Karen Friday, All rights reserved
October 22, 2015 at 10:30 am | Uncategorized